I’ve seen a lot of posts online recently ( I should note they have been some really helpful posts too – see @cartergood for example), that are entitled “How to survive the holidays.” I assume the posts are referring to the US thanksgiving holidays which are a big deal in the states but basically they go through what you shouldn’t be doing – don’t have that 2nd helping of pudding after your turkey dinner, don’t drink beer, don’t have chocolate for breakfast …. List goes on.

Here’s my take on it.

The Christmas holidays and everything that goes with it (the office parties, seeing friends and family for the first time in a year, eating until you can’t move and watching Elf for the 3rd time on TV) should be about one thing – enjoying yourself. The last thing you want to be doing is worrying about eating that desert or what type of beer has 10 calories less than the other. Enjoy yourself and have fun, remember that January comes round pretty damn quickly!

Here’s the good part – there are things you can do that will help make festivities seem a little less harsh once they’re over. None of these things should make any real impact on you enjoying yourself either!

  • Drink plenty of water – aim for 3 Litres!
  • If you know you are having a heavy session on the drink or eating out – be smart about your meals before. Prioritise protein and veggies
  • Think of the extra calories as a way to boost your next strength workout which you will now have the energy to absolutely destroy!
  • Go for walks with the family – great way to spend time but also allows you to move about!
  • Body-weight exercises are a great way to help you to keep active over the Christmas period – no need to hit the gym, simply bang out 3 rounds of 20 squats/press ups/jumping jacks/sit ups (20 seconds rest between each exercise and 2 mins rest between each round)
  • If you do have a huuuuuuuge night on it (Alan from the hangover style) do not beat yourself up about it. Simply be mindful of the next meal – watch the portions, make sure you have protein there and don’t skip the veggies!

If you have specific fitness goals that you want to maintain then the above still apply. If you are dieting and are therefore in a calorie deficit consider relaxing this for next month so you can enjoy the holidays. Spending time with your family is more important than weighing out food or worrying whether that glass of wine has sent your macros spinning out of control.

Enjoy the holidays!