We all know that with December comes Christmas parties, family gatherings, barbecues and various other social events that fill our calendars and our bellies. It’s a wonderful time for having fun and catching up with friends, but not such a great time for our liver or our waistline.

I’m not here to be the fun police or to tell you that you can wave goodbye to Christmas cake, instead I’ve got some practical advice to help you stay on the rails this Chrissy.

1. Breaking even this time of the year is a success.

If you are able to sustain your weight and/or exercise routine during this time then this is a win. If you know you’re going to be having a few champers at the work Christmas party then make sure you get your workout done first thing and try to get in some incidental exercise where possible throughout the day. I always say that mornings are your best friend, so get that 28 minutes done before the day begins.

2. Set realistic goals, have realistic expectations and keep things in check.

The silly season might not be the best time to aim for your best loss yet. Don’t just come to the conclusion that December will be a write-off. Set realistic goals, have realistic expectations. Your goals might be about getting in a minimum number of workouts or limiting your alcohol consumption.

3. Not every occasion is a “special occasion’

I’ve said it before and I will say it again: Friday is not a special occasion. Neither is Saturday. We all like to treat ourselves on special occasions but with December typically being chock-full of events it might be time to pick and choose where you’re going to indulge and where you’re going to keep the treats to a minimum.

surviving-the-silly-season-01

4. Pick your poison

Champagne, mince pies, Christmas ham, I know, the festive season is delicious. Personally I like to pick one thing that I know I will savour and then choose to sacrifice another. So many of us operate with an “all or nothings’ mentality and this is what does us the most harm. You can have your Christmas cake and eat it too, but save the leftover ham for another day.

5. Don’t stop moving

You may be a little bit out of routine this time of year but that doesn’t mean your exercise needs to go out the window. Schedule in your workout or use this great time of the year as an excuse to exercise outdoors. A swim in the ocean, backyard cricket with the kids, going for a surf, in a beautiful country like ours the options are endless. At a time of year where you may not have the same structure as normal, it doesn’t hurt to shake things up.

6. BYO 28 Meals

I know that sometimes the meals you are served are out of your control. Where possible, why not bring a 28 approved meal or side dish to your next lunch or dinner?

Posted by Sam Wood

Father and husband, on a mission to help people move more, eat better and make a positive change. Sam Wood has over 18 years experience in the health and fitness industry, and is recognised as one of Australia’s leading experts and media commentators. He is also the founder and trainer at Australia’s number one online fitness and nutrition program, and owner of Australia’s largest personal training studio, The Woodshed.