Avoid Christmas Weight Gain
The festive period is traditionally calorie-packed! Instead of avoiding treats, crank up running training to stay ahead of holiday weight gain.
Stay Slim And Active At Christmas
Let’s be real; we all know we’ll consume more calories than usual over Christmas. As runners, we don’t want to put on weight or impact our training. But we don’t want to avoid social situations, turn down food, or cut back either! What’s the solution? One word: intensity.
Adapt Training To Burn More Calories
There’s no need to add in additional training to keep Christmas weight gain under control. Instead, look at the intensity and effort of your existing sessions. Don’t do every session as a longer, slower, steady-state workout. Use more HIIT, sprints and intervals for running. Full body workouts and conditioning workouts in the gym. The keyword is intensity. Worried you’ll lose out by backing off your longer running sessions? Far from it. In fact, a two-week conditioning phase could actively benefit your running fitness and pace.
Get Your Workout In Early
If you think you’ll struggle to get a run once the hustle and bustle of the day has begun, then get out there early. Remember, you’re focusing on intensity, so your run doesn’t need to be as long as usual. 30 minutes should be enough.
Set A Running Goal
If motivation is a problem over Christmas, set yourself a goal. Do it now, and make it close (and scary) enough to keep you on your toes. A 10K race in January, or a half marathon around 16 weeks away. Then map out your training from now until race day.
Adopt A No-Guilt Policy
Of course, the best way to avoid gaining body weight over Christmas would be to eat like a saint and turn down all the foodie treats you come across. Let’s be real. That’s not realistic, and not the sign of a healthy relationship with food, either. Instead, vow not to feel guilty about what you do choose to eat. And make a promise to yourself that you won’t eat everything on offer. But you’ll make calm choices, picking treats that are “worth it” to you. Don’t really like mince pies? Then don’t eat them. Absolutely love homemade sausage rolls. Then they’re worth it to you.
Avoid The Worst Offenders
It’s worth knowing which are the most calorific foods so you can make that informed choice and select “worth it” treats. Alcohol has a negative impact on your body’s ability to burn fat (and it goes far beyond simply the caloric load of the alcohol itself). Calorie-dense foods which are very easy to overeat include pastry, fried canapés and chocolate treats. Think twice about adding sides and sauces: they can pile on the calories. And nuts and dried fruit do have health benefits, but are very dense in calories for a small serving. Just be aware.
Be The Active Family Member
It’s not just dedicated exercise sessions which will help keep Christmas weight gain at bay. Your NEPA (non-exercise physical activity) counts for a lot in terms of over all calories burned. Increase the amount of energy you expend, and boost your metabolic rate, by staying active all day long. Go for walks, play with the kids, get things out of the loft, clean the house, decorate the tree, take the dog for a walk, shovel snow… you get the idea. It all counts!
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