With the festive season in full swing, Christmas parties and catch ups can spell disaster for our health.  This time of year is often filled with boozy get-togethers, “special occasion” foods and a tendency to fall out of our regular exercise routine.

If you want to end 2018 on a high and enter 2019 with some positive momentum here’s a few tips we’ve put together to help you not only survive the silly season, but thrive in it!

  1. Drink lots of water

The weather is heating up so make sure you take a water bottle with you everywhere you go.  Sipping on water all day helps keep your hands busy and your tummy full. Often the body tricks us into thinking we are hungry when actually our bodies are thirsty

2. Make better alcohol choices

Choose drinks with a lower calorie count such as mixing spirits with soda and not soft drink.  Drinks such as the old-school shandy can be a better choice as they are only the alcohol content

3. Don’t binge drink

Take it slowly! We can often guzzle drinks but remember to enjoy every sip

4. Diarise your exercise

Just like you wouldn’t miss an important meeting or social event, block out time in your diary for exercise

5. Enlist the help of a friend

Studies have shown that when we are accountable to someone we are more likely to follow through.  So organise a walk or jog with a friend – chances are you’ll stick to your exercise routine

6. Take part in a December (or January!) health or fitness challenge

There are gyms around such as F45 Pakenham that offer challenges at different times of the year to keep your motivation up.  There are lots of online fitness and healthy eating programs that can also keep you accountable.

7. Assist with organising your Christmas party

If there’s a Christmas party at your work, get involved so you can have some control over the activity and the menu.  Same with your family Christmas…. Offer to bring a healthy snack, salad or meal so you’re guaranteed a healthy alternative

8. Find incidental ways to move your body

With daylight savings, there’s a lot more time to get outside of an evening.  Playing chasey with the kids in the back yard, or having a game of 1:1 basketball can elevate your heart rate and get your metabolism burning through calories

9. Don’t over eat

Many Christmas events have finger food and this can be a trap.  Often we don’t know exactly how much we’re consuming if it’s not laid out on a plate.  So get organised and eat before you go to an event, or grab a plateful and commit to only eating the food on it

10. Choose wisely at the buffet

Make wise choices when filling your plate.  A good rule of thumb is to cover half your plate with salad, another quarter with meat and the other quarter with green veggies.  Try to avoid carbohydrate dense foods like potatoes and pasta.

Hopefully you find this list helpful and you thrive, not just survive, this silly season.

Merry Christmas and stay safe everyone!