With Christmas only a few weeks away (where did the year go), it’s important to not lose site of the long-term goals you have been chasing all year. The silly season can leave its mark and not in a good way, so here are 14 tips to ensure you come out of the jolly season looking a lot better than Santa does!

Tip #1: Keep Track

Your willingness to track your food intake is equal to your desire to lose fat. Being serious about maintaining or losing weight means taking note of what you out into your mouth, making sure these calories contain enough protein, and stopping when you meet your daily allowance.

Tip #2: Eat Breakfast

Possibly the most fundamental eating tip of all time, a healthy breakfast with a good protein source will help your body have good calories to burn throughout the a.m. hours, letting you get to lunch without being tempted by that mid-morning doughnut which seem to lurk around this time of year!

Tip #3: Avoid Getting Too Hungry

Its easy during this period to forget to eat – as running around looking for presents or organising end of catch ups can unfortunately mean poor choices are made in the heat of the hunger moment. Keep healthy (high protein and low carb) snacks nearby to stave off hunger and drink plenty of water to avoid eating when you should be drinking.

Tip #4: Underestimate Your Routine

Yes, you just pumped iron for an hour and smashed a 5k run. But you probably didn’t burn as many calories as you think. To keep from overeating after a workout, grab a bite immediately after, but make it a small bite. And drink plenty of water. Then wait. Your brain needs time to tell your body it’s full.

Tip #5: Stay Home

Your favourite restaurant may be calling your name with the lure of merry times, but don’t listen! By cooking your own dinner at home, you’ll sidestep a variety of pitfalls that occur while eating out.

Tip #6: Reduce Alcohol Intake

It helps you relax and—if you drink red wine—can offer health benefits. But alcohol also comes with a lot of useless calories. To avoid having more calories to burn than necessary, skip the bar and grab another glass of water.

Tip #7: Exercise

So important to exercise regularly to ensure you burning calories and building muscle. This combination will leave you feeling and looking your best. Get yourself into a Qmax class – our schedule includes both high intensity and strength sessions designed to make you work. Even through the holiday season Qmax classes will be running throughout!

Tip #8: Hit the Hay

Remember when your parents gave you a curfew because “Nothing good happens after midnight”? This is particularly true when keeping on track with your goals. Get to bed to avoid late-night snacking and help your body function at its best!

Tip #9: Go Green (First)

There are lots of good foods out there that you need—lean meats, dairy, etc. But don’t let these be the bulk of your diet. Start your meals with something healthy and green to keep your carb count low.

Tip #10: Disconnect Diet from Life

Life comes with ups and downs. Your diet should not. When stressed, don’t go to the vending machine. Put on your walking shoes and get going.

Tip #11: Keep the Burn Going

Working out is not supposed to be a walk in the park. To push your body to its potential and to burn more calories, don’t take long breaks between exercises. Rest no more than 30 seconds after an exercise to keep your body shedding calories. Think Qmax classes: NEW YORK HIIT and TOYKO ATTACK.

Tip #12: Goodbye Sugary Sweet

Everyone needs a quick sweet on occasion. Make sure yours is natural, whole fruit rather than regular old sugar. Every day, it seems more research is showing that refined sugars and high-fructose corn syrup increase your likelihood of weight gain more than anything else.

Tip #13: Move Now!

Maintaining a consistent, challenging exercise program is essential for your long term goals, but don’t let that be your only exercise. Build 15-minute windows throughout your day during which you can take a brisk walk. You’ll be more alert at work and the weight will keep dropping.

Tip #14: Don’t Give Up

Very few people have the will power necessary to keep with a program long enough to see the desired results especially during the holidays. Commit yourself today to being one of those few

​So there you have it, 14 tips to make sure you don’t fall off the wagon this December and don’t wake up on January 1st with a present you didn’t ask for (weight gain).

Blog post courtesy of Jamie De Abreu

Senior Personal Trainer/Qmax Instructor – Fit n Fast Southland