Here they come – the holidays

blog6

Maureen Wilson

The owner of Vancouver’s successful Sweat Co. Workout Studios she is one of Canada’s most sought-after and dynamic fitness professionals. Earning the respect of her peers and gaining a dedicated following with her expertise and innovative approach to fitness; Maureen is an international presenter; ACE-certified personal trainer, instructor and CEC provider; BCRPA Trainer of Leaders and Spinning instructor.

Today she is sharing her tips to stay at the peak of health during the holiday season.

 

How To Have Your Cake (or plum pudding) And Eat It Too.

I’m as perplexed as you are, the year is getting shorter! The holiday season has stretched out from mini chocolate bars in October (c’mon, you bought a bag before Halloween and polished them off!)  to staff/holiday parties beginning in November and running through January. This is definitely the toughest time of the year to stick to your healthy diet and exercise regime. How do you enjoy the pleasures of good food, wine and desserts without sabotaging your sweat equity? We all know there is nothing as unjolly as weird cleanses, tortuous diets and mysterious food replacements. Now is the time to build a strategy that will take you all the way through to the singing of Auld Land Syne!

Plan ahead for luxury meals and events

Look at your calendar and highlight the days you’ll be eating out or attending a special event where you won’t have control of the menu. You can plan ahead by making good food choices in the days leading up to the event. Bump up the fruits and vegetables, choose lower fat meals and drink plenty of water. This is also a good time to pre-book your fitness sessions on the calendar so you won’t be tempted to push them aside when things get hectic. Remember the old saying; “A goal without a plan is just a dream!”

Never arrive hungry

Especially if you are attending a cocktail party. It takes quite a few of those tiny, delicious calorie-laden morsels to fill you up! Have a healthy snack ahead of time and you’ll be less likely to gorge on hundreds of unwanted calories before dinner.

Stay hydrated

Wine, cocktails and epicurean delights will be flowing. Be sure to hydrate ahead of time to balance the extra salt, fat and alcohol intake. Plus you’ll be less likely to have a hangover if you can discipline yourself to have one drink followed by one glass of water; a great way to cut back on calories and still enjoy yourself (and the next day)!

Practise conscious consumption

Cheese, crackers, dips and other foods of abandon! It would be torture to say those holiday comfort foods are off-limits but you must choose wisely. Take your time (this is when that pre-party healthy snack pays off), scan the food table, and only pick foods/treats you love the most. Now savour every bite and resist the urge for seconds (and thirds).

Sleep

The holidays are wonderful – and exhausting! Squeezing in that seven or eight hour dream-fest can be challenging.   Many studies suggest getting enough sleep will help to regulate fat loss. One explanation might be that sleep duration affects the hormones (ghrelin and leptin) that regulate hunger and stimulate the appetite. Another theory is that lack of sleep leads to fatigue and results in less physical activity. There’s no doubt food, fun and alcohol can trip up your sleep patterns. Take the time to recharge your batteries. Getting a good night’s sleep is crucial to your health, well-being and most importantly to your enjoyment of life.