‘Tis the season to be jolly; yes folks, although you might not believe it, we’re creeping further and further into the month of December, edging ever closer to that festive period. The Christmas holidays, for most, are a period of joyous occasions and happiness spent amongst loved ones. Despite this renewed positivity in the air, it can also be considered one of the hardest times for those following a structured health and fitness regime.

For many, it seems only yesterday you were going hell for leather in the gym, trying to sculpt and chisel your physique for those all important summer holiday photos. Well now the winter months are well under way and the official countdown to Christmas has begun – do you really want to let eleven months of hard work and dedication simply go to waste?

Time To Let Go?

Without trying the sound like Scrooge, the festive period is, generally speaking, where individuals tend to let themselves well and truly go. In theory, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this and you might argue that after a hard training year, you and your physique deserve a little break. However, the key term here is moderation.

The problem with moderation is that it’s not often a word associated with Christmas; in fact, the complete opposite can be considered true. From the constant advertising of food/drink on TV and every cupboard in your house brimming full of treats, all the way through to the constant supply of biscuits and cakes within your office – it all encourages over indulgence. We’ve not even begun to mention the staff Christmas party and various boozy nights out.

With this in mind, we’ve compiled numerous top tips, which are easy to implement and stick to, that will allow you to enjoy the festive period whilst ensuring your 2014 really does start with a health and fitness bang…

Tips For Beating The Festive Period
Don’t Forget To Exercise

Exercise is important over the festive period

This initial tip might sound relatively straight forward and easy to comply with, but exercise can often be forgotten during the hustle and bustle of Christmas.

For many, this festive period can last up to two weeks, which is too long to be spent doing nothing. Make sure you set aside some time for the gym, whilst also remembering the limited opening hours. Consider it a challenge; earn that junk food with every session.

Remember To Relax

Take time to relax over the Christmas holidays

Although Christmas is considered the biggest commercial holiday of the year, try not to forget the true meaning whilst getting caught up in those car park and shopping queues. Ensure that you give yourself the opportunity to sit back and relax whilst enjoying the company of whomever you chose to spend it with.

All too often we can be our own worst enemies, allowing ourselves to become stressed and even more run-down over Christmas.

Ensure You Eat Clever

Fill up on proteins and fresh veg rather than cakes and chocolate

There’s a well known saying that diet is just as important as the exercises you complete in the gym. This takes on an additional significance during the festive period.

If you’re attending a party where food will be available, try consuming a heavy protein meal with vegetables just prior to your attendance. Not only will this ensure your daily protein requirements are maintained, but you are also less likely to over consume on junk food.

Don’t Over Indulge

A little willpower goes a long way when faced with a buffet or feast of food

Following on from the previous advice, try to maintain a little willpower during the festive holidays. Do you really need to consume a whole cake or plate after plate of buffet food just because it’s Christmas?

Remember, whatever you eat during these festivities will require working off again at some point. The key terms here are ‘portion control’ and ‘moderation’. Allow yourself to sample the food you wish, but don’t eat simply for the sake of it.

Leave The Leftovers

Leaving the leftovers to others will reduce your calorie intake dramatically

Out of all the tips provided within this article, I for one can hold my hands up and say that this is both relevant to me and one that I am guilty of year after year.

Mothers and grandmas are often the main culprits for ensuring you leave their home with a goody bag full of food which you wouldn’t normally dream of consuming. Simply say thanks but no thanks; whilst it’s in your possession, you’ll always feel obliged to consume it.

Increase Your Omega 3 Intake

Increasing your Omega 3 intake can help fat burning

Unless you’re a complete saint, there’s a high probability that during the festive period your daily calorie intake is going to increase significantly. Ensure that your Omega 3 intake mimics the additional calorie consumption.

This can be achieved through supplements such as fish oils and flaxseed oils, which can be considered essential for fat burning.

Drink Plenty Of Water

Drink plenty of water

Although water might be the last thing on your mind during the festive period, try to make sure it’s not forgotten and attempt to remain adequately hydrated throughout.

If you’re consuming alcohol, why not consider drinking a glass of water between every round? Likewise, a glass of water alongside your food can provide a feeling of fullness and ensure that you don’t consume more than you need to for any given meal.

Don’t Forget To Sleep

Catch up on your sleep

We started the tips with ‘don’t forget to exercise’, so it seems only right to end with this. Again, although it sounds relatively straight forward, the Christmas period has a funny way of messing with your internal body clock.

All those Christmas films, nights out and family visits eventually take their toll, so make sure that you try and get a solid eight hours each and every night, allowing for normal sleeping patterns to be maintained.

Final Word

There you have it, everything you need to know and more about how to beat the festive period. Within this article, we’ve tried to provide you with an array of top tips, covering everything from food and drink to exercise and sleeping patterns, whilst also ensuring that each and every bit of information is easily digestible and can be implemented with little or no effort; after all, it is Christmas.

When all is said and done, the festive period is all about experiencing joyous occasions and happiness whilst in the presence of loved ones. Allow yourself to take your foot off the gas with regards to your normal dietary and exercise regimes, whilst always keeping health and fitness in the back of your mind.

When done in moderation, this period of time away from the gym will do you and your physique the world of good. With all this in mind, the only thing left to do is to wish you a safe and ‘Merry Christmas’ from everyone at FashionBeans.

If you have any personal tips you would like to share that work for you, please drop them in the comments section below…