Good Christmas? Nice dinner? Nice presents? Good, that’s how Christmas should be done of course, but now it’s time to tone that turkey-filled stomach and pulverise those extra pounds you’ve gained over the festive period.
A Christmas meal alone contains around 1,500 calories, three quarters of your recommended daily allowance.
With pigs in blankets around 100 calories per one, a glass of mulled wine 119 calories and champagne potentially even more than that, it’s easy to consume more calories than your brain can even think of over Christmas.
But it’s Christmas right? Not a problem? Not if you go about it the right way.
It will come as no surprise that January is the most popular month of the year for people to join the gym, with over 12% of new members joining in the opening month of the year compared to an average of 8.3% throughout the rest of the year according to the International Health, Racquet, and Sportsclub Association.
So here are some top tips when it comes to ensuring post-Christmas success in the gym.
1. Start early
Don’t wait too long before starting back at the gym. There are five whole days between Boxing Day and New Years Day alone, what’s wrong with them? Waiting too long to return to the gym may make those extra calories consumed over Christmas a lot more difficult and time consuming to lose. If you want to see progress from before Christmas, the earlier you get back to the gym the better.
2. Make a new year’s resolution
People do still do this don’t they? It may be a long lost tradition now days, but it could be key to your post-Christmas workout.
A simple yet challenging and realistic goal (let’s be honest you can’t lose four stone in a month) can not only make yourself more aesthetically pleasing after the festive period, but boost your morale and give you the motivation to hit the gym hard for the first few months of the year.
No point giving up a few weeks after you lose those Christmas calories is there?
3. Continue to eat right
Don’t cut certain things out of your diet to balance out the Christmas meals.
Cutting out carbs will lead to your body burning protein and lead to a loss of ability to build muscle in the months post Christmas. Cut back, don’t cut out.
With Christmas leading to constant snacks and a more irregular food intake, try and get back to a routine when it comes to food, eat regularly and space your meals accordingly, instead of just snacking on the odd mince pie or chocolate cake, your metabolism will appreciate it greatly.
4. Treat yourself
Why not treat yourself to some gym gear for Christmas? A new sports bra or some new shoes can do wonders for your motivation and nobody wants to buy some new kit and let it go to waste do they?
Maybe even treat yourself to some sessions from a personal trainer to kick-start your post-Christmas routine in style.
5. Don’t shy from cardio
Cardiovascular exercise is crucial to losing weight over Christmas as many of the festive foods can tag on those pounds with ease.
Cardio may be gruelling, but don’t shy away, go with a friend, listen to music, do whatever works for you to get you through the cardio you need to lose weight.
Mix it up, don’t get bored, your body will be more grateful for variety if cardio such as cycling, running and rowing opposed to weeks’ worth of the same cardiovascular exercise.
6. Start small and build up
For regular gym goers it may be easy for your muscles to regress and you may find when you start back you may not be able to lift the same weight as pre-Christmas.
Never fear, this is normal. However, don’t spend two hours per session thinking quantity is better than quality, it isn’t.
You will get more out of lifting lighter weights correctly than lifting the same weight for two reps for two hours, your body will soon get back to lifting the same weights you were before Christmas if you give it the time.
7. Don’t quit
The most vital of them all.
Don’t give up, you may not be able to run as far or lift as heavy as before, but you got there once and you will again. It’s only normal that Christmas has a slightly negative effect and after a year of hard work, you deserved the break!
But another year of hard work in the gym awaits and you will feel refreshed and grateful for the break once you’re hitting those high numbers once again come February, there will be a lot of people in exactly same boat as you post-Christmas.
Find a gym near you and get started!