Learn everything there Is to know about fItness, performance, fat loss and lifestyle from Adrian McDonnell.
There is a reason why "I will exercise" is one of the most common New Year's resolutions. As people slack off holiday workouts and eat delicious food, they pack on pounds. That is, if you're not careful.
In fact, the holidays can provide an opportunity to improve your exercise routine. Here are three simple things you can do to ensure that you won't feel disappointed when you look in the mirror on January 2.
Exercise - but do it early
If you are exercising early in the morning anyway, great.
If you aren't, the holidays are a perfect time to start. You may have a whole bunch of family obligations over the holidays, but they don't normally start at 9 or 10 in the morning. That's a perfect time to start early and ensure you will exercise. If you choose to wait until the afternoon, far too often some unexpected family thing interferes.
Exercising early in the morning boosts your metabolism throughout the day and gets you alert and awake for the rest of the day.
Eat your veggies first
We may eat more around Christmas than at any other point in the year. But we don't eat a lot more vegetables. Very few Christmas dishes are vegetable-based, and the few that are often ruin their nutritional value with sauces dolloped on top of them. I like the approach of addition instead of subtraction. So instead of saying don't have the creamed potatoes or the sausage stuffing, I prefer creating an abundance mentality and suggest adding more veggies as one such approach.
When your family has an array of dishes, get the vegetables on your plate first. Make them fill about one third of your plate. High-fibre vegetables can be filling, which will make you less inclined to fill up on everything else. I would then suggest eating your vegetables first before you dig into the creamed potatoes! You'll still get to enjoy the creamed potatoes, just by the time you come around to eating them, you'll already feel pretty full.
80/20 or even 70/30 Rule
Let's be honest. No one likes folks who turn down all the delicious holiday food in the name of health. It makes them feel bad if you give them the impression that they don't care about their health, or perhaps encourages them to pig out more at your expense. And besides, you won't feel any better when you smell those wonderful scents.
Remember the 80/20 rule. If you eat healthy 80 percent of the time, it's OK to indulge yourself the other 20 percent. Even if you lower it to 70/30 for the holidays, you will still come out ahead of most people. Eating a slice of cake, you will enjoy yourself. You don't have to eat like a monk to improve your physique and not gain weight over the holidays.
The holiday season only lasts a few weeks. What you do during the rest of the year is far more important. By working out regularly and eating healthy throughout the year, you can ensure that you won't be too disappointed with your waistline when the holidays end.
I for one don’t plan on following a rigorous workout routine over the Christmas. Nor do I intend on being super restrictive with my diet. But I still intend to train as part of my routine without taking away from the enjoyment of the holidays.
In fact, days that I train are always better than days that I don’t train. And I’m looking forward to getting in some quick, HIIT workouts and having some nice treats alongside it without ruining my progress.
This is the principle I built my Lean for Life online coaching program on. Does this sound like something you’d be interested in come January? Then click here to book your FREE consultation call. During the call we’ll deep dive into your health & exercise history, your goals and decide if we’d be a good fit for each other.
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Adrian McDonnell -
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