Five ways to keep the weight off this Christmas

Hi guys 

Christmas is in full swing and I’m the first to admit that I’m indulging. If it’s not beer, it’s a no-holds-barred assault on a tin of Quality Street. I’m having to work twice as hard in the gym to make sure I don’t start 2011 looking like Santa’s stunt double.

I’m lucky that I have the opportunity to train during the day and burn off the extra calories I’m consuming. Now I realise that lots of you guys don’t have that luxury. So here’s a few pointers on how to still enjoy the festive season and keep those calories under control…

1. Eat slowly

It’s been proven that people who chew slowly and methodically – twice as long as they would normally – are far less likely to over-eat.

Not only does this help you keep your calorie consumption under control, but it also helps you digest your food more efficiently. Believe it or not, there are more digestive enzymes in your mouth than your stomach. Therefore the more you chew, the more effective you are at breaking down your food for digestion.

And the added bonus is that you’ll enjoy the many flavours of what you’re eating, rather than complaining of bellyache the moment you finish your Xmas dinner. You’ll also feel fuller for longer so you won’t feel compelled to have that second serving of Christmas pud.

2. Eat a big breakfast

It’s true – breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. Your body’s metabolism, and hence its ability to burn calories, is at its fastest early in the day. The problem in the UK is that the overwhelming majority of people consume their big meals right at the end of the day, when their body is slowing down and doesn’t need the calories. Try and have a hearty breakfast, a good-sized lunch a light evening meal.

3. Use smaller plates

Now if you’re like me when you’re served an enormous plate of food, you don’t think rationally that it is an over-sized portion. On the contrary, you see it as a challenge.

Research has proven that serving using smaller plates stops people over-eating and taking on board unnecessary calories. Try it – you’ll be surprised how effective it can be.

4. Drink plenty of water

You’ve heard me talk before about the importance of water to weight loss. Too many people mistake dehydration for hunger and go rifling through the biscuit tin, when in reality a pint of water was what they actually needed. Ideally consume two litres a day to satisfy your body.

5. Stay active

You may be thinking of taking a break from the gym over the festive period. That’s fair enough. But if you know you’re going to be consuming a lot of food, then try and balance it out by getting out and about. A brisk 30-minute walk every day could help you boost your metabolism and torch off some of those extra calories.

So there’s just a few ideas to help you enjoy a guilt-free Xmas.

To those of you who train with me, I’d like to say a massive thank you for your efforts this year. It’s a real privilege to do this for a living and I enjoy every second of working with you guys. Here’s to more of the same next year.

To those of you reading this who I’ve not met before, perhaps our paths will cross in the New Year. We’ve got big plans for Absolute PT in 2011 and we hope to help even more people enjoy a happy and healthy lifestyle.

Take it easy

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