Rhianna Parkinson: Beating the Christmas Turkey – How I’m Staying Active, Healthy and Happy this Festive Season!
Some festive advice from our Ambassador, Rhianna Parkinson on staying active, healthy and happy this Christmas
Let’s be honest, a champagne breakfast, followed by mid-morning mince pies, a generous side helping of chocolate and candy canes seems like the ideal Christmas day menu before we even think about Christmas dinner itself. So with the average adult eating somewhere in the region of 6,000 calories on Christmas day, I’m going to make sure I continue to be active, healthy and happy this festive period.
As I began losing weight in 2014, I made a tradition for myself to go out and run 10km on Christmas day. I do it after everyone has opened presents, the kids are playing with their new toys and the turkey is cooking, it’s the perfect time. The roads are quiet, the weather is cool, and there’ll always be people out and about in good spirit to cheer you on. Some years I try and go for a PB, and some years I’ll just take it easy – to me it doesn’t really matter as it’s about just getting out and doing something before the big lunch. It doesn’t even have to be 10km either – most local park runs also do a Christmas day park run special, which I would highly recommend! For a lighter option, even a brisk one-hour walk is a fabulous fat burner and the fresh air will also do your mind and body good. Whilst you’re walking, you won’t be staring at those chocolates on the table either! Come up with your own active tradition.
Don’t overindulge – as a fast eater myself, I know how easy it is to build a tower of food on your plate and scoff down a ginormous Christmas dinner, and be tucking into seconds before the person sat next to you has poured their gravy, but the downside to this is that 10 minutes later, you get that “uh oh, I’ve eaten too much” feeling. As it takes your brain 20 minutes to realise you’re full, I’m going to start with a reasonable portion, take my time and enjoy being sat around the table with my family, before even thinking about sticking my fork in that bowl of extra roasties!
I’m sure most people are partial to a bit of Champagne, Bucks Fizz, Mulled Wine, and Baileys at Christmas so, without being a party pooper, I’d also recommend going easy on the booze! Those alcoholic units can quickly add up so keep tabs on how much you’re drinking. Make sure you drink plenty of water or diet drinks in between alcoholic beverages, which will not only keep that hangover at bay, but stop you feeling lethargic.
Lastly, don’t panic, stress, or fall for one of these extreme diets if you find yourself with a post-Christmas bulge. It terrifies me when I see people skipping breakfast and having a commercialized weight loss shake for lunch – it’s not sustainable, nor will it really help in the long run. In fact, it can be quite damaging to the body. The key to success is about exercising whenever you can, being disciplined with your food portions, eating healthy foods and being patient – only Santa can perform miracles overnight!