Don”t turn into a pudding this Christmas! Celebrity personal trainer James Duigan”s top tips to prevent you piling on the pounds (without foregoing fun)
Counting Elle Macpherson and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley among his clients, Duigan is clearly doing something right. Here, he shares the ten golden rules that will help minimise the damage of the festive season binge – but still let you party the whole month through. Have fun, enjoy yourself – and don”t feel guilty, he says.
James Duigan says a little extra effort can go a long way during the festive season splurge
The season of excess is upon us, and with it the inevitable weight gain buffets, canaps and chilled champagne can bring.
But with a little effort and just a touch of self-control, you can minimise the damage. It doesn”t have to be torture either. Bodyism”s James Duigan, health and fitness expert to the likes of Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Elle Macpherson and Hugh Grant, is confident we can weather the calorific storm that is December without turning into a Christmas pudding.
Little things can make a big difference, says James. Anything you can do will help.
Here, James imparts his 10 top tips for fighting off the flab without forsaking the fun.
All James” rules are zero-excuse, easy to follow guidelines that need no props or special equipment and require little extra effort.
JAMES” GOLDEN RULES
1) KEEP MOVING
If you know you”re going to overindulge, sets yourself little forfeits. Do 20 squats before going out to eat a heavy meal.
James says a neat trick he does with clients who like a drink is to get them to do ten squats for every drink they have. “Not at the time,” he quips, “But when they get home.”
Three drinks means 30 squats. It won”t burn off all the calories, but it makes you think about what you”re consuming and makes you accountable.
Just use your own body weight – adding a prop is only likely to make you find an excuse not to do them.
A handful of nuts will stop the sugar from the alcohol entering the bloodstream so quickly
2) HAVE A SNACK BEFORE YOU START DRINKING
Alcohol is largely sugar. Eating some fat or protein before you drink alcohol slows the rate that sugar enters the bloodstream, which will prevent a spike in your insulin levels and help with the glycaemic load. It”ll help you avoid putting on so much weight, and as a side-effect, means you”ll get drunk less quickly.
Before you go out, have a little snack, preferably a handful of nuts, with berries if possible. Natural unsalted nuts are best, but if you don”t have any around, any nuts will do – it”ll be infinitely preferable to going out drinking on an empty stomach.
A little pot of natural yoghurt is also good. It lines your tummy and again helps slow down the rate the sugar goes into your bloodstream.
3) EAT AS MUCH OR AS MANY GREEN VEGETABLES AS YOU CAN
Try to eat as many healthy greens as possible throughout the festive season. If you really can”t manage green vegetables regularly, take a fibre supplement. It keeps you regular and your system cleaner than if you avoided greens all month. Your body will keep working more efficiently despite the indulgence elsewhere.
4) MAKE THE FIRST DRINK AT ANY PARTY A NON-ALCOHOLIC ONE
You”re likely to be thirsty when you have your first drink, so you”ll drink it much more quickly. Downing a glass of wine is a sure-fire way to have you raiding the canap tray in minutes. Quench your thirst first and you”ll find it much easier to sip your second drink and make better choices with food.
Make your first drink at the party a non-alcoholic one – it”ll quench yor thirst so you don”t down your first wine so quickly – and stop you drunkenly lungeing for the canaps
5) BREAKFAST WELL
Eat a healthy, hearty breakfast – it will fill you up and you”ll be less inclined to really overdo it later on in the day, whether that be with the post-breakfast chocolate, a heavy lunch or the buffet table. The worst thing you can do is go to a drinks party starving hungry.
6) KEEP HYDRATED
Drink plenty of water – it”s so important.
Christmas is all about cheeses, quips James. But seriously, a little cheese will stop you overindulging in too many sweets
7) WHEN YOU HIT THE BUFFET, EAT PROTEIN FIRST BEFORE SWEETS/CAKES
As much as possible go for the protein options at the buffet and keep away from the really sweet things – doughnuts and cakes.
But if you are going to eat them, a good mental strategy is that if you are going to have something sweet to eat, promise yourself you”re going to start with protein.
Have some cold meats, some cheese. Not only will it satiate your appetitie so you don”t hit the sweets on an empty stomach, but it will help prevent a spike in insulin levels.
As for cheese, James says it”s a great indulgence. “Christmas is all about cheeses… (ha ha). It”s yummy, it”s a treat, but it”s not packed with sugar, so it”s preferable to eating cake. It”s rich too, so a little bit is satisfying.
“I get cold meats – beef, turkey, ham – and wrap them around the cheese. You can add a tomato too – it”s delicious. If you”re feeling really freaky, you can pick out the filling from the sandwiches and leave the bread – I”m OK with that now!”
9) AVOID SUGAR-LADEN MIXERS
Mixingyour spirits with fizzy drinks like cola give you a calorie double-whammy. Choose vodka over wine, and mix your spirits with soda water, and a squeeze of limeif it suits.
10) TAKE A FISH OIL
Possibly the most important rule of all: take a fish oil supplement regularly. They”re called essential fatty acids for a reason – they”re essential. From a party point of view, they are great for your hair and nails. But they also lubricate your whole body and nourish your system.”
AND FINALLY ENJOY YOURSELF!
Food should ever be associated with bad feelings or guilt. Whatever you choose to eat or drink at the pre-Christmas parties, really enjoy it. As for Christmas Day itself – don”t feel bad about eating Quality Street and tucking into your Christmas lunch. Just relax, have fun and enjoy.
JAMES DUIGAN WILL BE BACK IN JANUARY TO SHOW YOU HOW TO GET YOUR BODY CLEAN AND LEAN FAST WITH A GENTLE SEVEN DAY CLEANSE. Visit www.bodyism.com
PS: STUCK IN THE OFFICE THIS WEEK CLENCH YOUR WAY TO A BETTER BOTTOM
Try to fit in some squats in your day – as demonstrated by Christiane Duigan – it”ll get the blood flowing
Last week disturbing news broke that said those who spend long periods of time sitting down have 50 per cent more fat deposits in their bottom.
Of course, this struck fear into the hearts of office workers everywhere – but James says there is a solution.
“Do anything you can to get the blood flowing in the course of the day,” James says. Bottom clenches are great – many a supermodel has firmed up her butt this way. Just clench the buttocks whenever you can – each time you answer the phone for starters. It”ll improve circulation and keep the muscles active.
“If you can spare a few minutes away from your desk, do some lunges or squats – you could pop to the bathroom if your office isn”t the kind of place where you can do them.
“If you really can”t leave your desk, try calf raises at the very least – lifting up onto the tips of your toes and lowering back down. This really gets the blood flowing through the legs.
“Remember,” says James, “anything at all is better than nothing.”