We all have great intentions and desires to stay fit and healthy during the Christmas period. Festive seasons are synonymous with lots of indulgent eating, one meal after the other, copious amounts of events and possibly an increased consumption of alcohol. Served caught up with fitness trainer Angele Satariano at Active Spirit to get some tips to get through Christmas without adding on the pounds.

3 common mistakes that a lot of do is not prioritizing exercise, over eating at parties and Christmas lunch, and giving up when we made an ‘unhealthy decision’! Angele suggests the following:

Prioritise Exercise:

Keeping up an exercise routine when there are a lot of events going on, can get more difficult. However, when there is a will there is a way – and 30 minutes is enough. Allocate 30 minutes in the morning for a work out (or run, whatever you do) – especially when you have an event in the evening – to avoid missing it altogether.

Ditch that extra bite:

It’s so tempting to continue eating at parties when the food is served on a silver tray! Before going to a party, eat a snack at home so that you do not arrive famished. Throughout the event, be mindful of how many pieces or plates you are eating and when you’re satisfied, stop there – only pick up food items if your body shows signs of hunger.

Didn’t start the week or the day on the right foot? Don’t give up! It’s common that when people fail to exercise or eat an ‘unhealthy’ meal “the week/day is ruined, I might as well continue…” “I’ll start next Monday.” Sounds familiar? Every single moment of every single day is an opportunity for you to decide whether you will be healthy or not! Having a healthy dinner with lots of nutritious vegetables could be just what your body needs after a not-so-healthy rest of the day – so don’t give up because you started off on the wrong foot.

Honestly, the calendar will get busier with social events, shopping and ‘closing off the year’ at work. It can get damn hectic. So prioritizing exercise sounds possible – but you said this last year… What are you going to change this year to make the change possible? Here are some recommendations from Angele:

I recommend doing whatever works for you.

On Group Training:

If you need the commitment to get you going, book a class and pay upfront. It will help you to be more accountable. Sometimes its easier to be motivated when training in a group because it makes you realise how many people are still making fitness a priority, even though they’re busy!

On At-Home Work Outs:

If going to a class is not possible because of commuting time or any other reasons, then workout at home! There’s so much you can do in just 30 minutes that will have you breaking a sweat, working all your main muscle groups and feeling great. We have plenty of videos on our instagram/Facebook pages @activespiritmalta and also @activespiritmums (for those women who are pregnant or have recently had a baby).

To summarise we asked Angele to give us her Top 5 tips to avoid putting on the extra pounds and staying fit during the Christmas season.

1) Try not to overdo it on the alcohol – alcohol is high in calories and super easy to over-consume. But that’s not all! After consuming alcohol, your body’s fat burning potential is highly diminished. This means that your body will be less able to burn fat during your daily activities than had you not consumed the alcohol.

2) Don’t overeat – less gluttony! Yes sometimes the food is irresistible, but if you’re not hungry then don’t eat – Simple! Learn how to say stop when you’re satisfied. It’s actually the excess food we consume that makes us put on weight.

3) Make the meals you eat at home super healthy – Eat meals that mostly consist of whole, natural foods. Aim for mostly vegetables, but also include healthy lean protein such a fish, chicken, turkey and healthy carbs like potatoes, sweet potatoes, healthy grains (such as quinoa), and rice.

4) Make time for exercise – as explained above, 30 minutes may be all your need to keep your metabolism in function and your muscles activated.

5) Drink plenty of water – our body needs water for every single function it does. It also helps to ‘flush’ fat and toxins through the liver and kidneys and is essential for fat loss. Aim for minimum 2L per day.

6) BONUS TIP: Get enough sleep – Sleep keeps cortisol (stress hormone) down, which in turn will help prevent your body from storing excess fat (especially around the belly!)

About Angele Satariano: In September 2014, Founder and Trainer Angele Satariano quit her profession as an accountant to follow her dream of coaching and inspiring people to live healthy and active lives. In 2015, she established Active Spirit – which empowers individuals to take control of their health by educating them and giving them the tools to live happy, fit and healthy lives. You can read more about Angele’s personal journey on the Active Spirit Journal.