As the evenings start to draw in and cosy knitwear becomes our everyday ‘go-to’ item, it’s all too easy to slip into bad eating habits and find comfort in lazy evenings spent on the sofa, rather than hitting the gym hard armed with a kale and celery smoothie. After all, the continual seduction of mince pies, canapés and copious amounts of mulled wine at this time of year does make it far harder to opt for a salad, let alone find the motivation to exercise! However, it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom! By implementing a few small changes now it will make the transition to becoming healthier and fitter in January, much easier.
Here are a few top tips from some of our F.I.T ambassadors to help motivate you:
“January is a popular time to start a new fitness campaign. Unfortunately, the majority of people will have thrown in the towel by February…..will that be you? If you are serious about getting in shape and living a healthier lifestyle forever, start today! Yes there will be parties over the festive period. Yes there will be treats around and yes you can enjoy these! Socialising is a big part of the season but be moderate in your behaviour and don’t put off a healthier you until next year. Take control today and don’t be one of those February quitters.” – Mike Butterworth, Fitness Enthusiast
“I try to focus on portion control. I allow myself to have a bit of everything but if I know I want to try all the dishes and have a dessert I eat small amounts of every dish. Growing up in Russia I learnt to eat this way during holidays as it's very much in keeping with Russian tradition to have lots of different dishes on the table. Traditional Russian celebrations always centre around a feast, so you have to be tactical and try to eat small amounts of everything.” – Kristina Rihanoff, Professional Dancer
“Stick to a plan - Like most things, having a plan will always help you be successful. Sticking to a schedule with allotted workout times and then preplanning sessions (cardio day, leg day, etc.). This will help you get into a routine and you'll trick yourself into feeling guilty for missing a session!
Start your day right - Postponing a workout until after work or later in the day will make it much easier to find an excuse not to go. That's why I always like to start my day with a good AM workout. It gets you up out of bed earlier and kick starts your metabolism. This also goes hand in hand with sticking to a plan and also helps you get into a routine.
Portion Control- Festive meals during the holiday season can be delicious, maybe a little too delicious! For me it's all about portion control, try watch the size of portions you are plating up, or if you do have a stacked plate limit yourself to only one round (the no second's rule!).
Buddy Up - Having a partner/coach/trainer is another great way to ensure you are remaining active. Knowing that someone is counting on you to be there will help get you to all your sessions. This person will also help you push yourself during the session and vice versa!” – Mike Tuck, Professional Basketball Player
“When it comes to the festive season it’s easy for all of that hard work and dedication to leading a healthy lifestyle to go out of the window. No matter where you go there always seems to be a family size box of chocolates, or a plate of mince pies calling out to you. Whilst a few of each of these in moderation will hardly derail your healthy lifestyle the temptation is to eat them all! However, with a little bit of creativity in the kitchen it’s easy enough to make healthy alternatives of your favourite festive treats. For a whole host of delicious and healthy recipes, make sure you get your latest copy of Aloe Matters which is out now!
Marcus Leach, Adventurer