Ten great tips to get you trim ahead of the party season
Portway Lifestyle Centre’s Fitness Co-ordinator, Hayley Birch, offers you some great advice as we approach the Christmas party season.
Everybody wants to look a little trimmer or as best as possible for that Christmas party but many people leave it way to late. SLT’s fitness teams are here to help trim that tummy, shed a few extra pounds or add some muscle definition. So go on and dust off that dress or muscle fit shirts for the office Christmas party & set yourself some goals. Here are a few tips to help you achieve those pre-christmas goals.
- Get into a winning frame of mind. Set yourself a clear but achievable goal. Visualise yourself fitting perfectly into your outfit and keep that picture in your mind. It will keep you motivated to make it a reality!
- Cut down on carbohydrate intake, just for the next 2 weeks. Replace pasta, rice, and potatoes with extra helpings of vegetables min of half your plate should contain these. Reducing carb intake will aid weight loss, and curbing your hunger with extra vegetables will benefit your overall health. If you just can’t do without carbs, try to reduce portion size to a quarter of your plate and switch to sweet potato, brown rice or whole grain pasta. They release energy more slowly and balance blood sugar levels.
- Cut out alcohol. Alcohol is high in calories, and it saps your willpower, making it easier to give in to the temptation to reach for those fattening snacks like crisps, cheese and crackers, chocolates— you know the usual culprits. Believe it or not, cutting out alcohol will equate to weight loss. Go on and abstain for a bit leading up to the party season, it’ll be worth it!
- Increase your exercise regime, or if you don’t have one start one now!! Exercise is the best way to burn excess fat. Join us for a group exercise class or a session in the gym. Our gyms & classes offer a welcoming environment to all, what every your ability. We offer 1 to 1 motivate session for just £15 a hour if you want that extra push. Do as much exercise as possible; use the stairs instead of the lift, leave your desk and walk around the office every so often, there’s various ways to track your workouts including Myzone coming to sites soon, various apps, and tracking devices, even your phone may have a pedometer built in, and aim for 10,000 steps per day. Every little bit adds up!
- Try to get at least 7 hours sleep a night. Your body needs regular, good quality sleep to repair itself. Research has shown that poor sleep patterns place stress on the body and can hinder weight loss and overall health.
- Drink 2 litres of filtered water each day, I never leave home without my 2.2L water bottle. Water hydrates and detoxifies. People often confuse thirst for hunger and reach for a snack when all they really need is a glass of water. Ensuring that you’re properly hydrated throughout the day can decrease the urge to eat when you don’t really need to, and it’s important for maintaining good health even when you’re not trying to lose weight. Just do it!
- Keep a food diary. Research has shown that keeping a track of the food we eat on a daily basis really helps with portion control. We often forget about those between-meal snacks and can more easily overlook poor eating habits when we don’t hold ourselves accountable. Get into the habit of keeping a food diary, you may be surprised to discover some glaringly obvious habits keeping you from achieving that ideal weight.
- Steer clear of takeaways and processed food. Try to eat plenty of fresh foods— vegetables, lean protein and small amounts of whole carbohydrates and fruits, A good rule of thumb? Eat only the foods that your grandmother would have eaten.
- Never miss breakfast! It is the most important meal of the day and eating a good breakfast— like porridge, sprinkled with milled flax seeds and topped with natural yoghurt, overnight oats or get those eggs and make omlettes filled with spinach and mushrooms, poach, or scramble this will set you up for the day ahead and will prevent you reaching for that latte and mid-morning muffin!
- Try to minimise stress. Christmas is a stressful time for a lot of people. Getting all the shopping done, deadlines at work before the holidays, traffic, parties, relatives… If you feel Holiday madness setting in, give yourself some time to relax! Do some deep breathing exercises, treat yourself to a calming massage, try meditation and mindfulness to keep yourself in the moment. Being in a constant state of stress raises levels of the stress hormone cortisol which can lead to weight gain, especially in that stubborn roll of fat around the middle!