Seven steps to beat the ‘Christmas belly’

FITNESS professional Nathan Hitchcock has compiled seven easy steps to ‘beat the Christmas belly’, especially for “CityNews” readers.

Nathan Hitchcock

Fitness professional Nathan Hitchcock

1. When you need those gifts/ingredients from the shops, don’t drive there – ride your bike or walk. Don’t forget a backpack so that the extra weight on the return journey will have you pushing harder.

2. Perform squats when and wherever you can. For instance, when you’re preparing dinner, waiting for something to boil on the stove or cook in the microwave, try squatting with the correct technique for the period the ingredient takes to cook. You may look a little silly, but the extra calories you burn will definitely assist with maintaining the desired physique.

3. Make a habit of going on a nightly walk/run. Plan your journey and pass as many houses that have Christmas lights. Map out the houses that have Christmas lights within your area and drive to one suburb a night. Park a distance away from the Christmas lights and walk/run to the selected houses on your map. If you are pushing a pram or a running stroller, carry everybody’s drink bottles. The extra weight will have you pushing hard and burning calories.

4. Eat for one and not for two. Portion sizes are an issue across Australia, but it’s this simple: instead of using large dinner plates, serve Christmas lunch on a smaller plate. If you have a sudden urge for a second serving, wait 15 minutes. It takes some time for your brain to register that your tummy is full.

5. Drink water. This is such a simple suggestion, but very important in that every chemical reaction in the human body requires water to work effectively. Being dehydrated makes you feel sluggish and often tired. Drinking a sufficient amount of water will not only hydrate you, it will also improve your mood! A real bonus for enjoying Christmas.

6. Pair up with a family member or friend that has a similar physique goal and ask them to be a second set of eyes when eating food. Have a secret code word that means “Are you sure you want to put that in your mouth?” Obviously this suggestion is not for everybody, so only take it on if you feel comfortable doing so.

7. Enjoy yourself! Do what pleases you over the festive period, but be aware if it is good for your health and your goals. Don’t shy away from a beer or a wine, just don’t drink the whole case or bottle. Eat chocolate, but not the whole box. Indulgence can be a positive thing but in moderation.

Nathan Hitchcock is the founder of Define Fitness, and offers a Define Fitness Bootcamp special for the New Year at


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