Challenge Me’s top 5 tips for staying healthy during the holidays

It’s that time of year again – the holidays are here! If your office is anything like mine, there are treats everywhere and events most days. Add that to the Christmas parties, catch ups with friends, new year’s parties, pool parties, barbecues…what is a super fun time of the year can also become a very unhealthy time where all of the hard work you have put in throughout the year can be undone in a few short weeks.

This doesn’t have to be the case. The top five tips we give our clients for making it through the holiday period without compromising their goals include

1. Maintain a regular exercise routine

Try to stick to at least three training sessions per week and make them worthwhile. If you normally do three tough sessions and two lighter sessions per week, stick with the three tough sessions so that you can maintain your strength and fitness. These tough sessions should be high in intensity and therefore shorter and easier to fit into your busy schedule. Not only will this approach help you to burn off those extra calories you are likely to be consuming, but training will help you to:

  • Feel healthy and fresh
  • Sleep well
  • Rethink those additional drinks in the evening if you have a morning training session to get to

Try and find a training partner or make sure your regular training partner comes along to help keep you accountable

2. Don’t go out hungry

Going to parties hungry (especially cocktail and canape style functions) is the worst mistake you can make during the festive season. When you are hungry, you are more likely to over indulge in the highly calorific canapes on offer and you won’t feel great for it the next day. Have a high protein snack before heading to these functions which will not only minimise your canape intake, but your alcohol intake too. Choose canapes that are high in protein and vegetables, not refined carbohydrates. This will help you to control your intake and avoid that awful heavy and bloated feeling

3. Choose the events at which you are going to drink alcohol

Most of us like to have a drink every now and then. During the holiday season, this can get a little out of control. If you really want to stay healthy and avoid weight gain, you should make a plan of how many times during the week you are going to drink and how many drinks you are going to have. Remember, moderation is key to maintaining a happy and healthy lifestyle and it is up to you how you go about this. Be realistic with your plan and show willpower to achieve it. If your goal is weight control, it can be useful to understand the calories in your drinks. Please see the tables below to assist in your drink choices.

Alcohol Liquid calories
Wine (150ml) 130
Champagne (150ml) 90
Beer (350ml) 150
Spirit (vodka, rum, whiskey – 30ml)) 70
Baileys (30ml) 110
Frangelico 70
Cocktail – ranges depending on type and ingredients

  • Espresso martini
  • Mojito
  • Caprioska
200-400

  • 285
  • 353
  • 200

 

Mixer (250ml) Liquid calories
Tonic water 100
Dry ginger ale 75
Coca cola 105
Diet coca cola nil
Orange Juice 95
Lemonade 105
Lemon Lime & Bitters 108
Red Bull 120
Soda water nil

 

But remember, it’s not just the calories that are going to impact your goals. It’s also the effect of alcohol on your detoxifying organs and the subsequent impact on fat metabolism.

4. Maintain your water intake

It’s easy to drink less water during the holiday season as there are so many other drinks to choose from when out and about. You can also become dehydrated from increased alcohol consumption and the warmer temperatures of the Southern Hemisphere at this time of year.

Water is essential for:

Keeping your skin healthy and radiant

  • Assisting your kidneys to detoxify
  • Maintaining normal bowel function
  • Maintaining the balance of bodily fluids and function
  • Controlling calories by quenching your thirst with a calorie free fluid

So maintaining your water intake of 2-3L per to stay healthy, happy and hydrated

5. Make sensible food choices

Holidays are the time of celebration and indulgence. At Challenge Me, we are all about balance. So if you are tempted by that piece of cake, then have it. But don’t try every cake on the dessert table. When you are out, try and stick to healthy choices of lean proteins, salads and vegetables. This will help you to avoid feeling heavy, bloated and lethargic after eating and allow you to fit into your clothes all holiday long!

For more tips and tricks that we give our clients to help set themselves up for success, sign up to our mailing list at www.challengeme-fitness.com. You will not only receive our free 7 day meal plan, but you will be the first to know when we launch in January 2016.