Tips for staying on track over the holiday season

For most of us it can be really tough to stick to being healthy over the holiday season but it is definitely not impossible.  I love this time of year because it is a time to relax with my family and take some time out to just chill!  I don’t focus on my nutrition 100% of the time although I do still try to make good food choices most of the time. I choose when I want to indulge but I don’t indulge every day.   Let’s be honest – Christmas is not a time to try to lose weight.  But it is not an excuse to go backwards either.  So here are my top tips to get you through:


  • Your goal over the Christmas period should be on maintaining your weight and fitness level.  It is not a time to stress about losing weight.  At the same time it is not an excuse to go all out.  Why undo all the work you have done all year?


  • Don’t lose sight of your goals.  Remember what you have set out to achieve this year and remember how far you have come.


  • Get your exercise out of the way early.  As soon as you get a chance get your workout in.  Once the day starts other things get in the way and we start to lose the time and the motivation.  Getting your exercise in early will also make you feel good for the rest of the day and I guarantee you won’t even want to over-indulge.


  • Involve others and  make it social.  Grab your partner, kids or friends and go for a walk or play a game of soccer. 


  • Do a little bit every day.  No need to try and make up a bit of indulging by smashing yourself with one big session.  Try doing smaller, shorter workouts each day – they don’t have to take up a lot of time and will keep you consistent.


  • If you are going away and staying in a hotel make use of the hotel gym.  If not, the great outdoors is perfect.  Don’t underestimate the power of walking – physically and mentally.  It’s also a great way to check out new places.


  • Don’t’ go overboard with food.  You know that uncomfortable bloating feeling.  Moderation is key.


  • Don’t go to a party hungry because you know you will snack on all the things you really don’t need.


  • Be aware of what you are drinking.  For every glass of alcohol follow it with a glass of water to keep you hydrated and full.  Lower calorie alcoholic beverages (vodka/soda) are a better choice.


  • Don’t starve yourself to make up for eating too much.  It really is a terrible cycle to get into.  By all means eat lightly to compensate for a full day of eating but do not skip meals.  If you do over-eat the best thing you can do is to get back to your usual routine the very next day.


  • We are so lucky here in Australia that it is warm and we are fond of BBQ’s!  It’s easier to fill up your plate first with the fresh stuff first – proteins (meat, chicken, seafood) and veges (salads).


  • Keep a food journal.  Ok, maybe you don’t want to do this over Christmas day but for the holiday season keeping a food diary may just keep you on track when you see how much or how little you have been eating.


  • Remember, if you are still eating then you should still be moving. Most people say they don't have time to exercise but being on holidays gives you that time.  Kids at home?  When my kids were younger I used to take them to the park or the skate park and exercise while they played.  That way we all get out and get active.


  • And finally, don’t’ beat yourself up! Take some time to relax and enjoy.  Celebrating and sharing a meal with family and friends is a big part of our lives and should be enjoyed.  Balance is key – not deprivation!

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