Picture of Tarran Lee

Tarran Lee

Online Fitness Coach


Christmas is a wonderful time of year to connect and spend time with good company whilst enjoying great food and drinks. 

It can also be the most challenging time when it comes to staying on track with your health & fitness goals.

Between celebrations, festive food and busy schedules it can be easy to put your fitness and nutrition on the back burner and think ‘I’ll just start again in January’. 

But what if you had some tips you could put in place so you don’t undo the progress you’ve made or throw all your healthy habits out the door?

Here are some great tips to help you stay on track:

Adjust your Mindset

A lot of people throw in the towel as soon as the silly season rolls in, and seem to think that having some control over what they’re eating and drinking is impossible or too hard. Don’t sabotage your year long efforts. Approach this holiday season with a positive attitude. Yes, it is most likely that we will overindulge and consume more food than usual, but that doesn’t mean that a few days has to roll into a whole month. Christmas is also a time that people experience a lot of guilt about what they have eaten. It is important to remind yourself that a few meals will not make you unhealthy or gain weight, just like a few meals won’t miraculously make you healthy and lose weight. 

Have a Plan

Planning ahead is key to staying on track during the holidays. With so many social events and family gatherings, it’s important to plan and meal prep so you have healthy meals and snacks to eat between parties and events. Plan your workouts knowing you may have to adjust or shorten them depending on where you are and what’s available. Incorporate other ways to move more throughout the day such as beach walks with family or sports with friends.

Having a plan will make it easier to stay motivated and focused, and will help you to overcome any obstacles that arise.

Schedule your Workouts

Now you have a plan, to help ensure that you prioritise those workouts, schedule them in your phone calendar.

When our lives become busy it is often exercise which is the first thing we sacrifice. By scheduling a set time to walk, go to the gym or attend a class you help create a routine which you are more likely to stick to despite your busy schedule.  It may mean waking up a little earlier or squeezing in a shorter workout, but making it a priority will help you stay consistent and on track.

Be Accountable

I am a big believer in memories over macro’s during holidays as time with loved one’s is the most important gift. 

That being said, it doesn’t mean you need to lose sight of your goals or undo the great habits and results you’ve achieved thus far.

If you are currently tracking your macro’s, continuing to do so over the holiday period helps you pay attention to how much you are consuming – including alcohol! It is a great way to hold yourself accountable and keep track of your progress. You might even be surprised at how little small indulgences are effecting your weekly progress. If you’ve gone a little overboard, don’t try to starve yourself the next day to make up for it; your best bet is to let it go and get back on track with your daily goals. 

The best form of accountability is check-ins with your Coach. I encourage all my clients to keep up their weekly check-ins over the holiday period. It’s an important way to keep your mental health in check, discuss workout changes to adapt to your holidays and adjust your macros if needed to suit your goals at this time. Use you Coach to help you keep a positive mindset and work with you to stay on track like a boss!

Stay Hydrated

Proper hydration is often overlooked during the holidays, but it’s crucial for both your fitness goals and overall health. 

Hydration has a major effect on your energy levels and brain function, and can also increase satiety and boost your metabolism, which is very much needed for those days of feasting. Make it a habit to drink water throughout the day, and if you’re partaking in alcoholic beverages, be sure to alternate them with water to stay balanced to prevent dehydration.

Prioritise Protein

When you serve up your plate of goodies at parties/functions and on Christmas Day, which foods do you choose? Filling up your plate with lean protein sources and salads first is a great start. Protein makes you feel fuller for longer and can reduce hunger. By choosing protein and leafy greens, your body will be well fuelled and full enough that hopefully you won’t want to indulge in too many treats later on.

Enjoy Alcohol in Moderation

Alcohol is, unfortunately; empty calories! Which means they have no nutritional value and this can often be forgotten during the festive period. 

Not only does alcohol add unnecessary calories to your diet, but getting boozy has another effect on us, too. Drinking too much can make us lose our inhibitions around food and start eating irresponsibly. 

Try to be mindful about how many alcoholic drinks you are consuming, for example you could swap out every other drink with a non alcoholic alternative or low alcohol drink. Alcohol can also be quite dehydrating so try to have a glass of water in between drinks. 

Get enough Sleep

The holidays are a really busy (and tiring) time of the year so don’t put sleep on the back burner as your body still needs time to rest and recover.

Quality sleep should never be underestimated when you’re trying to reach your health and fitness goals. It is the foundation of maintaining energy, boosting your overall health, and adopting a positive mindset.

A poor nights sleep can lead to low energy levels, lack of motivation and willpower which can contribute to poor food choices and overeating. A great nights sleep gives us enough energy to tackle our busy lives and help you wake up feeling refreshed and motivated for the day ahead.

Most importantly….Have Fun!

I hope that these tips help you navigate this holiday season feeling confident in being able to find the balance of enjoying your Christmas festivities and holidays whilst staying on track with your health and fitness goals. This will help ensure you will be starting the new year feeling good and ready to sleigh!

Wishing you and your loved ones a happy and healthy festive season!

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