Christmas and New Year parties are coming very soon. With just one month to go, you need to prepare your body for the onslaught of calories that are coming your way.
It can be overwhelming, but we have five secrets to ease you into this festive season!
1. Go Green
Okay, you don’t have to go entirely green, but you need to start somewhere. Substitute ONE meal a day with a salad or vegetarian food. Why? Well, first off, vegetable dishes are generally higher in fibre and will help you with staying full for longer. You should also begin to switch your base to brown or black rice so you’ll take in less calories and stay full for much longer.
2. Water Diet
No, we don’t mean to have a diet that consists of only water. However, try drinking only water (no soft drinks!) for the next 30 days. One can of Coca-Cola, for instance, has 10 teaspoons of sugar (156 calories). Most other beverages are also sugared. Most of us have trouble taking our coffees and teas without sugar, and too much caffeine can stress the body’s immune system out any way.
It’s a tall order, but considering that almost everything else has at least some sugar, cutting out everything except water is a significant calorie reduction in the long run. You’ll feel better, fall sick less often, and also lose weight.
3. HIIT it!
It’s time to start on what everyone else is picking up on: High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). This exercise format isn’t simply another fad. It’s one of the most effective tools to increase metabolism, torch fat and gain lean muscle mass. It is also quick, with HIIT sessions that last between 10 and 15 minutes.
HIIT focuses on quick, intense period of work coupled with equal periods of rest, hiking your heart rate up and keeping it there for long periods of time due to the intensity of the workout. A sustained heart rate, combined with high strain on muscles, are a perfect combination to help you get lean quickly.
4. Skip the Wine
Believe us: you’re going to be drinking a lot more towards the end of December. Once you cross into Christmas Eve territory, you’ll be neck deep in beer, wine and other forms of alcohol. This is why your primary goal at this moment is to make sure you imbibe as little alcohol as possible.
What actually hurts your body the most is the alcohol content, measured in ABV. ABV stands for Alcohol By Volume, and is a standard measurement to determine how much alcohol is actually in that particular spirit. So, let’s say that the whiskey you are currently drinking has an ABV of 40%. This means that you can be sure that 40% of the volume of whiskey you’re consuming is actually made up of alcohol. If you want to find out how many calories that is, multiply the volume (in grams) by 7.1 calories to get an absolute number. The same goes for wine. Read more about calorie content in alcohol to have a better idea.
5. Sleep early!
In case you didn’t know, “beauty sleep” is a real thing! Besides that, sleep affects your metabolism. Research has shown that our bodies have a lowered ability to manage sugar levels in our blood when we’re sleep-deprived. Worse, the sleep-deprived also craved for more carbohydrates, so you basically metabolise slower but eat more. Not a great combination to keep the flab off you before Christmas comes by.