Enjoy your season's eatings without piling on the pounds
Enjoy the season without piling on the pounds, says fitness expert Andreia Brazier.
During the festive season it’s easy to let indulgence and overeating snowball into weight gain and poor fitness. We asked Andreia Brazier, Physique TV’s fitness expert and three-time winner of The World Bodybuilding Fitness and Fashion World Championships, to share her advice on how to avoid those excessive Christmas calories.
Eat out smartly Attending all the family dinners, parties and reunions you will be invited to at this time is unavoidable. But you can have a social life and maintain a healthy diet as well. Instead of going for fried chicken order grilled chicken breast or salmon instead. If there’s a whole roasted turkey, choose the leaner part – ideally the white breast meat – and avoid the skin and any fatty sauces. You can save 138 calories by eating roast turkey without the skin and stuffing, and over the course of a number of weeks that can make a big difference. Load up on fresh salad and greens, and choose vinaigrette instead of a creamy dressing. When I go to Arabic restaurants, for example, I enjoy eating the fresh vegetables served on the table with some olive oil and balsamic vinegar and I usually order grilled or barbecued dishes.
Do exercises that can be done anywhere Exercises such as push-ups, pull ups, crunches, squats, lunges, step ups, tricep dips and so on can work out your entire body without the need of any gym equipment. Do 30 to 80 repetitions of each exercise first thing in the morning or at the end of the day. All these exercises can be done even in a very limited space, such as in a hotel room. Remember that it is very important for you to know how to perform these exercises properly to achieve the best results – become stronger, improve your posture, and tone and shape the entire body by decreasing body fat. You can train with a good personal trainer you trust.
Indulge yourself occasionally I love cheesecake but that does not mean that I eat it every weekend. It is definitely okay to have a dessert once in a while but limit yourself to a single, small portion. If presented with a dessert buffet full of puddings and sweets, choose only one that you really like if you feel it is worth it. For me, when I feel like eating something sweet, I take a tablespoon of peanut butter and sometimes mix it with a teaspoon of pure honey. It makes me feel good, and at the same time it is great for my health. As a rule, try to avoid high sugar sweets and when confronted with that dessert buffet – just ignore it.
Eat regular meals A common mistake people make when they know they’re attending a big party in the evening is to skip meals or save their appetites for dinner. The result is often detrimental. When you’re hungry you’re more likely to make unhealthy choices and you end up eating a huge meal in the evening. It’s better to have small meals throughout the day, and if you have the time prepare your own healthy snacks to nibble on.
Do it now Don’t wait to make smart changes – get ahead of yourself and do it now. Make sure you understand that you should be doing these things not only to look good but also to keep yourself healthy. Everyone wants to look good but the health benefits of staying fit are more important. I had a client who trained with me for a year and she lost a couple of dress sizes, but what she values the most is how much healthier and stronger she became. After her annual health check-up, her doctor was surprised that at 60 years, her health is excellent. Andreia Brazier’s Ask Andrea is on Physique TV, Sun-Thu 8pm, and on YouTube, www.physique-tv.com.
Swap for health
Let that plate of mince pies pass you by and try this alternative. One serving contains 175 calories in comparison to the 639 calories you’d consume from a 130g mince pie with cream.
Andreia’s banana and peanut butter crunch 1 banana (can be substituted with 1 apple) 1 tbsp peanut butter 1 tbsp crushed almonds (unsalted) Cinnamon powder, to taste
Slice the banana lengthwise. Spread peanut butter on the slices. Add crushed almonds and sprinkle with cinnamon powder.