There are bound to be many posts floating around on social media from fitness influencers on ‘how to survive Christmas’. This could entail all sorts of crazy advice on sticking to your diet, burning off any festive treats and skipping meals in the pursuit of weight loss. What’s worse, is that some people may encourage you to avoid indulging whatsoever so as not to ruin your progress.
As personal trainers, we of course understand how to reach various fitness related goals, be it weight loss, muscle gain, fitness, health - the list goes on, but one thing that we would never encourage at Sterling Fitness is to miss out on family, social events and eating your favourite foods at Christmas time, just to stay ‘lean’. It is such a cliche but balance really is key when it comes to reaching your goals. Having great nutrition and a solid exercise regime is great for your physical health, but it’s so so important not to neglect our mental wellbeing. Socialising and spending time with loved ones is vital for keeping us sane and happy, and we believe that this should never be sacrificed for fitness.
A fit lifestyle should be flexible and something that you can maintain forever, and that’s why an all or nothing approach is not something that we advise to our clients. This can be easier said than done, and it’s very common to feel like overindulging will ruin all of your hard work (spoiler: it won’t). Mindset is crucial here and you must allow yourself to enjoy all of the treats, not feel guilty or exercise just to burn it off, and move on.
A Personal Trainer should help you with your overall health and wellbeing, including physical health, so with that in mind, here are our top tips for staying healthy over the Christmas period:
Forget any form of diet, calorie counting or restriction. Enjoy all of the food!
Don’t exercise with the sole intention of burning calories or punishing yourself for eating too much. If you want to exercise because it makes you feel good, then by all means go ahead, but if you are a regular gym goer, you could probably do with a week off!
If you are going to exercise, keep it light, focussed on getting the whole body moving and don’t push yourself too far. When you are hungover and stuffed to the brim with chocolate coins, you aren’t going to be hitting PBs so don’t try to!
Remember to drink at least some water. We know it can be hard to remember in between the glasses of champagne, but it will make you feel a million times better if you stay hydrated, and your skin will thank you for it.
Don’t eat so much that you feel sick, or worse, are sick. Pretty obvious but we’ve all done it! Stop when you’re full and go back for round 2 once there’s room.
Don’t think that just because it’s Christmas you can’t be active. Family walks are a great way to get some fresh air and get everyone up and out.
Christmas doesn’t last until New Year. By all means indulge, but think about what you’re gaining from having chocolate and champagne for breakfast on the 30th December…
DON’T WEIGH YOURSELF. I can’t stress this enough. You will have gained weight, so don’t make yourself feel bad by weighing yourself at Christmas. A lot of it will be water retention that will go as soon as you get back to your normal routine.
Don’t call your PT for a session; we are just as busy feeling sick and laying on the sofa as you are!
DON’T PANIC! Enjoy it, set your goals for the New Year, and then send us a message to enrol on our Online Personal Training or to book in some sessions 💪🏼
Some of you may read these tips and wonder why a Personal Training company would give the advice to eat more and stop exercising. For many, Christmas is filled with guilt and regret for overindulging and losing an exercise routine, and here at Sterling Fitness we like to look at our overall health, which sometimes means doing just that.
We have had such a wonderful year, and it’s all thanks to all of you. We hope you have a very Merry Christmas, and we look forward to working with you all in the New Year!
Sam & Josie.