Exercising first thing in the morning, bringing your own food and making smart choices are just three of the ways you can avoid excess weight this festive season, according to fit mum and personal trainer Sophie Guidolin.
The 31-year-old mum-of-four from Queensland believes that while it might be the season for prosecco-fuelled dinners, endless cheeseboards and celebrations, that doesn’t mean your fitness goals have to fall by the wayside.
‘Maintaining your health and fitness goals through the festive season can be a bit of a challenge, but you can still eat, drink and be merry while staying healthy,’ Sophie wrote on her website.
So what do you need to know?
Exercising first thing, bringing your own food and making smart choices are three of the ways you can avoid excess weight this festive season according to Sophie Guidolin (pictured)
The mum-of-four (pictured with two of her children) said you can enjoy the festive season and eat, drink and be merry without having to give up on your fitness goals
1. Make healthy food swaps
The first thing you can do if you want to stay healthy over the next week of eating and drinking is embrace a few festive food swaps.
Sophie said you don’t have to avoid all festive food, but instead you should just swap a few of the things for healthier versions of treats you can eat.
She said you could try a festive fruit platter instead of a cheeseboard or order a side salad at a restaurant instead of a bowl of fries.
‘When it comes to snacking, avoid empty calories (such as fizzy drinks, cakes, high sugar foods) and choose a healthy alternative such as steamed veggies, fruit or protein balls,’ Sophie said.
Some of her favourite healthy snacks include broccoli and cheese bites, homemade protein balls and a slice of seeded bread with avocado.
We all know that the days leading up to Christmas get busier and busier, but there is a way to make sure you stay healthy – and that is by squeezing in a workout first thing (Sophie pictured)
2. Work out first thing
We all know that the days leading up to Christmas get busier and busier, but there is a way to make sure you stay healthy – and that is by squeezing in a workout first thing in the morning.
‘By doing a workout early in the morning, you won’t have to worry about squashing it in around any social activities later in the day – or not doing it at all,’ Sophie said.
Morning workouts are also good because they stimulate endorphins and will put you in a good mood.
The trainer said a workout doesn’t have to take a whole gruelling hour, and could be either a short run or HIIT session down at the beach or in the park.
You don’t even need any gym equipment to get a sweat on.
Sophie (pictured) said you shouldn’t deprive yourself over the festive season and instead need a little bit of what you love; she alternates each alcoholic drink with soda water and lime
3. Enjoy your favourite things in moderation
Deprivation has never been the secret to getting your dream body, and Sophie said you should enjoy a little of what you love over the festive season if you want to stay in shape.
‘If you’re socialising with people, try alternating each alcoholic drink with soda water and lime,’ she suggested.
You can also look at the portion sizes of your typical festive plate, and adjust them accordingly.
Sophie (pictured) said if you’re out and about over Christmas, then just order smart to stay in shape and look for high protein options such as grilled fish and veggies
4. Order smart
If you are out and about over the Christmas period and know there is going to be takeaway on the menu, don’t freak out – just order smart.
‘Try ordering food that is high in protein as it will keep you fuller for longer,’ Sophie said.
Good examples include lean meats with salad, fish and complex carbohydrates such as sweet potato.
Another secret that the mother-of-four (pictured) swears by is bringing her own food to parties and get togethers
5. Provide the food
Another secret that the mother-of-four swears by is bringing her own food to parties and get togethers.
‘If you’re heading to a Christmas get together and you’re worried about what food will be there, then why not bring your own plate of delicious yet nutritious treats?’ Sophie said.
One of her favourite healthy crowd pleasers is her broccoli and cheese bites, which can be made with broccoli, onion, egg, almond meal, Parmesan and basil in under half an hour.
Not only are the bites delicious, but they are also quite healthy – meaning you can indulge with friends without the extra calories.
To find out more about Sophie Guidolin, please visit her website here.
How to make Sophie Guidolin’s broccoli and cheese bites
Sophie shared her recipe for simple and delicious broccoli and cheese bites (pictured)
600g fresh broccoli florets
90g small brown onion
1 whole egg (whisked)
½ cup almond meal (45g)
60g extra sharp parmesan
1 tablespoon fresh basil, finely chopped
1. Preheat oven to 180º fan-forced and line tray with baking paper.
2. Chop stems off broccoli, boil for 5 minutes to soften.
3. Process broccoli until finely chopped, removing excess water with paper towel.
4. Combine the broccoli, onion, egg, almond meal and fresh basil in a medium bowl.
5. Roll the mixture into 20 evenly sized balls.
6. Place on a baking tray and bake for 20 minutes, rotating balls halfway.
Source: Sophie Guidolin