21 Dec Get Lean with Christmas Dinner
Christmas is a great time of year. Maybe even the most wonderful.
You can spend time with your family, remind yourself of why you only see these people once a year, and watch some of the best and worst films ever made.
But without a doubt, the best part of Christmas is the food!
So how can you enjoy all the Christmas feasts without completely derailing your fitness progress?
I’m not going to tell you to totally ignore the biscuits and cakes, because I’m not evil. But I am going to tell you the best Christmas foods to stock up on if you want to keep it a bit healthier!
Turkey is a fantastic food source, and I often wonder why people don’t eat it more often!
It’s loaded with lean protein, which as I’m sure you know is vital for repairing and building muscle after training!
Perhaps more exciting than the pure protein content (I find it exciting), is the levels of tryptophan. Tryptophan is an amino acid which has various functions within the body. One of these is the production of serotonin, which can greatly improve your mood.
In addition to the potential benefits to your mood, turkey could also help to improve your overall health. Poultry meat has been found to be very beneficial, particularly through the healthy fats it contains.
We’re talking about Christmas food, so of course we have to discuss Brussels sprouts.
You might be one of those people who loves sprouts (these people can’t be trusted). But it’s fair to say that most people do not like sprouts.
Eat them anyway!
Sprouts are great at keeping disease at bay. They can protect your body against carcinogens and oxidative damage to your body’s cells. This will go a long way to helping prevent various cancers.
Sprouts are also great for regulating blood sugar levels and preventing the onset of diabetes.
I probably don’t need to tell you that citrus fruits are good for you. But they are.
They may even be healthier than other fruits and vegetables, because they have a higher ratio of soluble to insoluble fibre. This makes them better at moderating blood sugar levels and cholesterol.
A study of people’s eating habits over 24 years found that regularly eating citrus fruits was linked to weight loss. So at least there’s one thing in your stocking which might be good for your waistline.
People definitely feel the need to eat more nuts over Christmas. And so you should! Just don’t go crazy.
People have researched nuts a lot (don’t laugh). Eating nuts can help you to lose weight – some studies show up to 2 inches.
So you see, Christmas time doesn’t have to ruin your waistline! Focus on healthier choices and you’ll be fine. But really, most people will eat too much cake and drink too much wine. I won’t judge. If you come out the other end without having gained too much, it’s a win!
Philip has several years experience as a strength and conditioning coach for competitive athletes, and as an exercise referral specialist focusing on exercise in clinical populations. Over his years as a coach he has trained clients to manage and reduce risk for various conditions and diseases, and to compete in several disciplines at various levels. As a Master (MSc) of Sport and Exercise Science and Medicine, Philip is also passionate about health and exercise research and has presented his work at various events. He is currently a PhD researcher at the Leicester Diabetes Centre and hopes to share the knowledge he has gained with as many people as possible.