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How to Stay in Shape over Christmas

Matt Warland, Moor Hall’s Leisure Club Manager, is passionate about health and fitness – he has coached people of all ages and levels of fitness for nearly 30 years with amazing results so we asked him to give us some tips on how you can keep your weight loss plan on track (or limit your weight gain) over the Christmas period when temptation is all around us.

Overeating, desserts, snacks and naughty nibbles

Let’s face it, it’s Christmas and we all deserve to relax and let our hair down. To help prevent undoing all the good work you’ve done during the year by eating sensibly, I suggest you plan when you’re going to indulge and when you are going to abstain, then stick to it.

For example, on Christmas Day you might decide you’re going to have a dessert and then have a couple of diet G &Ts after 7pm. There’s nothing wrong with this but if you keep your plan at the forefront of your mind hopefully you won’t over indulge. Remember, don’t eat for the sake of it - if you’ve had enough STOP; don’t eat just because it’s there.

Another option is to be sensible both before and after 25th December but completely forget the diet on Christmas Day – if this is the case for you, be strong and get straight back on it on Boxing Day!

Booze, does your choice of tipple make a difference?

The short answer is “yes”! Let’s compare the calories in 3 popular alcoholic drinks:

1 large glass of Chardonnay wine (250ml) 208 kcal
1 pint of Heineken lager (5%) 227 kcal
50ml vodka and 200ml lemonade 204 kcal

Now let’s look at some lower calorie alternatives:
1 large glass of wine spritzer (250ml) 104 kcal
1 pint of Coors light lager (4%) 182 kcal
50ml gin and diet tonic 108 kcal

If you swap 4 drinks for low calorie options you could save over 400 calories, and if you choose not to drink at all you could save over 800 calories! A sensible option when you’re going out over Christmas would be to drink the low calorie alcoholic options one night, then not drink at all the following night. This would mean a 75% reduction in potential excess calories and you’ll be thankful the morning after on every other day too!

Get in some exercise

This doesn’t have to be a gym visit, how about a lovely winter stroll with the family or a walk to a friend’s or relative’s house? If you are feeling motivated, go to the gym early and get the exercise out of the way so the rest of the day is yours. Here at Moor Hall we are open EVERY day over Christmas (restricted hours apply), even Christmas Day, so there is no excuse to skip exercise!

Christmas food shopping

Don’t go mad with the Christmas food shopping, plan ahead and buy the right amount of food and snacks for the nights you have planned. Don’t buy them too early either – if you do, the temptation of those goodies in the food cupboard might prove too much and result in a pre-Christmas food binge!

Good food, bad food

Try to concentrate on the food you should include in your diet and don’t think about what you shouldn’t be eating. Ensure you get plenty of green vegetables with every meal: lots of broccoli, green beans, salad leaves and any other fibrous veggies. Hopefully then you’ll be too full to eat too many naughty nibbles.

Worst case scenario

If the worst happens and your health and fitness regime goes out of the window, hey it’s Christmas, you can always work like a Trojan in the gym when it’s all over!

To discuss a personal fitness programme at Moor Hall Leisure Club & Spa please contact Matt Warland on 0121 334 2323 or click here to view our membership details.

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