A dietician and personal trainer shared exactly how to shred up for Christmas in the 18 days leading up to December 25, and why you should always eat a high-protein snack an hour or two before an event.
Susie Burrell, from Sydney, and Leanne Ward, said the most important thing to remember about Christmas is that ‘it’s a day or two, not a whole month’ – and you need to think about what you’re eating and act accordingly.
“There are a few things we do every year to make sure we don’t blow out a lot in the month of December,” Susie told FEMAIL.
The pair shared their healthy tips and tricks.
A dietitian and personal trainer shared exactly how to shred for Christmas in the 18 days leading up to December 25, and the 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 more and heavier foods. She also said that before an event you should always have a protein-rich and vegetarian snack
Diet tips to stay on track
* After a hard day eat ‘buffer’ in a day with lighter foods such as salads and vegetable juices.
* Be careful with fried snacks and only allow yourself one or two.
* Wait until you’re really hungry before eating, rather than just eating by the clock.
* Taste and enjoy heavier foods at parties, rather than overindulging.
* Get rid of leftovers quickly.
* Eat a protein and vegetable-rich snack an hour or two before a function.
* Remember Christmas is a day or two, not a month.
* Pack unhealthy foods in boxes and send them home with guests.
* Eat until you are satisfied, not full.
When it comes to dieting in silly season, the two agree that the most important thing is knowing how much you’re eating — and then “buffering” in nutritious foods accordingly.
“Since most of us will overindulge in high-calorie party foods and alcohol at some point, it’s also a good time to buffer these days of over-indulgence with a focus on low-calorie, nutrient-dense veggies and salad and lean protein,” Susie shared. to FEMAIL.
‘For days I choose vegetable juices, salad with prawns or chicken fillet and lots of roasted vegetables and fresh fruit with yoghurt.’
Susie said she’s perceptive when it comes to parties filled with low-nutrition snacks — and only allows herself one or two.
“Fried foods, greasy dips, potato chips, corn chips, and baked goods all pack a serious calorie punch with very little enjoyment,” she said.
Instead, her best trick is to eat a protein- and vegetable-rich snack an hour or two before she leaves for a party or event.
“This means I never arrive hungry and thus feel the need to eat poor quality food,” she said.
She also waits until she’s “real hungry” before eating a meal rather than eating by the clock, even if it means “fasting for several hours after a big day or meal.”
“Taste and enjoy the heavier foods at parties and events, rather than overeating them simply because they’re there,” she said.
“Then quickly get rid of your leftovers and remember Christmas is a day or two, not a month!”
The hosts of The Nutrition Couch podcast (pictured) recommend eating as mindfully as possible and waiting until you’re really hungry to eat rather than following the clock
Leanne (pictured) said it’s best to opt for occasional exercise whenever and wherever you can, whether that’s parking farther away or walking around the block
Exercise tips to stay on track
* Get some occasional exercise whenever you can, whether that’s parking farther away or walking around the block.
* Arrange a walk and a takeaway coffee with a friend, instead of going for a drink.
* Focus on big compound lifts in the gym, such as squats, deadlifts, chest presses, shoulder presses, pull ups and burpees.
* Remember that most toning happens in the kitchen rather than the gym.
* Don’t worry about going to the gym every day, just go when you can.
When it comes to exercise, both Susie and Leanne agree that you may not have time for your regular workouts.
But that doesn’t mean you should forget about exercise altogether.
“Get some occasional exercise whenever you can,” Leanne said.
“That could mean parking in the farthest parking lot from the stores, taking the stairs instead of the elevator when you take your kids to their after-school appointments, and walking around the block instead of scrolling on your phone.”
Susie said exercise, even walking, aids digestion, and something as simple as taking a short walk with a friend over a takeaway coffee instead of catching up with an alcoholic drink will do your body some good.
“When you hit the gym, focus on big compound lifts like squats, deadlifts, chest presses, shoulder presses, pull ups, and burpees,” Leanne said.
These give you the most bang for your buck in a workout.
“But remember that fitness and training create your shape, but nutrition is what really reduces your body fat,” she said.
“Most people think the gym is for working out, but tonight it’s really happening in the kitchen.
“You want to use the gym to build muscle mass, but the right balanced diet to drop the body fat and see the muscle mass that gives people the toned look they’re looking for.”
Susie Burrell and Leanne Ward are the hosts of Australia’s number one nutrition podcast, The Nutrition Couch. Click for more information here.