Don't pile on the pounds this Christmas

Joao Carvalho, fitness manager at TribeFit offers his tips
ByClaire GlasbyThursday , 18 December 2014
Don't pile on the pounds this Christmas

Food is often the centre of holiday celebrations, and even if you have the strongest willpower it can be tested over Christmas. Did you know that the average person puts on between 0.5 to three kilos over the festivities? Follow these top tips to save your waistline without sacrificing the fun...

1. Down with the obligation. Be a gracious guest but that does not mean you have to eat everything on the table. The only person who has to control what you eat is you.

2. Watch what you drink. Some cocktails have hundreds (yes hundreds!) of calories. Try to dilute them with water or enough ice. Alternatively, opt for grape or bubbles which has fewer calories per cup.

3. Do not store the calories for the holidays. The best way to eat less is to have a small snack before you leave home (like a banana or yogurt).

4. Let's not talk about what you should or should not eat. The most important thing is not to follow the herd, just because everyone else has filled their plates you don’t need to follow. Eat as you would on any other day of the year.

5. If you're hosting, instead of filling the table with 10 different dishes, opt for just two or three dishes and a good dessert - the more there are, the more people will eat. Instead of hyper-calorific snacks, present fruit kebabs with light cheese, whole sandwiches and irresistible salads.

6. At the end of Christmas dinner, separate the leftover food in small portions and freeze everything, so you'll have plenty of pre-prepared meals once the January blues set in.

7. Earn miles. Despite this being the busiest time of the year with get together and parties, do not use that as an excuse not to exercise. There are many ways to incorporate small exercise sessions during the bustle of the Christmas season and you only just 15 minutes for intense cardiac activity.

8. There's little time to rest during the party season, but try to get enough sleep. A lack of sleep causes increased appetite for high-calorie foods.


Shed those pounds

Put on some extra weight? How do you get rid of it?

1. Go back to your healthy meals and increase the time you're working out in the gym.

2. Go for 20 to 30 minutes of high intensity interval training, 10 minutes as warm up on the cross trainer and 15 minutes at the end on the treadmill. Don’t do the same workout every day, and challenge yourself during every session.

3. Have fun while burning those calories - check out classes in body combat, body pump and Zumba.