Read time: 6 minute read

With Christmas just a few short days away, I wanted to share how I navigate, and encourage my clients to get through the Christmas and New Year period, without derailing all of their hard work.

This is, assuming you have been working hard this year on your health and/or body goals! If not, then maybe you can use this as a strategy for next year, when you are slaying your goals 😉

Let’s start with the first tip; 

1. Try to keep your food ‘cleaner’ in between events

This just means, when not at a Christmas lunch, family dinner or new years eve party, eat as healthy as you can. Keep your carbohydrates and processed foods lower, stick to a high-protein, healthy fat diet with loads of fruit and vegetables.

The reason for this is to compensate, and allow room for indulgent days without ending feeling like a blown-up whale (which I know we all have done in the past!). Resist the urge to graze in between meals and events, but absolutely do allow yourself to enjoy celebratory foods and drinks when the occasion arrives.

2. Do not attempt to stay in a calorie deficit

Most people will tell me that they ‘can totally diet over christmas’, that it’s ‘just one day’ and the rest will be fine. This is fine and all, but unless you have a serious reason to stay on track, like, you’re competing in a bodybuilding competition in March, there is really no chance of navigating this time of year without derailing.

All good diets and health transformation goals require a break here and there, and all transformations require you learning how to adjust to life with events, setbacks, and roadblocks. The best way to approach them is to actively approach one with your awareness in check.

This means, you try to stay on track with maintenance calories, but you do not try to diet. And, you take Christmas day off. And New Years Day, if this is a celebratory event for you.

So get out of the deficit, and take this period of time as a time to learn to accept that some days are going to be out of your control, and that diet breaks are actually really healthy mentally, emotionally, and physically.

Keep exercising as you normally would, or replace your exercise with an equivalent activity such as switching gym sessions for beach walks, or HIIT training for yoga, something along those lines. So you are keeping the body moving, but you aren’t pressuring yourself to do exactly what your usual routine dictates for you to do. 

3. Limit the alcohol

This is one of the main reasons why people feel like rubbish over the Christmas period. Drinking too much is a depressant, can damage the intestinal lining, and disrupts sleep. These are very real downsides of drinking alcohol that overpower it’s ‘antioxidant’ effects.

Feeling the pressure to drink from friends/family? If they’re the kind of people to drink what you consider to be ‘too much’, then my tip is to get a drink when first offered, then just sip on it throughout the night. After a few drinks no one will notice if you’re drinking or not, and the next morning you can wake up and exercise, or make a healthy breakfast, rather than feeling like you’ve been hit by a truck like the rest of your family/friends.

I mean, why is it that we ‘celebrate’ holidays by drinking ourselves silly and binging on junk food? When did ‘celebration’ lead to self-punishment?

4. Change your mindset – think of it as the last chance you have to relax before beginning a brand new, killer year

Do you want to start the new year feeling completely overwhelmed and off track? Chances are that no, you don’t! If over-eating and consuming tonnes of alcohol is how you feel good, then this doesn’t really apply to you, but I don’t remember the last person who said to me that they thoroughly enjoyed the fact that they ate and drank until they felt sick

It’s also hard to get things back on track after a rogue couple of weeks, especially if you started your holiday season on December 1st (I know some of you did! Lol).

So many of us whine all year about being stressed out, overworked, sad about not being able to travel, we have symptoms that we aren’t getting on top of. It makes no sense to get the only break you will have this year and use it to dump junk into an already overworked, over-stressed body right before it goes back into normal life overdrive again.

So, relax, allow your body the time to lower stress levels, physically, emotionally, mentally, so you can recuperate and feel refreshed come the new year!

5. Write down some goals for the holiday period and keep them handy

Keep a list on your phone, or find a quote that represents an ideal holiday period for you. Is it putting your feet up? Set yourself up for an amazing new year? Reading a book? Connecting with your children and extended family? Finding time for meditation, exercise, or hiking? What is it you would ideally like to do for the break?

Setting intentions early on can really start to get the ball rolling here!

6. Implement one of your new year’s resolutions early

This is a hack in a way, to get you out of the mindset of going rogue for two weeks and then trying to reel it in to get the year started right. All you do is, get one of your new year’s resolutions, and action it right away.

For me, I want to reduce my caffeine consumption next year, so I have already, as of the 18th December, started the process of doing that, going from 350mg/day to 250mg/day. I already feel better and by the time the 1st January comes around, I should be up to 0-100mg/day (the maximum I want to be consuming from this point forward).

This is a goal I can maintain over the holiday period and it will also set me up to hit the ground running when January 1st comes around.

So, those are my top tips for making the most out of this christmas/new year period.

Let me know if you plan on trying any of them in particular!

Jen x






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