The festive season is upon us, which means Christmas parties, big family dinners, cookies at the office, chocolates in your stockings, and lots of mulled wine and minced pies. We tend to let loose over Christmas and New Year, and although gaining a pound isn’t the end of the world for most of us, research shows that not that many people manage to lose what they gain over the holidays, which makes it more of a problem.


If you’re conscious of the fact that your will power is on the low side at the moment and you’re scared of falling into the holiday eating trap, here are a few tips and tricks that will help you stay on track.


  1. Allow yourself some treats, but don’t go overboard.


We’ve said this before, but the key is to try and avoid eating too much. So have one minced pie, not two. Another trick is to wait for 10 or 15 minutes before helping yourself to seconds or dessert because it takes that long for your body to tell your brain that it’s full.


  1. Don’t completely neglect exercise


Just because the gym isn’t open on Christmas day (and let’s face it, who wants to go to the gym on Christmas day?!) doesn’t mean we should just shut down and not do any exercise for a whole week. Take a pair of trainers with you, go out for long walks or bike rides with the family. It all counts as exercise and leaves you with less time to pick at the leftovers.


  1. Allocate a couple of sober days


Drinking over the holiday season is pretty much inevitable for most of us and overindulging is part of the fun. So instead of cutting it out completely (since we all know how easy it is to drink a whole bottle of wine …which packs about 750 calories), mark out a few sober days in your calendar and stick to them. Most people agree that it’s easier to have no drinks than it is to have just a couple and then stop.


  1. Drink lots of water and eat lots of vegetables


Water and veggies are brilliant – and both completely essential for your body to function properly. Vegetables are low calorie and will fill you (and your plate) up nicely. Keep up your water intake (especially when boozing) by alternating with alcohol. It will keep down the calories and minimise the hangover!


  1. Engage in as many activities as possible


Play with the kids, walk the dogs, help with the cooking or setting the table or clearing up. Offer to go and do the shopping, dig out an old game of Twister or throw an informal Christmas disco. The possibilities are endless.


  1. Moderation is key


Have that slice of Christmas cake and a few glasses of wine here and there but be conscious of not going completely overboard. Try and focus on quality, rather than quantity. Eat foods that you otherwise wouldn’t, and savour them. Holidays are fun! It’s not worth stripping all of the joy out of them just because you’re afraid of putting on a little bit of weight. Don’t stress about eating either, because that won’t help, moderation is all part of a healthy lifestyle.


Happy holidays from the Racefully team!