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How to survive the Christmas eat-a-thon!

How to survive the Christmas eat-a-thon!

By Justin Moran - Just In Time Personal Training

The Christmas period has the potential to stack on five or even 10 kilos.

We resolve faithfully on January 1 to lose that weight as quickly as we can and spend the rest of the year battling with it with varied levels of success.

So how do you get through Christmas without gaining weight? How do you Christmas-proof your diet?

Here’s some thoughts to help you get the festive season and Christmas eating back in perspective.

Christmas is but one day

Try looking at Christmas Day as an indulgent eating period that starts and finishes in a 24-hour period. Stop treating Christmas Day as a month-long eat-a-thon and start thinking about it as one day to indulge and enjoy yourself and maintain the course that you set at the beginning of the year.

Maintain your exercise routine

When December rolls around and the social engagements step up, the first thing off the must-do list is exercise. Prioritise yourself and your needs over the busy festive period and keep to your scheduled exercise routine. Limit treats to one a day Just because Christmas is coming, there’s no need to eat, drink and make merry every moment of the day.

Don’t eat if you’re not hungry

This is a pretty radical concept at this time of year but remember you can say “no” politely and firmly to food, if you’re not hungry. There’s no rule that if it’s there, you have to eat it. Be prepared Learn to think like a cub scout and always be prepared. Be prepared with a line or two so you can refuse food you don’t want. Be prepared with how much you’re going to eat when you get to a social gathering and stick to it. Be prepared for those parties where there will be lots of high fat food, by eating before you go so, you’re not faced with feeling starving and downing all the snacks (which won’t fill you up, anyway). Decide how much you’re going to drink before you go to that party and stick to it. With a little bit of thought and preparation, the Christmas period doesn’t need to spell disaster for your waistline.

New Year’s resolutions – forget about them unless …

Save yourself the trouble of setting a New Year’s resolution unless it has been building in importance and the feeling of wanting to change has progressed somewhat in recent time, otherwise you are setting yourself up for failure! Statistics show that very few resolutions are successful in attaining their set goal as they enter the New Year and that is usually because they are half-thoughts of something that the person would “like” to achieve but not actually something they are prepared to put in the required work or commitment for. Hence, they give up.

I would like to share with you the notion of Prochaska’s behaviour-change model which has been adapted and adjusted over the years but is essential to understanding human behaviour and what it takes to make a habit and, ultimately, change behaviour. It would be fair to say that the reason for not achieving the set New Year’s resolution/s is the mere fact that most are not actually realistically at the action stage and, therefore, the lack of desire and commitment required to make the necessary changes fall short.

Stages of behaviour change

  • Pre-contemplation
  • Preparation
  • Contemplation
  • Action
  • Maintenance
  • Termination

So, what does this all mean for you reading this?

As a personal trainer that lives and breathes helping people change their behaviours and achieve their set goals, I urge you to sit down and be realistic about what it is you want to achieve. I often get people come to me hoping, wanting and/or expecting to lose, for example, 10 kgs in two months. Yet when I ask them how long it took them to put on that 10 kgs, they will often say over a period of 10 years! See the gap in reality? Put on 10 kgs in 10 years but expect to lose it in two months?

We live in a society where almost everyone wants results now, yesterday, or even last week! Be realistic, write your goals down and, better still, share your goals with someone. By sharing a goal publicly with someone you then make somewhat of a commitment, and it means you have attached importance to your goal. Announce it on Facebook if you have to. You will then get people that will ask how you are going, perhaps help motivate you on your way but you then become accountable to someone other than yourself.

I hope this helps you as you contemplate 2022 and from myself and the team at Just In Time Personal Training, have a safe and happy New Year! • For more information, exercise guidance or if you have any questions, feel free to contact me by heading to justintimept.com

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