Gym workout plan: Team GB cyclist’s seven tips for keeping off Christmas calories

With plenty of food and partying opportunities over the festive season, it’s normal to gain a few extra pounds, said Readle.

It’s also natural to find it difficult sticking to gym and workout schedules, so it’s no surprise that fitness centres are always busy in the new year.

But, eating certain foods before sitting down to a big Christmas dinner, and planning workout routines for antisocial hours, could help with shedding calories over the Christmas break, said Readle.

Here are his top seven tips for keeping fit over the festive season.

Enjoy some well-timed, seasonal snacks

“The best thing you can do to combat overindulging is to eat a light, healthy snack before heading to meals out or family dinners,” said Readle, who is now a sport and fitness psychologist.

“By doing so, you’ll reduce your appetite and your chances of devouring an entire roast dinner [with all the trimmings] single-handedly.”

Don’t skip meals

Skipping meals could actually contribute to weight gain. It’s best to stick to regular meal times, and resist the urge to skip meals to compensate for eating more, said Readle.

“Your body can react to long periods without sufficient nourishment by slowing down your metabolism.

“This, in turn, promotes weight gain, as your body tries to store food you’ve eaten previously in order to make up for the food you’re depriving it of.”

Stay hydrated – Sorry, not with mulled wine

“It’s estimated that many of us are dehydrated far more than we actually realise; sometimes, what our bodies need is hydration and not food.”

Drinking water 30 minutes before a meal could improve digestion, and help the body to absorb more nutrients.

Fill your stocking with fruit and vegetables

“Okay, not literally, but you can’t go far wrong if you’re making sure that your Christmas meals incorporate as much fruit and vegetables as you can fit in,” said Readle.

Fruit and vegetables could help with digestion, and to keep energy levels high.

Leave unhealthy leftovers behind

“To avoid adding a few inches to your waistline over the holiday season, keep your snacks light, low-calorie and as healthy as you can.”

Protein-filled snack bars were the perfect light snack for both before and after exercise, the cyclist said. He recommended Inkospor’s protein snack bars.

Prioritise your workouts

Planning workouts for antisocial hours meant it’s less likely that it’ll interfere with festive celebrations.

“Plan your workouts around less social hours, so that they don’t interfere with your Christmas plans, meaning you’re less likely to have an excuse to skip them.”

Get out of the house

“Even though it’s chilly outside, Christmas doesn’t have to mean being cooped up.

“Getting everyone involved with some outdoor activities can be a fun and healthier alternative to a food and booze-filled day.

“Taking walks in the countryside or snowball fights are just a couple of ways in which you can get some fresh air and burn a few calories this Christmas.”


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