Want to have your pie and eat it too? With these tips and tricks you can indulge in an enjoyable festive season – and not worry about needing to dust off your fat pants.

A good defence is the best offense

When holiday season hits it’s critical that you know your enemy. A mere lack of awareness could be your downfall. As soon as festivities kick in there are two main threats.

  • Food – those delicious morsels that are usually out of sight, out of mind are suddenly everywhere. Make sure you don’t use this as an excuse to consume. Treat yourself, but don’t binge.
  • Time – as schedules get busier with parties, gift shopping and other social obligations free time to exercise can be threatened. Try not to let is disappear completely.

Commit to stay fit

In busy times shorter workouts can be the only way to go – and they can still provide training benefits. If you usually enjoy several jogging or running sessions, cutting your training time by half will still keep you fit. Instead of completing two or three sets of each resistance training exercise, reduce it to one or two sets. Your session will take less time but you’re still exercising the same muscles, so your strength won’t disappear.

If you’re after a challenge 30 minutes of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is ideal. Those on a super tight timeframe can even squeeze in a 12-minute HIIT workout. The great thing about HIIT workouts is that they drive you to really up the ante and make the most of your workout time – delivering amazing results in a short amount of time.

If you’re working out solo choose exercises that move as many body parts as possible – burpees, squat-push-press, clean and press, overhead weighted lunges. These are called compound exercises and they burn far more calories than isolated exercises that just work one muscle at a time.

Workout wherever and whenever you can

Embrace your surroundings. If you are on an island or beach holiday, head to the water for your workouts. In the countryside, or even in the city, go out and explore. Allow yourself to feel good about what you can do.

Drink water often

This can satiate your appetite as well as keep you hydrated at all times – not to mention balance out any excessive alcohol consumption that may seep in during this time of year.

Pace yourself

There is a lot going on during the holiday season and sometimes it can get a bit too hectic. Pace yourself; try to have some time free from organized activities to walk through the gardens, stop for a coffee or just sit down and read the paper. The break will do you good.

Eat good breakfasts

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. While it may be tempting to reach for the leftover desserts, your body and mind will thank you for a healthy, balanced breakfast. It will keep you fuller for longer and help you eat less throughout the day. Try an omelette with leftover veggies or a green smoothie. If you’re in the mood for pancakes but craving something more wholesome, buckwheat pancakes are a great option. Raspberry coconut chia pots are quick and easy to prepare the night before and will be a hit with all the family.

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