Seven health tips to survive Christmas

WE are approaching the season of goodwill towards men, but when did that ever mean eating and drinking to excess?

WE are approaching the season of goodwill towards men, but when did that ever mean eating and drinking to excess?

Did you know that the average Britain puts on an average of 11 pounds over the Christmas period – remember it is easier to put weight on than to lose it.

Christmas and New Year is the time of year when damage limitation needs to be brought into action. Here are some tips to help you stay on track with your Christmas eating and drinking:

1. Start your day with a healthy breakfast. Good rule to follow: eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and supper like a pauper. Choose omelettes over cereal.

2. Curb your appetite. Drink water before every meal. Your brain can mistake dehydration for hunger. A good rule of thumb is to drink one litre for every 50lb you weigh per day.

3. Slow down. Eat slower and taste your food. It takes about 20 minutes for your brain to recognize how much is in your stomach, so don’t overeat.

4. Set goals for over the holidays. Read them first thing in the morning, throughout the day and before bed. Share these goals with somebody to help you stay accountable.

5. Don’t go anywhere hungry. Arrive at any holiday parties having already eaten something healthy. That way you won’t be too prone to digging into high-calorie party foods.

6. Decide how many drinks you are going to have before the party. Choose light and clear alcohol over dark, and alternate between an alcohol beverage (if you are drinking) and water (same goes for soda). Alcohol is liquid sugar and goes straight to the fat cells. Try not to drink your calories for the day.

7. Exercise on days you eat a holiday meal. Write a plan for your work-outs over Christmas. Aim to exercise before a big meal. After exercise our bodies are more sensitive to insulin, which will help prevent the body storing ALL the excess calories as fat. For example think squats or lunges for 30 on and then 30 off for four minutes and then switch to press-ups or tricep dips. Just excuse yourself to a bedroom/bathroom or get the family to join in.

I’m quite strict when it comes to telling clients and boot camp members what to do to get fit and lose weight quickly, but in this case damage limitation is key. Merry Christmas.

Dean Coulson, is a fat-loss expert and health coach at Assert Health & Fitness. Find out more at, or call 07017 406 000.


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