Last updated on Jun 18th, 2020 at 06:22 am

With the end of the year in sight, many of us are looking forward to enjoying the festive break. But along with the extended time off is a temptation to overindulge in food and drink, at the same time losing focus on physical exercise.

Change in routine makes it difficult to control what and when we eat

Gareth Powell, National Training Manager at USN, the leading healthy lifestyle and sports nutrition supplement brand, says it is extremely difficult for most people to maintain self-control during the festive season.

â??Christmas is one of the few times of the year when people feel they can let go and relax. However, along with the excitement of holidays, the shift from a routine at home to a family holiday often means that diet and exercise take a back seat.”
â??This change in routine makes it far more difficult to control what we eat and when, as well as keeping to the exercise regime that we have established over the course of the year,â? says Powell.

You can still make healthy choices when eating out

He says people who opt to eat out frequently over the holidays can still make healthy choices, regardless of the restaurant they prefer.

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â??Always opt for grilled fish, chicken or steak. Avoid anything that is crumbed or fried, as well as starchy meals in the evenings such as pasta and pizza. Another tip is to ask for two starters to come separately instead of one large main meal.â?

Powell has the following advice to help maintain a balanced lifestyle over the holiday period:

Donâ??t starve yourself
Food deprivation eventually leads to overindulgence, especially when it comes to sweet treats and festive foods.
Regular smaller meals are essential
They help maintain a higher metabolic rate therefore increasing the amount of fat burnt. Lean mass is also maintained and your blood sugar levels stabilised which all contribute to warding off overconsumption of foods through appetite control.
Do not cut out carbohydrates
Instead try to manage your intake so that you enhance the production of the feel-good hormone, serotonin.
Never miss breakfast
Late nights and early mornings combined with holiday time means that most people miss breakfast. This meal helps to stabilise blood glucose levels, kick starts anabolism and improves your metabolic rate. If you miss breakfast, you are more likely to snack on â??poorerâ?? food options, resulting in excessive calorie intake and weight gain.
Donâ??t give up exercise
Participate in activities that suit your location. Beach promenade runs and early morning fitness sessions will keep you in your normal routine.
Donâ??t overindulge in alcohol
Manage your intake so that you relax and enjoy yourself, but donâ??t overdo it as it can ruin months of hard work.
Use supportive supplementation
You are often so busy over this period so convenience is important to help you achieve calorie requirements. Use supplementation to your advantage.
â??For those individuals who have a hectic festive calendar ahead of them, supplementation offers a quick, nutritious and healthy solution. Your days will be planned differently, perhaps travelling or focusing on more family and leisure time, and you lose out on the requirement of regular, smaller snack sized meals.â?
â??Look at the festive season as an opportunity for maintenance, rather than throwing away the results that have been achieved over the course of the year. Eat intelligently, train for your requirements and supplement well and you will emerge from the holiday season with a far better physique and mental state of mind,â? concludes Powell.

While All4Women endeavours to ensure health articles are based on scientific research, health articles should not be considered as a replacement for professional medical advice. Should you have concerns related to this content, it is advised that you discuss them with your personal healthcare provider.