What’s that coming over the hill


It IS Christmas indeed. Are we counting days till this magic day? What does Christmas mean to you? Christmas is a family celebration and it is an annual commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ. But unfortunately it has almost lost its meaning and has become that time of the year when half of the country is in debt after spending a little fortune on gifts, while the other half is gaining in average of 6-8 lbs over the festive period. Isn’t it funny that we are trying so hard to lose these pounds to fit into that little black dress for the xmas do huffing and puffing in the gym, surviving on rabbit food for months…. and then jump off the healthy eating wagon and successfully put these pounds back on within just over a week or so? Does it sound familiar? So…


  1. Tape your mouth (kidding : ). December is the months of xmas parties all over the country and under the spell of the festive season (and because people tend to associate Christmas with FOOD) we take chocolate biscuits, cakes, mince pies into work to share with out colleagues which unfortunately results in people putting on weight even BEFORE xmas. What can you do to avoid that? 1 biscuit isn’t going to make you fat but one biscuit always leads to another one, and then another one, and another one…. Snack wisely. If you are trying to stay in shape why don’t you have fat free greek yogurt with blueberries and nuts in it? Or have a protein bar (protein rich, low carb and low sugar one). It tastes great and it will keep your hunger at bay for hours so when your colleagues are going to have another tea break you won’t be tempted to have a biscuit or 2. Simples! 😉
  2. Cappuchino, frappuchino, gingerbread latte, hot chocolate with cream mmmmmm yummy something round about 350-500 calories A CUP yummy. DON’T DRINK YOUR CALORIES!  The sweetest, creamiest coffee sold at high street chains can contain hundreds of calories per cup. A Starbucks large white chocolate mocha with whip made with whole milk has wooping 628 calories – nearly a third of the recommended daily amount for women. One medium-sized cup of whole milk caffe mocha with whip from the same chain has 396 calories. A blueberry muffin from Starbucks has 591 calories, while a fruity flapjack from Costa contains higher levels of fat than its chocolate layer cake. So one coffee break can result in consuming more calories than you should it in A DAY and the amount of sugar in it is dangerously high! Sugar doesn’t keep you full for long, it will fuel your body for a little bit and you will soon be hungry again. Opting for a black coffee with no sugar cuts the calorie count to just 17 for a medium-sized cup from Starbucks, and you can have a few squares of dark chocolate with it to satisfy your sugar cravings.
  3.  DO HIGH INTENSITY EXERCISES before you eat in the morning (and during the day). You don’t have any fuel to burn on an empty stomach so you will burn FAT as opposed to burning muscle mass and the fuel you have received from breakfast.

Example of HIIT (40secs on and 20 secs rest):

  1. Lunges (or jumping lunges) X 40secs and 20 secs rest
  2. Abdominal crunch
  3. Squats (or jumping squats)
  4. V-sit
  5. High knees
  6. Triceps dip
  7. Burpees
  8. Push ups
  9. Hop on the spot alternating legs
  10. Hold the plank

3.   If you are out for a meal opt for salads and go for balsamic vinegar dressing instead of fatty ones. Have a steak with a side salad, or chicken salad, etc.

4.   Be active. Use stairs, walk to walk (if you live close enough).

5.   Eat protein rich breakfast (i.e. eggs/omelettes). Sugary cereal won’t keep you full for long and all you achieve by eating it for breakfast is you will get hungry very soon and no matter what exercises you are doing you wont burn as much fat as you would by eating a protein rich meal. Do we have that little spare tire around our waist? Do we know why we are putting on weigh in that area more than anywhere else? It’s all visceral fat and it is the result of an unhealthy diet (cereal, crisps, chocolate, sweeties, take aways etc).Image

6.    Eat more green veg, chicken. Fish, eggs, probiotic yogurt, fruit (not the ones high in sugar). Apples, pears, berries, grapefruits would be your best choice.

7.  Carry nuts or a protein bar in your car, make sure it’s in your draw at work or there’s always a packet of nuts in your bag. Slice apples and pears, carrots, celery and keep it in the fridge and whenever you are hungry, have a piece of fruit, or celery and carrots with humus.

 8.   Drink plenty of water and green tea (or fruit tea). Whenever you get hungry – drink a pint of water.Image

 9.  Eat 3 meals a day and have little healthy snacks between your meals to keep your hunger at bay.

10.  Never skip breakfast! It has been proven that those who skip breakfast put on more weight than those who regularly have it.

11.  And if you do have that biscuit or a cake (or both) – do some High Intensity Exercises for at least 5 mins, go for a walk, keep active.

12. Take a fish oil supplement each day.  Fat can help you burn fat. It control appetite and fat burning.

13.  Save your high carb intake for the xmas meal and enjoy it! Image


Natallia Maguire


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