It’s billed as the season of indulgent food and endless hangovers, but for many – especially if you’ve spent 2017 creating healthy habits – the month of December has become a cause of inner turmoil.
Searches of ‘How to healthy’ are predicted by Google to peak next week, with how to lose belly fat fast and the best way to lose weight no doubt cropping up in search histories after.
Why am I highlighting this?
Well, as someone who’s experienced eating like a Women’s Health cover model, worked out like Karlie Kloss and done a sober Christmas, yet now dates a guy who thinks a bowl of chicken nuggets should be accompanied by a ‘side pizza’, I feel I come at Silly Season with a balanced view.
Sure, it’s taken me 31-years to get here, but now I am, let me introduce the reasons why I believe you can eat, drink and be healthy at Christmas (also the name of our festive campaign) without sacrificing the most brilliant, and damn hilarious times, that round off the year.
You don’t need to lose weight at Christmas
On average, Women spend 17 years of their lives trying to lose weight. Cut yourself a break and leave this to 2018 when 33% of your friends, according to ComRes Poll, will be back on the wagon. Plus, ask any fitness expert what the secret to weight loss is and no doubt they’ll explain that it comes down to burning more calories than you consume. So, if you really don’t want to put on extra weight this Christmas try walking more – or gentle LISS if you can stomach it – to keep your intake and outtake balanced. A 30-minute walk can burn off a Gin and Tonic. Cheers.
HIIT first, baked camembert second
It’s near impossible to dodge the carnival of beige food at Christmas but a short burst of high-intensity exercise before eating high-fat foods can offset the stress of trans fat and saturated fat on your arteries. Eight minutes of high-intensity training is enough to you open your blood vessels and could counterbalance the effect of melted cheese on your insides. Thank the University of Exeter for this slice of science.
Strength starts could increase injury
Your body is dehydrated after drinking so now is not the time to squat with heavy weights – you risk rupturing a disc as these become fragile after a night shotting Jäger with the guy from finance. Plus, alcohol is known to increase gas and no one wants to be the windy one in the weights room. Instead, go for a long lunchtime walk to gossip about the night before. You’ll burn calories while reliving what happened 12-hours earlier.
So, there you have it. My thoughts on why beating yourself up when everyone else is having a good time isn’t worth it. I’m not suggesting that you turn your back on the fit habits that you’ve created but know, that missing out on 95% of the festive season to weigh 5% less probably won’t make you happy.
For more ways to eat, drink and be healthy this month (AKA keep Christmas balanced) do swipe up on the Women’s Health Instagram story. There will be a feature there for from now until we all sign off on 25th.
Amy / Digital Editor
Come and say hi on Instagram @Wellness_Ed
PS: missed the Instagram swipe up? Don’t panic. I’ll update this guide every day with links to the WH features.
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