3 Ways To keep the xmas calories OFF! – As we roll into the last month of the year its very easy to lose control of your willpower and say goodbye to your calorie controlled diet as all your friends and family bring out the mince pies, chocolate, party buffet and alcohol to overindulge in across the festive period.
It is a well-known fact that majority of us (I know we do) over-indulge in December, especially on Christmas day and new year. It has been shown that we can easily rack up up around 3500-6000 calories in a single day with food and drink which may be good or bad depending on many health and fitness factors.
So who cares about putting a few extra pounds on over Christmas? It’s only once a year.
If you are not someone who is looking to put on an extra few pounds then maybe now is the time to be aware of your calorie consumption before it gets out of hand and you start to see some unwanted body-fat appearing around the mid-section.
Now don’t get us wrong, we are not suggesting you forbid any festive foods or don’t enjoy yourself but a bit of smart damage limitation, that won’t spoil the festive feeling or fun, may make your self-talk a bit sweeter when you first step on the scales in January when you simply apply these 3 tips to keep the Xmas calories OFF!
MyFitnessPal is the most commonly used calorie tracking app that can be downloaded from any smartphone. This allows you to set your calorie limit for the day and then chip away at it with the foods you eat. If you eat anything that has packaging then simply scan the barcode and MyFitnessPal will tell you all the nutritional information for that food including how many calories are in a serving, how many proteins, carbs and fat per serving and much more. The key thing here to monitor is the calories. If you do not really understand macros (proteins, fats, and carbs) then don’t worry about this to much, just ensure you hit and don’t go over your calorie allowance for the day.
If you find you do happen to go over your calories for the day then look to drop those extra calories from the next day’s allowance.
All though hitting your calories for the day is important, it is not as important as hitting your calories for the week.
That’s right, although we are sure you are looking forward to all the treats the day may have to offer to remember your body composition needs to be the first priority. If you don’t skip breakfast then this will give your metabolism (the rate at which you burn daily calories) a boost so that your body continues to burn calories at a higher rate and produce fewer cravings. Try to start your breakfast with lean proteins and healthy fats like eggs and avocado or a protein shake with peanut butter. This will keep you fuller for longer and signal your body to burn fat for fuel rather than carbohydrates. Save your carbs for later in the day or for those treats you have stashed away for the night.
Tip 3 – HIIT Cardio
HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is far more superior than LISS (Low-Intensity Steady State) cardio at burning body fat and increasing your overall daily calorie expenditure. Research has shown that as little as 10min HIIT cardio is far more effective than 40min worth of LISS cardio.
This form of cardio is quick and intense and the main selling point of HIIT cardio is that it massively spikes your daily calorie burning rate for over 10+ hours following completion whereas LISS cardio has been shown to return your metabolic rate back down to normal burning rate within 1 hour. The more calories you burn the less likely you are to gain some unwanted body fat over Christmas.
Don’t know about you but we would rather give it our all for 10min than be stomping away mindlessly for 40min. A 5min steady warm up on the treadmill is all you need to get started. Once warm your objective is to increase the speed and sprint as fast as you can for 20-30 seconds before immediately dropping the speed right down to quick walking pace for 60-90 seconds. Repeat this process 5-10 times for a very effective HIIT session.
So there you have it. 3 very simple yet effective ways to ensure you keep the Christmas calories OFF!