Eat, drink and be merry…

Fitness guru Kelly Tyers reveals how can you have it all – and still win the battle of the bulge

Let’s face it, Christmas time involves plenty of lovely food, drink and more socialising than the rest of the year put together – not to mention Birmingham’s fantastic Frankfurt Christmas Market offering us all the beer, gluhwein and calorific food we can consume! So, how can you avoid piling on the pounds over the festive period? Here are my golden ‘keep the bulge at bay’ rules…

Pace yourself. Yes, mince pies with a cup of coffee taste so good – but do you really need four a day? By all means treat yourself, but be careful… have a couple of days of healthy eating followed by a little treat on the third day. Easy!

Think smarter at the gym. Do shorter, but more intense workouts, so you can still find time during the busy festive period to get to the gym regularly. Interval training is perfect for this as it will get your metabolism speeding up, meaning those Christmas treats will get used up quickly rather than clinging to your waist or gut.

Watch what you drink. I’m a sucker for beer, especially when the Birmingham market is here, but being clever with your drinks is the best thing you can do to keep the calories at bay. Rather than beer have a spirit and mixer such as a vodka, lime and soda or a small glass of wine. Beer contains loads of calories and promotes oestrogen meaning then calories will gather around the waist and gut area.

Happy fishing. Certain fats like Omega 3 are good for you and can actually promote fat loss. Fish such as salmon, trout and sardines are a perfect source of Omega 3, so try and fit them into your Christmas menu somewhere.

Don’t forget your five a day. Apples contain loads of beneficial antioxidants, but they are also a slow digesting carb. An apple can help improve strength, endurance and even fat loss. Most apples contain around 200mg of apple polyphenols (the good antioxidants) and 30 grams of carbs.

Anyone for tea? Did you know that… people who regularly drink green tea and exercise lose significantly more fat around the abdomen than people who don’t?

Tune in to Christmas. When you pop to the gym over the holidays, get working out with your favourite festive hits. Listening to music while you train will boost your workout activity and therefore fat loss.

Get personal. If you’re not that good at motivating yourself, why not try a personal trainer on a short-term basis? Most PT’s will offer great value Christmas packages to suit individual needs and help motivate you into the gym when you really need it.

Finally… Remember, it’s doesn’t have to be the new year before you decide to be a new you!

Kelly Tyers is fitness manager at theclubandspa in The Cube