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Christmas is coming, and it may not just be the goose that’s getting fat.
It’s the easiest thing in the world, to overindulge with rich foods and drink too much, during the festive season.
But Rutherglen fitness expert Pamela McCrory has compiled some useful hints and tips on how to eat, drink and be merry, without suffering too much afterwards.
Pamela said: “We know that the festive season involves a lot of food and drink so I’ve put together my top three tips on how to cope with such a change in your eating and drinking habits when it can’t be helped. If you can do these three simple things throughout December then you’ll be onto a winner come January.
“We all love to eat and drink our way through the festive period because it’s the sociable thing to do and we just love it. There’s nothing wrong with that at all but for some, we like to stay on track, just a little, to stay in control. Simply incorporate these points to as much of the month as you can and January won’t feel so bad.” Keep mid-week as normal as possible – take control of the meals you can
Pamela said: “If all of your socialising takes place at the weekend then midweek will be a breeze. You can stick to your meal plans and food preparation no problem. Stick to your proteinfuelled breakfast to keep you going until lunch time, take your lunch with you to work and keep your water intake high.
“Whether it’s left overs or you specially prepare your lunches, keeping them on track, along with breakfast will give you two out of three meals under your control. If you do have a meal out for dinner then, so what?
“The other two meals of the day have been taken care of. If you’re not out for dinner then keep this on track too, even better. If you snack, keep these healthy, high in protein and avoid the processed foodstuffs that are too easy to reach for and ‘goodies’ that are kindly handed into your workplace.” Choose your tipple wisely
Pam said: “We have to talk about alcohol. My biggest tip would be to choose wisely when to drink; you don’t need to drink at every social event, you just think you do. Choose what events you want to have a few drinks at; remember the new, lower drink driving limit has come into place in Scotland too, so is it really worth even the one drink at this time of year?
“If you are drinking, choosing drinks that aren’t high in calories will help; spirits and soda with lime/lemon slices is about the lowest calorie you can get. Copious amount of wine, fizzy mixers, fruit juices in cocktails, beer and lager will just rack up the calorie intake. And give you that horrible hangover the next day. Think low sugar/caffeine for your drinks.” Eat before you meet
Pam said: “If you can do one thing, you can do this; this will make the world of difference. Obviously festive nights out tend to revolve around a group meal, which is fine, but there will be lots of other nights that you can eat first, before meeting with friends/family.
“Firstly, this will line your stomach before drinking so you’ll be less likely to get drunk so quickly and feel rough the next day. Secondly, it means you control what you’re eating; this is especially helpful if it’s a buffet or you’re just going to ‘grab something’ throughout the night because, more often than not, that will be a kebab on the way home at 3.30am. Thirdly, you can save a packet doing this at this time of year.
“There you have it - three simple ways you can take control over the festive season so that your January comeback isn’t such a long, hard slog.”
Pamela has worked in the fitness industry since 2000 and have covered various jobs including gym instructor, fitness manager, group exercise manager and freelance instructor. She spent two years in Dubai as a personal trainer and group exercise instructor and gained a BSc Honours in Nutrition in Edinburgh. Visit www. flauntitfitnessuk.com.
Drinking wine and beer isn’t the best option if you’re looking for alcohol
Foods high in protein are a good option at this time of year, like chicken and pasta
Some good advice Rutherglen’s Pamela McCrory