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Get through the holiday season with your fitness goals in tact
Here are 10 tactics for enjoying the festivities guilt-free.

1. RSVP YES TO YOUR WORKOUT: Plan your work-outs to keep you on track. Put them in your calendar as you would a social event. "Stay committed by linking goals and outcomes to the emotions behind them, like feeling confident in your new bikini at the beach on Christmas Day," Nichols says.

2. SAY NO: One-off indulgences do not cause weight gain. Weight gain is caused by gradual, sustained increases in calorie intake. Say no thank you to that extra glass of wine or box of chocolates doing the office rounds. This also applies to attending every event. Differentiate "special" occasions from run-of-the-mill drinks with acquaintances.

3. COUNT THE CANAPES: Cocktail party food is generally fatty and unsatisfying so eat something before you go: a salad, light meal, or even a protein shake. Rather than denying yourself the pleasure of festive feasting entirely, set a canape consumption number and stick to it. Make these swaps and save on calories: French onion dip for tomato salsa, crackers for vegetable sticks, spring rolls for barbecue prawns or kebabs, puff pastry treats for filo, peanuts for olives.

4. EXERCISE WILLPOWER: Willpower is a learnt skill, says author of 10 Steps to a Blissful Life Katie Morton, and the key to strengthening it is to "clearly define what you want, believe you can, solve problems instead of giving up, take full responsibility and focus on values not perfection".

5. HIT THE DANCE FLOOR: Another way to stave off the kilos is by hitting the dance floor. Not only is it an exceptionally good way of burning calories, you will also avoid the canapes being passed around.

6. CHOOSE YOUR DRINKS WISELY: Whether it's one to let your hair down, for Dutch courage, or to get you through the secret Santa exchange, office parties mean increased alcohol consumption. Sugary cocktails are a slimmer's worst enemy. Limit yourself to one, then move on to a more figure-friendly tipple with a diet mixer or try a spritzer.

7. SET A GOAL: "Don't just judge results on the scales. Use girth measurements, a goal outfit, and remeasure regularly to keep you inspired," Nicholls recommends. But be realistic. "This is not the time of the year when we are going to lose weight, so we should just make it a time when we are happy to at least maintain it", says Aloysa Hourigan, Accredited Practising Dietician.

8. 30-MINUTE MAKEOVER: "Plyometrics [the contraction of muscles executed in a big, explosive movement] like kangaroo jumps, burpees and press-ups are a great way to burn calories and build good muscle tone for those wanting maximum results in minimum time," says Nicholls. "Just don't skip the warm-up or stretching, [which are] the best ways to reduce injury risks."

9. TRY INTERMITTENT FASTING: Incorporate a weekly fast into your routine, allowing you to reap the benefits of fasting without leaving you feeling weak or deprived. On your night off the party circuit, stop eating at 7pm, and wait to have your first meal at 1pm, successfully completing the recommended 18-hour fast.

10. DON'T LET CHRISTMAS DRAG ON: If you don't pull in the reins, you'll be in trouble long before your new year resolutions start. Get back on track with your usual diet and exercise habits by January 2 and avoid carrying any extra Christmas weight for therest of the year.

- Sydney Morning Herald
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