SHAPING UP: Get the balance right so you don’t pile on the pounds this Christmas time

I love Christmas time! For me, it’s a time of year when I relax a little bit and enjoy the festivities. There’s lot to look forward to!

“A lot of people over-buy food at Christmas and end up with a table piled high with food.”
“A lot of people over-buy food at Christmas and end up with a table piled high with food.”

Meeting with friends and family, soaking up the atmosphere at Christmas markets with mulled wine and hot cider... Christmas dinner…Boxing day and leftovers!

We’ve also got our East Coast Fitness Christmas party coming up and we’ll be having a few beers with our members to celebrate everyone’s success this year.I think it’s really important to enjoy this time of year.

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However, if you want to stay fit and healthy over Christmas there has to be a limit to how much partying and over-indulging you do.

You have to have a good balance between enjoying the festivities and being healthy.

And some self-control is needed so that December doesn’t turn into a full month of over eating and inactivity, because that will do your health no good at all!

Here’s some of my tips for getting the right balance, so that you don’t put too much weight on over Christmas.

Stay ActiveIf you’re going to be consuming more calories than usual in December then it’s important to maintain your workout routine to limit the damage.

Your workouts don’t have to be long. I’ll be doing at least three 30-minute workouts a week to maintain my fitness.

That way it doesn’t take much time out of my day, and when it comes to January I won’t have as much weight to shift!Plan AheadIt’s the time of year when it's so easy to indulge – a mince pie, a glass of wine, a handful of Quality Street. They can add up to a lot of extra calories.

However, to counter this, all you need to do is take some time to think about things and plan ahead.

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If you know you’re going out for dinner, plan in healthy foods during the day and stick to your plan. If it’s a heavy weekend, eat well and exercise during the week.So many people beat themselves up over what they’ve eaten at this time of year when, in reality, as long as you’re eating in moderation overall, the odd bit of indulgence isn’t going to impact that much.Make Wise Alcohol SwapsAlcohol contains a lot of calories. If you’re only having a glass of wine here and there it’s not too bad. But, if you are going to a Christmas party and know you’re going to be drinking a lot, then you should make some wise alcohol swaps.

Instead of big sugary cocktails, my drink of choice is vodka lime and soda.

Or you could choose a glass of wine topped up with a flavoured sugar-free sparkling water, such as apple and elderflower.Don’t Over-Buy Christmas FoodA lot of people over-buy food at Christmas, because they worry that there’s not going to be enough food to feed the entire family, but end up with a table piled high with food, and cupboards bursting with mince pies and stolen cakes.

The problem is, a lot of people won’t stop until all of these treats have gone, meaning you consume far too many calories. Plan ahead, pick your favourite foods and only buy enough to feed your family.

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At East Coast Fitness we’ve just launched our Private Gym memberships.

With our private gym you can book a time slot online so you’ve got the gym to yourself. It’s ideal for people who don’t like overcrowded gyms.

There’s no waiting around for machines, nobody posing in mirrors, no intimidating atmosphere.

It’s perfect for this time of year when you just want to be in and out with no time wasting.

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If you’d like more info on our private gym memberships go to www.eastcoast-fitness.com