November/December is a great time of year, the weather is getting warmer, the suns up longer, work is slowing down and the social calendar starts to fill up. With this comes alcohol, delicious but unfavourable food options and late nights. If you are anything like me, I have to work bloody hard to maintain my fitness and keep the weight off, but I don't need to work that hard to lose my fitness and gain weight. I am not that person who can eat whatever they like and wake up the same shape the next day. Avoid wasting your 2018 new years resolutions on regaining health and fitness goals lost during silly season!! You've been training hard all year, so don't let the next couple of month take over and find yourself back in square one in 2018! I can hear your grumbles (because I'm thinking the same)...."but I LOVE silly season!", "I've worked hard so isn't this the time to let my hair down??", "I need a break!". YES it is ok to indulge occasionally and enjoy food and beverages that aren't the best choice in moderation. Yes you do deserve to let your hair down, have a break and enjoy silly season, but just quickly think back to a time when you let yourself go, think about how hard it was to shed the extra kgs, regain your previous fitness levels, strength and shape. Remember the regret you felt and the yearning for previous fitness. So instead of letting yourself completely go, lets enjoy the season and avoid looking like old mate above. We have control of TWO things... NUTRITION and EXERCISE. Here are my top tips for staying in shape over the next of month...
1. At that party with a banquet of snacks, or waiters bringing you food and beverages every few minutes...
- Choose wisely. I know I get over excited in both these situations and end up over doing it and feeling very guilty later.
- Eat a small meal or snack before arriving so that your not starving and ready to eat everything the waiter has on offer including their right arm!
- Choose a number of items you will allow yourself to eat before you get there, e.g. 10 canapes. Be crafty and don't use them all up in the first 10 minutes!
- Choose all the veggie based snacks as 'FREE' snacks. Veggie sticks on offer? Go crazy, these don't count towards your 10 canapes!
- Fill up on bubbly water between alcoholic beverages - this is suprisingly filling and will save you a hangover!
2. Oops... that meal was bigger and richer than I expected
- Follow up an indulgent meal or night out with a nutritious day.
- Avoid a 'F**k this' attitude, you know the one where you have an over indulgent meal or night and think "well i've stuffed it now may as well keep going" - this leads to an all or nothing lifestyle - a vicious cycle of over indulging and comfort eating.
- The day after a big night or the next meal after the work lunch, choose wisely. Choose light, cooling foods such as salads and smoothies. It may just be the meal you need to get back on track.
- Add veggies to every meal!
3. Alcohol in one hand, water in the other..
- Always have a glass of water in hand, that way at events where the waiter is continually filling up your champagne, they will likely fill up your water glass too
- Chase every sip or drink with some water, this will dilute the alcohol, slow down your alcohol consumption and lessen the dreaded hangover