December 15, 2016 2:07 pm

The Christmas party season is in full swing and those glitzy New Year bashes are fast approaching.

You may be starting to panic about fitting into your Little Black Dress or fancy black tie number.

Some of you may be hitting the gym every day, others counting calories in a bid to look fabulous this festive period.

But it doesn’t have to be all hunger, sweat and tears – it is Christmas after all and, let’s be honest, we all love a festive treat.

This time of year, personal training clients usually have one goal in mind – getting into their party gear.

And most wrongly assume it means going for 10-mile runs, sweating it out in the gym for hours on end or having to majorly cut the calories and go hungry to lose a few extra pounds.

I say no, no, no to this! Life is for living and Christmas should be a fun time spent with family and friends, not pulling crackers with gym staff (as lovely as they are) or staring longingly at a mince pie.

Sure, it’s going to involve a bit of effort, but all you really need to do is eat and train more smartly – so have a mince pie if you fancy one, just don’t eat a whole pack!

Here are my top tips for looking your most fabulous this party season.

  1. If possible, hire a personal trainer. I’m not just saying that from a trainer’s perspective. Working with a trainer is by far the safest, quickest way to achieve your goals. A good trainer can help you with nutrition, mindset and exercise technique, whilst keeping you on track. They can plan a targeted, personalised workout that could have you in and out if the gym in an hour, leaving plenty of time to watch Elf (again).
  1. Train with weights. Contrary to popular belief weight training does not bulk you up (I’m talking to you in particular ladies!). Weight training IS the most effective training method for losing weight, toning up and changing your overall body shape. Sleeveless Little Black Dresses all the way!
  1. Do High Intensity Interval Training or HIIT as it’s otherwise known. Steady rate cardio, such as jogging, is one of the least effective and most time-consuming ways to exercise – my personal fave. Keep your workouts short, sharp and sweet by doing interval-based exercises, which focus on all your trouble areas, such as the legs, arms and tummy. This will burn the most calories in the shortest amount of time. Some of the best exercises are:

Star jumps
Press ups
Mountain climbers

Do these exercises in turn for 45 seconds, with a 15-second rest between each one and repeat three times for a quick, but effective HIIT session. Just doing this every day the week before your party will make a difference, as long as you’re not eating your bodyweight in Christmas cake of course.

  1. Don’t ‘overtrain’. You only need to workout for up to one hour maximum at a time. Overtraining leads to irritability, increased chance of injury and a loss of motivation. And let’s face it we’ve all got Christmas shopping to do – and then there’s the present wrapping…

Top tips for eating smart:
– Drink plenty of water.

Hydration is essential for general health, but especially when losing weight. Drinking a glass of water before a Christmas dinner or a New Year’s Eve buffet will make you feel fuller quicker, reducing the chances of overeating. It also helps to flush out toxins, which are stored within body fat.
– Fill up on lots of quality fresh vegetables.

Whilst being low in calories, veggies are packed with nutrients to keep your body ticking over properly. These nutrients are also essential for keeping your skin looking young and healthy. Load your plate at every opportunity and eat up those Brussels sprouts people!
– Don’t drink alcohol unnecessarily.

I know this is an almost impossible ask at this time of year, but if you really want to lose weight, knock mid-week boozing on the head. Save your drinking strictly for parties. There are 7 calories of alcohol per gram. Compare this to 9 calories per 1 gram of fat – there’s not that much in it! If you do have a tipple, go for bubbles over eggnog.

– Be sensible with food.

Christmas likes to throw calories at us and that’s fine. Just remember that if you do eat your bodyweight in Camembert at a buffet, that’s probably not going to be as sensible as choosing crudités and dip.

About Nina:

A former journalist, Nina has swapped the press for press-ups and the mum-of-one is currently training to be a personal trainer with Premier Training International.

Combining her love of fitness with her passion for healthy food, the dedicated Filmorite also has a public relations role at Filmore & Union.