FOR many of us, the festivities can be the start of a slippery slope which can damage current fitness levels and undo progress. That being said, the Christmas period is here to be enjoyed.
The festive season will live up to its name for many, being laden with lunches, late nights and leftovers. It is often a busy time with plans to catch up with friends and family, and often plans to eat well and exercise will go astray. However, with a few smart choices and simple tips, this should help you to stay lean and healthy, as temperatures drop.
Do not leave it until the January blues kick-in to build on your current fitness levels. It is important to have foundations set in place. This will make life a little easier in the coming months.
With the possibility of the club GAA season starting earlier this year, the damage over the next four weeks could have a huge impact on how your individual season unfolds. Don’t be that guy that turns up in January with excess weight trying to play catch up.
Over the next four weeks, you should plan your training program to suit your busy social life. Commit to training early in the day, because if you leave it later in the day, you will be less likely to train and less motivated to do so.
Remember that any activity is better than none. Even if you are bed with a hangover and those dreaded guilts are on your mind, you should get up and be active. This will have a positive effect on the rest of your day.
It is often useful to try to plan an activity or training session with a club mate. Focus on maintaining your strength by completing at least one strength session per week, or if possible, an upper body and lower body session. On top of this you can complete a 5k-8k run to keep the legs ticking over. This will stand you in good stead when the heavy pitch runs arrive in the New Year.
FOOD & DRINK
The dreaded word we all love to hear – CALORIES! Here is brief guide on calories. The average male should consume approximately 2500-2800 calories daily. This will of course vary depending on activity levels and personal needs. For you to maintain your weight over the Christmas period you must burn what you consume. To gain one pound of weight, you must consume 3,500 excess calories over a weekly period. A good tip to keep track of your calories is to be aware of your calorie consumption through both food and fluids. Sometimes we forget about those calories which we intake through fluids.
A lot of weight gained over the Christmas period will be due to binge drinking and over consumption of alcohol. It is important to keep this in moderation as it may hinder your goals and motivation. We can make better choices when selecting our favourite beverages. For example, try to drink a lighter beer or stick to low calorie wines, spirits and soft drinks.
Ultimately, we should make informed and smart food choices over the holidays.
Every meal doesn’t have to be a last supper. Portion control is a key to getting you through this period unscathed. Try to prioritise high protein foods to minimize cravings. Also, load up on your vegetables to ensure that you are getting quality nutrients. You should keep healthy food close to hand to avoid over snacking on junk food. Ideal snacks could include veggies, hummus, fruit or nuts.
Top Tips for staying lean over Christmas:
– Reduce cravings by drinking 2-3 litres of water a day
– Have a fasting period or day
– Eat high protein foods
– Skip breakfast
– Limit alcohol intake
If you are struggling with your pre-season gym program or need advice feel free to drop us a message to help take your game to the next level. Check us out now at Core Performance Gym.