Run, the sweets are coming...

FIT FOR THE FESTIVITIES

Run, the sweets are coming...

We start out by making ourselves a bunch of promises. We’ll exercise, not just physically, but also in terms of restrain, when it comes to the festive goodies. But really, how long do the good intentions and promises last? In the midst of all the
festivities, it’s very easy to follow the herd and then, wallow in guilt and depression over our failed intentions.

This year, let’s try a more effective strategy - moderation. I know, that’s easier said than done. However, if you want to come out of the festive season looking and feeling in fair shape and size, then this is the way to go. Moderation in eating and a consistent exercise routine - never mind if it is shorter or less regular than your usual programme - can help keep the situation under control.

Keeping it Simple
A time for celebrations and holidays, spent with family and friends, means that there will always be external factors beyond your control. Acknowledge and accept that these will, to some extent, influence the outcome of all your plans and good intentions.

This necessitates ensuring a certain amount of flexibility within your plans to ensure that a rigid ‘only this or nothing’ approach does not derail you at the first slip-up. So yes, you may have gone off-track on a particular day by over-indulging or missing your workout. But knowing, at the onset, that there may be such days and being prepared to not allow these to de-motivate you for the entire season is the key.

Plan out general guidelines for yourself for days when you will be eating out or entertaining at home. Similarly, for your workouts plan shorter, intense workouts that you can fit in during busy days.

Eating mindfully, not mindlessly
The social setting of friends and families gathering together invariably revolves around food and drink and, therein lies the danger. How often do you find yourself nibbling on food, even when you are not really hungry, just because it’s right there, at an arm’s length?

Being more mindful of your eating involves a few basics that can translate into huge differences.
* Eat when hungry and not just because there’s food in front of you or because others around you are doing so.
* Control your portions and you can
actually indulge in all your favourites. This will keep you from feeling deprived and going into binges.
*A little planning goes a long way. When you know you’re going to be at a gathering or party, plan ahead. Ensure that you have a light snack before leaving home so that you don’t arrive famished and
forget control or moderation at the sight of food.
* Another pitfall is starving all day to make-up for the calories you expect to consume when you go out. This is
detrimental to your energy and fitness levels, not to mention the excessive
calorie intake this encourages.
* While drinking alcohol or aerated drinks and juices, keep up a regular intake of water in between those drinks.
* Using technology to keep track of your eating and drinking is very easy with the many handy apps available nowadays.  This allows you to keep a realistic view of what you’re actually consuming.

Making time for fitness
The festival and holiday season can be a great time to show off the fabulous results of your fitness efforts through the year. It can work wonders for you…imagine how good you would feel dressing up for all the family functions and parties!

Secondly, that great feeling of looking good acts as a reminder about the hard work you’ve put into looking this way. It can be a great motivator in keeping you focused on moderate eating and drinking, while ensuring regularity with your workout routine.

* Review your workout programme. As the festive season comes up, you may find your schedule packed with additional commitments, late-nights, house-guests and more. At such times, unfortunately, the workout is the first to be dropped from one’s regular schedule. Be prepared for this, by ensuring you have a plan that includes a short workout, which you could do at home when in a time-crunch.

* Short in duration, but high on intensity. Just because you have only 20-30
minutes for a workout, don’t think that it will not be helpful. Plan a workout that includes intensity with some simple, basic moves that you could do at home or in your gym, and keep that as your go-to workout for a jumpstart to your metabolism and your body.

In the midst of all the fun and festivities, it is easy to convince yourself that you are too tired, have too much to do or another day missed will not matter. But, it does. So, don’t fall for such mind games. One missed step does not necessitate another; teaming up with a workout partner can help on such days.

All said and done
Simply staying mindful and over-doing nothing will ensure that you finish the season feeling fit and energised, rather than exhausted with all the partying and stressed over the indulgences and weight gained.  

* Each day can be a fresh start. Rather than being depressed over a failed
yesterday, in terms of a missed workout or uncontrolled eating, look at how you can keep today from getting off-track. Feeling guilty and morose over what you cannot change about yesterday is not going to help.

*Lack of time for ‘healthy-food’ shopping trips can seriously derail your eating plans. It is important to plan and keep aside a day every week to ensure you’re stocked up on healthy options for snacks and quick meals.

* Family and friends may not be looking to wreck your diet plan, but that insistent second and third helping isn’t going to do you any good, and you need to learn how to avoid that inevitable social situation. Whether the offer is based on love or another’s compulsion of wanting to ‘share’ calories, you need to be able to say a firm ‘no’.

Look forward to the upcoming festivities as a time for enjoyment and happiness - that includes a little bit of all you like. So, go ahead and enjoy your favourite dishes, revel in the company of your loved ones and celebrate the season. Mindfully.Have a wonderful, healthy, fit and joyous festive season!

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