A dietitian and personal trainer have shared exactly how you can shred for Christmas in the 18 days ahead of December 25, and why you should always eat a protein-rich snack an hour or two before an event.
Susie Burrell, from Sydney, and Leanne Ward, said the most important thing to remember with Christmas is that ‘it’s a day or two, not an entire month’ – and you need to think about what you’re eating and doing accordingly.
‘There are a few things we do each and every year to ensure we don’t blow out hugely in the month of December,’ Susie told FEMAIL.
The pair shared their healthy tips and tricks.
A dietitian and personal trainer have shared exactly how you can shred for Christmas in the 18 days ahead of December 25, and the simple tips and tricks to keep your health goals on track (Susie Burrell and Leanne Ward pictured)
Susie recommends ‘buffering’ in healthy days when you know you’re eating more and heavier foods. She also said you should always have a protein and veg-heavy snack before an event
Diet tips to stay on track
* After a heavy day of eating, ‘buffer’ in a day of lighter foods like salads and vegetable juices.
* Be mindful around fried canapés and only allow yourself one or two.
* Wait until you’re genuinely hungry before eating, rather than just eating by the clock.
* Taste and savour heavier foods at parties, rather than over-indulging.
* Get rid of leftovers quickly.
* Eat a protein and vegetable-rich snack an hour or two before a function.
* Remember Christmas is a day or two, not a month.
* Box up unhealthy foods and send them home with guests.
* Eat until you’re satisfied, not stuffed.
When it comes to diet in the silly season, the pair agree that the most important thing is you are aware of how much you are eating – and then ‘buffer’ in nutritious foods accordingly.
‘Given that most of us will overdo the high calorie party foods and alcohol at some point, it’s also a great time to buffer these days of over-indulgence with a focus on lower calorie, nutrient-rich veggies and salad and lean protein,’ Susie told FEMAIL.
‘Personally, I opt for days of vegetable juices, salad with prawns or chicken breast and plenty of roast vegetables and fresh fruit with plain yoghurt.’
Susie said she is mindful when it comes to parties filled with canapés with little nutritional value – and will only allow herself one or two.
‘Fried foods, fatty dips, chips, corn chips and pastry, they all pack a serious calorie punch with very little enjoyment,’ she said.
Instead, her top trick is to eat a protein and vegetable-rich snack an hour or two before she goes to any party or function.
‘This means that I never arrive hungry and so feel the need to gorge on poor quality food,’ she said.
She also waits until she is ‘genuinely hungry’ before she eats a meal rather than eating by the clock, even if this means ‘fasting for a number of hours after a big day or a big meal’.
‘Taste and savour the heavier foods at parties and events, rather than overeat them simply because they’re there,’ she said.
‘Then, get rid of your leftovers quickly and remember Christmas is a day or two, not a month!’
The hosts of The Nutrition Couch podcast (pictured) recommend that you eat as mindfully as possible and wait until you are genuinely hungry to eat rather than going by the clock
Leanne (pictured) said the best thing to do is opt for incidental exercise wherever and whenever you can, whether that’s parking further away or walking around the block
Exercise tips to stay on track
* Get some incidental movement in whenever you can, whether that’s parking further away or going for a walk around the block.
* Arrange a walk and a takeaway coffee with a friend, rather than going for a drink.
* Focus on big compound lifts at the gym like squats, deadlifts, chest presses, shoulder presses, pull ups and burpees.
* Don’t forget that the majority of toning happens in the kitchen rather than the gym.
* Don’t worry about going to the gym everyday, just go when you can.
When it comes to exercise, both Susie and Leanne agree that you might not have time for your regular workouts.
But that doesn’t mean you should forget about exercise altogether.
‘Get some incidental movement in whenever you can,’ Leanne said.
‘That might mean parking in the furthest carpark at the shops, taking the stairs not the lift when you take your kids to their after-school appointments and walking around the block rather than sitting and scrolling on your phone.’
Susie said movement, even walking, aids digestion, and something as simple as a quick walk with a friend with a takeaway coffee instead of catching up over an alcoholic drink will pay dividends for your body.
‘If you do go to the gym, focus on big compound lifts like squats, deadlifts, chest presses, shoulder presses, pull ups and burpees,’ Leanne said.
These will give you most bang for your buck with a workout.
‘But don’t forget, gym and training creates your shape, but nutrition is what really reduces your body fat,’ she said.
‘Most people think the gym is for toning, but tonight really happens in the kitchen.
‘You want to use the gym to build the muscle mass, but the proper balanced nutrition to drop the body fat and see the muscle mass which gives people the toned look they are after.’
Susie Burrell and Leanne Ward are the hosts of Australia’s number one nutrition podcast, The Nutrition Couch. For more information, please click here.