The festive season provides us with a variety of food options at open houses, hotel buffets and restaurants. The situation can be especially challenging if you wish to stay fit and healthy at the same time.
Seeing as it is end of the year, many of us are pushing hard to achieve our yearly fitness goals as well. In order to enjoy these delectable foods without hampering your overall fitness plan, here are some tips to keep fit and healthy during the festive season.
Set a Festive Season Fitness Goal
Apart from the annual targets which you are on course to achieve, it would be best to set a dedicated festive season goal. The goal could be as simple as avoiding putting on weight, or fixing a ceiling for extra calorie intake. This is essential as festive season foods can cause spikes in your intake scale and affect your larger goals. A great way to perform this is to pick out a tight pair of jeans or t-shirt before the start of the festive season. Set a specific day of the week to try these on as the season progresses to keep track of your body mass.
You could also record your weight at the onset and step on the scale once a week to maintain good strides towards achieving your overall goals. To help you stay focused while monitoring these aspects, it would be best to keep track of all your extra consumptions from the usual daily regimen. You could record these in a fitness diary or calorie tracker on your smartphone.
Commit to Extra Exercise
Apart from food in abundance, people generally would have plenty of spare time from public holidays or annual leaves during the festive season. This would be an opportune time for you to round up like-minded individuals who plan to stay fit and healthy during the season. This also serves as a great time to bond with immediate family members and convince them to commit to a long-term fitness regime.
Plan out a fitness schedule that works around your social events for family members or your exercise buddy. Make it a point to clock in some exercise before the celebration, or if your schedule is full for the day, be sure to commit to some exercise the day after. To avoid losing muscle mass, focus your workouts on strength training and minimise cardio training.
Control Food Portions
It can be challenging to actively control food portions at festive celebrations. A great way to do this is by consuming the healthy items first such as fruits and vegetables. Wash them down with loads of water before proceeding to your second serving. You would already be relatively full at this point, inadvertently limiting the portion of your subsequent meal.
You could also choose to do this at home before leaving for the festive celebration. If you are hosting, you may want to list down a set of items to prepare and share it with your guests to pick beforehand. These dishes should be ones that are not to your liking and would help limit your consumed portion while hosting. Have disposable containers ready for your guests to pack any leftovers to prevent wastage.
Redefine Your ‘Cheat Days’
It is common to have ‘cheat days’ for personal fitness and health milestones. The festive season presents various unhealthy foods that may cause you to stray from healthy food consumption. And by committing to extra exercise during this period, it would be natural to be tempted by such food. Some of these tempting consumables may include fried food, sweets and savouries.
A good way to avoid this is to redefine your ‘cheat days’ by including other forms of reward instead of food. These may include full body or foot massages, spa sessions, a quick getaway with friends and family or shopping. This would keep you well-motivated to stay fit and healthy during the festive season without resorting to unnecessary food consumption.
Select Late Night Food Carefully
Contrary to popular belief, eating late at night does not cause weight gain, however it is linked to choice of food instead. Studies reveal that the body craves different types of food during different times of day due to fluctuations in body temperature, biochemical reactions and hormone levels.
Sweet and salty food are common cravings during this time which can contribute to significant weight gain. This could be a problem during the festive season where celebrations tend to finish late into the night. A great way to avoid this is to consume more protein such as meat instead of giving in to your late night cravings.
By adhering to these tips, you would be able to keep fit and healthy during the festive season. It would also complement your overall fitness plan and keep you in good stead to achieve your year-end goals.