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How to stay on track with your goals over Christmas

The ‘silly season’ is upon us and while it can be tricky to stick to your health-related goals during this time, if you make a plan and stick to it (as well as enjoy yourself), then you can enter the new year without suffering too much damage.

Set yourself realistic goals

If you have a current weight-loss goal, rather than pressuring yourself to meet it before Christmas so you can ‘pig out’ on Christmas day, why not extend the goal until the middle of January and enjoy Christmas with a balanced approach. Christmas is a time of year that always revolves around food, drink and family, so enjoying these things for what they are – without any guilt – will make this time of year stress and guilt free.

Aim for balance

If your normal Christmas style is to overeat and drink at Christmas lunch and then have an afternoon siesta, take a different approach this year. Rather than grazing, grab yourself a plate and portion out a small amount of each dish that you wish to eat, eat it slowly and stick to that one plate. Allow some room for some Christmas pudding as well! By taking this approach, you’ll not only feel better for it mentally and physically, you also will have enjoyed the food you’re eating.

Stay hydrated

Hydration is really important, especially if mother nature throws us a 30°C+ day on 25 December. If you are drinking alcohol, alternate each alcoholic beverage with a glass of water or mineral water to not only keep you hydrated, but also to space out the alcoholic drinks.

Portion control

Christmas parties in the lead up to Christmas can often be as extravagant as the day itself. If this is the case, make sure that the portion you eat at these parties, be it lunch or dinner, are similar to those you would normally have at these times of days. And if you do happen to over eat, don’t then skip a meal to compensate as this does no favours to your metabolism. Instead, have a light meal. Alternatively, if you know you’re having a big dinner, don’t skip lunch as you’ll end up at the dinner ravenous, leading to overeating.

Stay active

Even though they say you can’t ‘out exercise’ a bad diet, staying active is key to sticking to your goals over the Christmas period. With more daylight and warmer weather, there’s much more time in the day to fit in an exercise session. With the busy-ness that December brings, it’s easier to get up half an hour earlier and fit in a quick walk. This way, it’s done for the day and there are no excuses after work.

If you’re unsure about how to stay on track this holiday season, come and see one of our PPN dietitians to help you to achieve your goals.