Going easy on the mince pies and staying in shape over Christmas season can be a challenge. But our straight-talking coach Damien shows us how to stay in fab festive shape

The countdown to Christmas and the New Year has begun. With so many activities to occupy your time, you may start to forget about one very important aspect of your life: your health.  The excuse of “I don’t have time”, or “I need to buy presents” will be remembered the next time you try on your party dress.

Before you decide to offer up your training as the sacrificial lamb, be aware that the average person can gain up to 10lbs of fat during December. To gain that much is an achievement, but it is one that will be accomplished with some ease by many. The festive dinner can pack 3,500 calories, enough to gain 1lb of fat, but it will be your decision to slack off that will tip the scales in your waistline’s favour.

Fitness is for life, not just the 11 months before Christmas.

You must make the most use of your available time if you want to stay in shape for the festive season.  The people who gain 10lbs during the festive season will be the first to join the gym and hire personal trainers to lose that excess weight in the New Year. Why be that person? Be the person who has lost eight to 10lbs during the same time frame. It is very do-able at two pounds a week. Then, when you hit the New Year’s Eve party, you’ll be 20lbs leaner than your friend!

But how can you achieve this?  You need to set weight and exercise goals. According to Zig Ziglar, an expert on goal setting, only 3pc of people take the time and effort necessary to put their goals to paper. Make this effort and make the following commitments:

  • Identify what you want to accomplish and make sure that your goals are achievable. Around 8lbs of fat loss over four weeks is achievable.
  • You must commit to four training sessions a week, of at least, 45 minutes .
  • You should perform weight-training days alternated with days of sprinting, rowing, boxing, etc.
  • The training days and times are fixed; do not sacrifice them to go shopping. Perform your training and then go shopping.
  • Research continually proves that eating five small meals regularly is a better way of losing fat than having three large meals of the same quantity over the day.
  • Never go shopping on an empty stomach. There will be enough temptation in the food aisles without you walking down them when your blood sugar is low.
  • Eat from smaller plates.

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