A nutritionist and personal trainer shares how to chop up Christmas in the 18 days leading up to December 25, and why you should eat a protein-rich snack an hour or two before the event.
Susie Burrell and Leanne Ward, from Sydney, say the most important thing about Christmas is to remember “only a day or two, not a whole month” – and you need to think about what you eat and do accordingly.
“We do a few things every year to make sure we don’t have a big outbreak in December,” Susie told FEMAIL.
The duo share their health tips and tricks.
In the 18 days leading up to December 25, a nutritionist and personal trainer shares exactly how to chop up for Christmas, along with simple tips and tricks to keep your health goals on track (Susie Burrell and Leanne Ward pictured)
Susie recommends “buffering” on healthy days when you know you’re eating larger, heavier meals.She also says you should always have a protein- and vegetable-rich snack before an event
Diet Tips for Staying on Track
* After a day of heavy eating and drinking, “buffer” in a light meal of the day, such as salads and vegetable juices.
* Watch out for fried snacks and only allow yourself one or two.
* Waiting to eat until you are really hungry instead of eating on time.
* Taste and serve heavier foods at parties without overindulging.
* Get rid of leftovers quickly.
*Eat a protein- and vegetable-rich snack an hour or two before the event.
*Remember Christmas is a day or two, not a month.
* Box up unhealthy food and send it home with your guests.
* Eat until you are satisfied, not stuffed.
When it comes to eating during silly season, the two agree that the most important thing is that you know how much you’re eating — and then “buffer” nutritious food accordingly.
“Given that most of us overeat high-calorie party food and alcohol at some point, now is also a good time to buffer against overindulgence these days and focus on low-calorie, nutrient-dense vegetables, salads and lean proteins, ’ Susie told FEMAIL.
“Personally, I opt for a vegetable juice for a few days, a shrimp or chicken breast salad, lots of roasted vegetables and fresh fruit, and plain yogurt.”
Suzie said she wary of attending parties full of hors d’oeuvres with low nutritional value and only allowing herself a serving or two.
“Fries, fatty dips, chips, nachos and pastries, they’re all high in calories and very little in the way of fun,” she said.
Instead, her top tip is to eat a protein- and vegetable-rich snack an hour or two before any party or event.
“It means I’m never going hungry and feel the need to gorge on poor quality food,” she said.
She also waits to eat until she’s “really hungry” instead of eating on time, even if it means “fasting for a few hours after a big day or a big meal.”
“Taste and eat heavier foods at parties and events, rather than overeating just because they’re there,” she says.
“Then, get rid of your leftovers quickly and remember Christmas is a day or two, not a month!”
The host of The Nutrition Couch podcast (pictured) recommends eating as carefully as possible, waiting until you’re really hungry, rather than eating on time
Leanne (pictured) says the best thing to do is opt for occasional exercise whenever and wherever you choose, whether that means parking further out in the car or taking a walk around the block
Workout Tips for Staying on Track
* Engage in some occasional activity whenever possible, whether it’s parking further out or taking a walk around the block.
* Go for walks and takeaway coffee with friends instead of grabbing a drink.
* Focus on big compound moves in the gym like squats, deadlifts, chest presses, shoulder presses, pull-ups and burpees.
*Don’t forget that most conditioning takes place in the kitchen, not the gym.
* Don’t worry about going to the gym every day, just go when you have time.
When it comes to exercising, both Susie and Leanne agree that you may not have time for a regular workout.
But that doesn’t mean you should forget about exercising entirely.
“Walk around whenever you can,” Leanne says.
“That could mean parking in the furthest car park from the store, taking the kids to take the stairs instead of the lift on after-school appointments, and walking around the block instead of sitting with their phones.”
Exercise, even walking, can help with digestion, Suzie says, and something as simple as going for a brisk walk with a friend over a takeaway coffee instead of a glass of wine can do your body good.
“If you do go to the gym, focus on big compound movements like squats, deadlifts, chest presses, shoulder presses, pull-ups, and burpees,” says Leanne.
These will allow you to get the most out of your workouts.
“But don’t forget that the gym and training shape your figure, but nutrition is what actually reduces your body fat,” she says.
“Most people think the gym is about getting fit, but tonight it really happened in the kitchen.
“You want to build muscle in the gym, but it takes proper balanced nutrition to lose body fat and see muscle mass to give people the toned look they’re after.”
Susie Burrell and Leanne Ward are the hosts of Australia’s #1 Nutrition Podcast, The Nutrition Couch.For more information, click here.