Here is how to prevent gaining weight during an over indulgent Christmas

Fitness columnist Dan Donohue writes about reducing calorie intake to save piling on the pounds over Christmas.
It is too easy to over eat at ChristmasIt is too easy to over eat at Christmas
It is too easy to over eat at Christmas

In last week’s column, we started to look ahead to the upcoming weeks of parties, markets, more parties, get togethers, alcohol levels heading into the stratosphere, amazing foods and the biggest and best of days and how they may impact your hard-worked-for-gains over the last several months, whilst looking ahead into 2019 and how we can start off on the front foot and stride into 12 months of crushing goals. At the end of last week’s column, we touched on the fact that many people gain weight over Christmas, some up to as much as five to six pounds simply by overdoing for a largely sustained period of not just a couple of meals but over a few weeks. Christmas is a time that we love at Fitness Formation and we fully believe you should be present in order to enjoy it, so let’s look at how we can best prepare ourselves for some damage limitation. If you’ve been reading our column over the last two years, you’ll know we are huge advocates of tracking. When you strip away all the science from nutrition, it’s calories that matter when all is said and done and is governed by the simple law of thermodynamics. If you burn more calories than you consume, you will over time, lose weight. If you consume more calories than you burn, you will gain weight over time. If you burn the same amount of calories that you consume, you will maintain your current weight, there or there about. This is the singular and most simple way at looking at what you consume this Christmas. It’s not always possible to keep track of everything that we consume, especially when we are eating out of our normal environment. There are a couple of ways you can best prepare for this. In the days after tomorrow’s extravaganza, reduce your calorie intake a little. Take 50 or 100 calories off your daily totals whatever you feel comfortable with to allow you to have that meal you’ve worked your butt off for over the last few weeks. Calories are currency. You consume calories underneath your daily/weekly totals, you stay in the green. You go over, you go into your overdraft. If you continue to do so either way, you hit your goals or you owe the bank (your body) interest. That interest is payable by increased fat storage. By looking ahead of what is to come up to and including the New Year, you can go to that occasion in a far more relaxed state of mind knowing that you have the wiggle room of banked calories to enjoy that meal without guilt, which in turn, means you are present and are able to enjoy the food or the evening/day to the full. Alternatively, jazz up your usual meal times or occasions with a little festive sparkle to satisfy your appetite such as a small glass of Prosecco or a favourite dessert that means you don’t stray too far off your usual, well trodden path.