There are many well-loved Christmas traditions — tinsel, tins of Roses, roast turkey, dodgy Christmas jumpers—but being healthy is certainly not one of them. Most people certainly do not include a visit to the gym on Christmas day either. In Ireland, the average person consumes around 6,000 calories alone on Christmas day. This overeating almost always lasts right through the Christmas period…
More turkey sandwiches anyone?
Weight gain over Christmas is very common and come January, it can be a nightmare to shift. Changing from overindulging to eating normal healthy-sized portions can play havoc on your system…as if the January Blues weren’t bad enough already?
Our Educogym personal trainers & qualified nutritionists have put together some ideas and advice for you to keep you in shape this Christmas:
– Even over Christmas, fit in some exercise – even if it’s only a 20 minute brisk walk through your neighbourhood or playing some football outside with the kids. Working the large muscle groups such as the legs will get your heart pumping and your metabolism working quicker. Do some burpees, crunches, squats and lunges in front of the telly. You are only one workout away from a great mood!
– Start your day with a healthy breakfast preferably one that is going to keep you full for a while, such as porridge oats with lots of fresh fruit like blueberries, strawberries and banana or cook some tasty eggs – omelette, poached or scrambled with some smoked salmon or spinach & mushrooms. A good breakfast will set you up for the day ahead and you won’t be as tempted to dip into the tin of Roses at 11am. Encourage kids to have a healthy breakfast Christmas morning. Try making some interesting fruit treats using grapes, strawberries and bananas to keep them amused.
– Use your imagination as a party host – A single mince pie might seem “small and innocent” but they can quickly become naughty when fresh cream comes into the equation. Canapés and crisps can be really high in calories and fat so try to use oat cakes, popcorn, vegetables and nuts suchs as cashews, brazils and almonds as an alternative. Make a quirky vegetable Christmas tree with a hummus and homemade guacamole dip. Provide plenty of jugs of water with lemon, lime or mint. Water fills you up, has no calories and will help wash out the excesses. Eat less sugar…you are sweet enough already.
– Protein, Protein, Protein…. Whatever bird you choose to cook— turkey, duck, chicken or goose – they all are rich in protein and fat-soluble vitamins which are essential for muscle repair and good clean eating. Of course, turkey is the leaner meat and possibly the healthier option with significantly less fat than duck or goose but make sure to prick the skin of the bird so that fat can drain out before cooking. If you are going to stuff your bird, use less sausage meat, bread and potato and more walnuts, cranberries, apricots and chestnuts. Make use of plenty of fresh herbs and spices, instead of butter and creamy sauces.
Here’s a healthy alternative to your usual stuffing:
Tasty Walnut & Cranberry Stuffing:
What you need:
2 medium brown onions, finely chopped
4 cups gluten free breadcrumbs
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup finely chopped dried apricots
½ cup dried raisins
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh sage leaves
1 egg, lightly beaten
pepper (to taste)
What you do:
1. Add coconut oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add onion. Cook, stirring, for 10 to 12 minutes or until onions are golden
2. Transfer to a large bowl
3. Add breadcrumbs, cranberries, apricots, raisins, walnut, sage and egg. Stir to combine
4. Season with pepper
If you are worried about gaining excessive weight this Christmas, we are here to help you. Our team of fully qualified nutritionists and personal trainers can get you in the best shape of your life no matter what age or what shape you are. Just let us know what you want to achieve.
“You don’t need a New Year to make a change, you just need today…”
Happy Christmas Everyone,
The Educogym Team