How to have yourself a balanced little Christmas: five festive coping strategies

It’s that time of year again. Parties, work nights out, seeing friends, three course meals, mince pies, wine, mulled wine, hot wine, more wine, beer, cheese, hot dogs at the German market, Christmas cake, biscuits, chocolate, oh and maybe a bit more wine!

How do you, and more to the point your scales, survive all of this? To help you through the festive minefield I’ve included below five ways to fight the festive flab.

1) Don’t!

I bet that surprised you!? The key question you need to ask yourself is do you want to be conscious of your eating, drinking and exercise for the next few weeks? If the answer is yes, read on for the next tips. If it’s no, then why beat yourself up about it or go through the pretense of saying “oh I won’t eat this” or “I’ll just go and have one or two drinks”?

If you’re well balanced for 11 months of the year, and you want to lose balance just for one, then so be it, accept it and get planning to get back on it in January. Alternatively, ask yourself, is it really worth potentially giving up all of those valuable improvements you’ve made this year for the sake of a few weeks?

2) Use a buddy

Friends, work colleagues and partners can be extremely valuable. In fact, everybody can benefit from having a “Santa’s Little Helper”. Get them to remind you of your goals at the office Christmas party, plan your meals with you or help in any way that you agree with them.

3) Get an advent calendar

No not the chocolate type, but use a proper calendar to plan your Christmas schedule. Plan in your Christmas parties, evenings with friends, shopping expeditions etc and then make sure you plan in some exercise sessions around it. If it’s in the calendar it’s far more likely to get done.

4) Choose your own presents

Not the ones from Santa obviously, they’re made by the Elves at the North Pole so you can’t change what you get, that depends on whether you’ve been naughty or nice this year of course.

You can choose which of the festive treats you will indulge in though and which you will say no to. Select a couple of your absolute favourites and plan to have these as your treats. I’ll be choosing mince pies with Baileys clotted cream and Lindt chocolates. I’ll be saying no to Christmas Pud and Christmas Cake as I don’t really like either that much.

5) Write to Santa

Instead of writing your present wish list, instead write out your goals for the holiday period. It might be to maintain weight, exercise a certain number of times, consume 5 portions of fruit and vegetables each day to balance off the festive goodies, or even to set a realistic goal for weight gain, whatever works for you.

However you choose to do it, may your days be merry and bright….and balanced of course.