Christmas and weight gain go hand in hand, but you don’t have to put on the standard five pounds this festive season, according to a leading fitness trainer.
Sydney personal trainer Rachael Attard says the key to keeping the same dress size during the silly season lies in a few key decisions.
Rachael’s advice includes sticking to 2-3 booze, always eating from a plate at parties, and making sure to take a 20-minute walk every day, whatever your plans.
Christmas and weight gain go hand in hand, but you don’t have to gain the standard five kilograms this festive season, according to a top fitness trainer (Rachael Attard pictured)
Rachael (pictured) recommends drinking just 2-3 alcoholic drinks per event and trying to walk for 20 minutes each day to try and keep the weight off over Christmas
“While exercise and healthy eating have obviously become less of a priority as we spend more time celebrating with our friends and family, it’s important to remember that you’re only celebrating for a short time, not the whole months,” Rachael told FEMAIL.
“It’s not about how you eat at parties, it’s about how you eat the rest of the time.”
A bad meal or a bad day will not ruin your progress, but an entire week
Rachael said the easiest way to stay on track this time of year is to relax and have a little fun when you party, but then try to eat healthy “when you can. ” for the remaining days.
“You don’t have to have an all-or-nothing mentality,” she explained.
“If you eat healthy and then have a mid-week work function where you overeat, there’s no need to think ‘I’ve ruined it now, so I’m just going to eat whatever I want for it. rest of this week and start again on Monday”.’
Rachael added: “One bad meal or one bad day won’t ruin your progress, but a whole week will.”
She said the easiest way to stay on track this time of year is to relax and have a little fun when you party, but then try to eat healthy “when you can. ” for the remaining days (some of his meals illustrated)
Rachael (pictured) said even something as simple as a 20 minute walk a day is enough to maintain your fitness over Christmas
Quick tips to avoid festive weight gain
* Stick to your usual routine as much as possible
* Eat from a plate rather than munching on snacks
* Limit yourself to 2-3 glasses
* Don’t arrive at a party hungry
* Take a bottle of water everywhere, even to a party
* Always start the day with a healthy, protein-rich breakfast
* Prioritize sleep. When you are well rested, you will make better food choices
* Get a 20 minute walk daily
* Let go of the all-or-nothing mentality and indulge in some of what you love
* Get 7-8 hours of sleep every night
* Take a probiotic every day
When it comes to practical tips for keeping the weight off, Rachael has plenty.
Not only should you stick to your “usual routine” as much as possible, the PT also said you should never show up to a party hungry and should always try to eat from a plate rather than grabbing canapes.
“Fill your plate, rather than standing around picking the food. You’ll actually be able to see how much you’re eating,” she said.
On the other hand, if you mindlessly snack, the PT said you are bound to overeat and have no idea how much you really ate.
Likewise, there are foods that are better to choose than others.
Things like sandwiches and even unhealthy salads will always be better than something that’s been fried, she said.
“The worst foods and drinks are alcohol, high sugar foods and deep friends,” Rachael said.
“While you don’t need to delete them completely, I would recommend moderation for these three. Alcohol is probably the worst culprit because when you drink, healthy eating also tends to go out the window.
“I often tell customers to take two to three glasses maximum.
“You can either alternate your drinking with a glass of water or a mocktail if you’re at a party.”
A typical day on Rachael Attard’s plate revealed
BREAKFAST: High protein smoothie with frozen banana, blueberries, chocolate protein powder, chia seeds, spinach, green vegetable powder, pumpkin seeds and coconut water.
LUNCH: Sandwich or toastie with hot smoked salmon, avocado, tomato, cheese and spinach. Rachael loves hot smoked salmon because it’s both high in protein and healthy fats and requires “no prep work.”
HAVING DINNER: Anything she can put in the slow cooker. Alternatively, a piece of salmon with lots of roasted vegetables or a weekend pizza or Thai dish.
DESSERT: A few squares of chocolate.
SNACKS: Rachael doesn’t eat a lot of snacks because she prefers to eat three large meals. But if she does, she’ll opt for protein balls (made with dates, nuts, cocoa powder, and coconut), rice crackers, and dips like hummus or healthy homemade muesli bars.
Finally, Rachael (pictured) said you would want to sleep between 7 and 9 hours each night, which limits the production of cortisol, which forces the body to store fat.
Finally, if you want to avoid gaining weight around Christmas time, Rachael says one of the best things to do is factor in a 20-minute walk a day.
“You only need 20 minutes of walking or working out 3-4 times a week to really make a difference,” Rachael said.
“I love walking because it not only burns a surprising amount of calories, but it doesn’t stress your body either.”
The PT said walking is “ideal” for maintaining a lean physique, and is also good for your mental health, as she can listen to a podcast or audiobook or meditate while out in nature.
She makes sure to get 7-8 hours of sleep each night to limit the production of cortisol, which forces the body to store fat.
“The holiday season is meant to be enjoyed, so don’t worry too much about the food,” Rachael added.
“As long as you’re healthy most of the time, you can afford to kick back and relax a bit at parties.”
To know more about Rachael Attard, you can follow her on Instagram here.
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