The Christmas season is generally a time for overindulgence in alcohol and food, but how about this year you don’t use it as an excuse to give up on your healthy eating habits and fitness regime. Remember how hard you worked to get to this level.  You don’t want to have to start from scratch in January, it’s a gloomy enough month as it is for a lot of people. Don’t use Christmas as an excuse to abuse your body.

Coming up with a plan of action can help you stay on track and help you balance eating well with indulging. Staying on track doesn’t have to mean perfection.  You don’t need to eat only chicken and broccoli and do hour-long workouts every day. You don’t need to avoid parties and nights out. It is all about finding a balance so you can enjoy your nights out and family gatherings with alcohol, desserts and selection box items 😊

Here are our top tips to help you stay on track without missing out on the festive fun:

  1. Be mindful of what you drink

Calories in alcohol, soft drinks and festive coffees can all add up.  It is so easy to consume hundreds of calories on liquids without realising.  Your gingerbread latte can contain over 250 calories. We suggest swapping full fat soft drinks for low calorie options. Learn how many calories are in your regular alcoholic beverage (we did a recent post on alcohol calories on Instagram which you can check out), which will hopefully make you drink less of them or swap them for a lower calorie option. If you drink gin and tonic, swap this for a gin and slimline tonic and save over 50 calories per drink.

  1. Keep Active

Just because it’s Christmas doesn’t mean you need to ditch your regular fitness regime and lie on the sofa watching Netflix and eating tins of Roses all day. Try get a workout in first thing so you have the rest of the day to do whatever you want. You don’t have to go to the gym. We have plenty of workouts you can do at home (check out our YouTube and Instagram). Go for a long walk or plan some activities with friends.  Not all social events need to happen in a pub.

  1. Stay healthy in the lead up to the Christmas period

If you have your food and exercise plan in a good place before Christmas, it will make it easier to stay on track over the period as you will be less likely to overindulge and undo your hard work.  You can also relax a little knowing you have worked hard in the lead up to Christmas. There is no need to feel guilty if you have some dessert, a few meals out or alcohol. Don’t beat yourself up if you do. Everything can be enjoyed in moderation.

  1. Plan Around Your Celebrations

If you know you have a big night out planned, keep the rest of your food healthy that day and try to get a workout in.

  1. Mindful Eating

Be mindful of what and when you are eating.  Enjoy the chocolates, desert and Christmas dinner. Just don’t overindulge out of habit or boredom. It is all too easy to sit down with a box of chocolates and eat 20 of them without even noticing.  Choose the ones you like and have 1 or 2 of each, rather than sit with the box of them, popping them in your mouth without even really tasting them. Don’t eat all of the dessert options offered to you. Only choose your favourite one. This way you still get to enjoy the treats and don’t feel deprived by saying no all the time.

  1. Portion Control

There is no need to have second helpings from a buffet or family meal just because they are offered to you. Stop eating when you are full.  The Irish mammy loves to overfeed, especially at Christmas 😉 If you keep on eating when you are full you only end up feeling ill and bloated, which is never a good feeling. It is okay to have some dessert but have a smaller portion than normal.  Once you have a taste of it, your craving should be satisfied.

  1. Eat Before The Party

If you are heading to a drinks party then make sure to eat before you go. It is a bad idea to go to a party hungry. Most hosts provide some form of finger food at these parties and if you go hungry you will eat a lot of it. This food is generally high in calories and fat, so when you add this to the calories in your alcohol, you will rack up more than your daily calorie allowance, which is what leads to weight gain. We all know how easy it is to make your way throw a bowl of nuts or crisps when you are standing beside it.

  1. Stay Hydrated

Sometimes when you think you are hungry you are in fact just thirsty.  Make sure to stay hydrated, which is at least 2 litres a day for women and 3 litres for men. Alcohol seems to be on offer wherever you go at Christmas time so ensure you drink plenty of water; not only to stay hydrated, but also to help aid the digestion of all the food you’ve been eating.

  1. Don’t Deprive Yourself

No food should be off limits.  Some food should just be enjoyed in smaller quantities than others. It is important to learn how to say “No” when it comes to treats.  Now we are not saying you should indulge every opportunity you get but it is important to have balance and know it is okay to say “Yes” sometimes.  You need to have balance when it comes to the food you eat. If you completely deprive yourself of foods you enjoy, it can lead to bingeing, which brings us onto the next point.

  1. Don’t Punish Yourself

If you do happen to have a binge, it can often lead to guilt or self-hatred. This guilt can then lead to more bingeing as you feel you have already failed so you might as well keep going with your binge. You are not a failure though.  You just slipped up a little. The decisions and choices you make post binge are what affect your weight.  Don’t give up over one little slip up. That’s like slashing all your tires because you have one that is flat. Move on and make healthy choices for the rest of the day and for tomorrow and so on. The worst thing you can do is self-sabotage and continue the binge. Don’t think “sure I will just wait till January and start then” as you are only making life harder for yourself.

And on that note, we want to wish you a happy and healthy festive period. We will be doing a live workout Christmas morning, if we have significant WIFI in Vietnam so hopefully some of you can join us. Enjoy yourself, but if you don’t want to weigh heavier in January than you do now, follow our tips above 😉