Saturday 1 October 2016

Siobhan Byrne: Party-plan your way to festive fitness

Some simple steps mean you can party on without undoing your weight loss, says our fitness expert

Siobhan Byrne

Published 08/12/2015 | 02:30

Siobhan Byrne says simple steps can help avoid weight gain over Christmas
Siobhan Byrne says simple steps can help avoid weight gain over Christmas
Unibox 1
Uni box 2
Floor dip 1
Floor dip 2
Flutter kicks 1
Flutter kick 2

And so it begins - the Christmas season is upon us and, with it, comes the round of festive celebrations and parties. But beware - if you have spent the last 12 months getting yourself in great shape, it can easily be undone with party after party.

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Having devoted such a lot of time to working hard on your training and diet, there is no need to let it all go down the drain in the coming weeks.

Here are some of my top tips to help you keep the party bulge at bay, while still being able to enjoy the Yuletide season:

• Nice dinners out at any time of the year can be calorific, but can reach the extremes during the Christmas party season.

Alcohol and food can be a double-whammy on your fitness and weight-loss goals.

Before you head out for dinner, start with a salad at home. This may seem an unusual tactic, but filling up on this low calorie dish can help stave off the hunger pangs which may otherwise have you reaching for those pre-dinner table snacks, like nuts and the contents of the bread basket.

You may even find that you are not really in need of that starter or dessert, as you have already taken the edge off your appetite.

• Taking the car can be the easiest way to avoid having drinks, but if you must indulge in a tipple, try to dilute your alcohol intake.

You can do this by opting for one glass of water for at least each alcoholic beverage you take, and limiting your alcohol consumption.

• Opt for more meat and vegetable-based dishes, skipping the starchy carbohydrates like heavy pasta or potato dishes.

• Ask for sauces and gravy on the side, so you can control how much you use. You will be surprised at how little, if any, you need.

Party preparation

Unibox push-up

1/ Start by supporting your body on your toes, with one hand on a low step box. If you are at home, place one hand on a step and the other on the floor. Make sure your elbows are bent and your chest is almost touching the floor.

2/ Push up to a straight arm position and lower down to the ground, keeping your back flat throughout the exercise. Repeat all reps on one side before alternating to the other side.

Floor dips

1/ Start by sitting on the floor with your hands behind you, fingers pointing toward your feet which should be flat on the floor.

2/ Lift your hips off the ground so your weight is supported by your hands and your feet. Dip down towards the ground, bending at the elbows, and return to the start, straight arm, position.

Your glutes should not touch the ground throughout this exercise.

Flutter kicks

1/ Start on your back with legs straight out in front, slightly off the floor and your arms by your sides. Raise one leg straight up, a few inches from floor level.

2/ Then raise opposite leg and continue raising your legs in a scissor-like motion.

Do each exercise 12 times before moving on to the next one. When you have completed each exercise, that is one set. Catch your breath before moving onto the next set, and do three to four sets, three to four times a week

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