Now that December is in full swing, many of us will be spending the next few weeks eating, drinking – and repeating. With endless office parties, family feasts, and holiday events, it’s no wonder that on average people gain 1-5 pounds in just the month of December alone. This season can be challenging for anyone who can’t say no to mulled wine and gingerbread cookies, so we’ve asked some of Vancouver’s top trainers how we can still be merry without adding inches to our waistline.
Jessica Slonski from Form Body Lab
The first thing you can do to counteract the baked goods, wine, and rich meals is to start your day with a mug of hot water with lemon followed by a green smoothie. This will help cleanse your system while also replenishing your body with nutrients. An easy recipe is to blend 2 cups water, 1 cup romaine lettuce, 1-2 cup spinach/kale mix, half a lemon, 2 sticks of celery and half an apple (for less sugar skip the apple).
From work parties to holiday shopping, it can seem impossible to go to the gym, but squeezing in just five minutes of exercise will help burn calories as well as maintain your strength. If your nights are fully booked with festivities, try getting up earlier to do you workouts, or do this quick exercise on your lunch break.
Lance Barrett from Elite Performance Fitness
To combat holiday drinking, eat more lean protein like chicken breast and healthy fats like avocado while consuming alcohol, which will help stabilize blood sugar. Choose clear alcohols and have them with water. For example, sparkling water and vodka with lemon is a low-calorie drink, especially when compared to the 450 calorie eggnog and rum cocktail.
There are definitely benefits of small bursts of exercise, so if you can’t commit to an hour in the gym, don’t get down on yourself. You can easily squeeze in a workout during the holidays with this short strength circuit that can be done anywhere and requires no equipment.
Do 12 reps, 3 sets.
Lacey Kondi from Kondi Fitness
Is it possible to celebrate the season without packing on pounds? Absolutely! Life is about balance, so even though this time of year is about heavy foods and indulgences, it doesn’t mean you have to hibernate because you’re afraid of temptation. It’s all about moderation.
Hydration is essential, so make sure you’re drinking more water than usual over the next few weeks. If you know you’ll be having a feast that night, nourish your body with plenty of vegetables and fruit throughout the day. Starving yourself to “save” your calories is never a good idea; not only is it bad for your body, but it slows down your metabolism.
To help your tummy stay flat and increase your core strength, try this single leg teaser. For an added challenge, follow by holding plank for one minute.
Single Leg Teaser: