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The holiday season has almost arrived, even though you may not have noticed! But how do you stick to your diet and make the most of a time when it's all about socialising and relaxing a little?

What? It’s already December?

We know that some of you aren’t able to believe it, but yes, the festive season is here, Christmas presents have been bought at a rapid (and sometimes rabid) pace over the Black Friday weekend and now we find ourselves in that awkward space between planning for having your entire extended family over and still trying to remain focused on work, yourself, and life in general.

For many of us, when we exist in that liminal space between holiday and work, it’s easy to lose sight of the goals that we’ve set ourselves throughout the year because we only want to be focused on a few small things that need to be done, and nothing is.

The thing is…

Losing your focus on letting your training and diet fall a little bit away is counterproductive to what you have worked so hard all year to achieve.

We’re sure that this year has been a bit of a slog, it always is, but hey look at you you’ve made it and there’s no reason to stop now when you’ve got a month left before you’ll find yourself chilling by the beach or away somewhere with only the people most important to you for some well-earned RnR. But that time hasn’t arrived just yet.

One of the main pitfalls of being in the festive period is that you’ll be inundated with invitations to go out and eat good food, drink a little more alcohol than usual and basically ride the wave of an extended cheat day (month).

There’s nothing wrong with socialising, it’s imperative that all of us do get at least some human interaction with a focus on loosening your inhibitions during the festive period, but how do you strike that perfect balance when you also want to stay fit and show off the body you’ve worked so hard all year to craft?

Don’t Stay Out Too Late, Too Often

While socialising is definitely fun, things can get into a bit of a tailspin during the festive period. Remember to keep in mind that you probably have to be up earlier than usual in the morning and with late nights come no responsibilities or urge to do just that.

Your training days will suffer from too many late nights out because you’ll often find yourself too lethargic while training, preventing you from progressing, or too lazy to even get up from the comfort of your bed. Your diet might potentially take a hit as well. Drinking too much alcohol is not only bad for your health, but increases your likelihood of weight gain and let’s not even speak about those 2am fast food decisions that we’ve all made before.

Everything in moderation…

We’re not telling you to not have fun, but we are reminding you that there’s always another party that’s going to be happening just around the corner, so you can afford to take a few breaks in between.

Make Exercise Fun

You may find that you have more time on your hands to relax during the festive season, but this doesn’t have to mean doing nothing all day. Yes, we all need time to take a step back and have some alone time where you simply switch off, but you can transform your exercise regime into this as well.

How?

Well, maybe you gym regularly, 4-7 times a week, but it’s important that during the holidays you also get a bit out of your routine and change things up so that you can come back fresher the next time round.

Choosing running outdoors and taking adventures like hiking and exploring are good ways to stay active while not actively being in a training mindset. You can also take the time to get your friends together and compete in sports such as indoor football or netball, or anything else that tickles your fancy.

Training and exercise has and always will be diverse and unique and adding that variety into your lifestyle while you’re feeling festive will help you to mentally prepare for the routine of work, diet, and gym that is probably going to come up after you make your New Year’s resolutions.

Learn How To Cook

This is something that is stressed throughout the year, but is mainly focused on efficiency and meal preparation. During the festive season you don’t want to have to labour over preparing meals just like you’ve done throughout the year, so why not change it up?

There are so many food options, even ones that may seem unhealthy on the face of it, that you can turn into delicious meals by simply doing a quick search online and replicating what it says, while adding a bit of your personality in there as well.

Turkey doesn’t have to be stuffed and full of calories and can still taste amazing, and the same goes for any other food or meal. You’ll also discover new foods that you maybe weren’t aware of, or offhandedly decided that you didn’t like because they weren’t prepared right.

With so much time on your hands and vibrancy in the air, there shouldn’t be anything stopping you.

Pick Your Battles

You may be staring dead straight down the barrel of a triple chocolate cake or mountains of heavy side dishes that smell so good your mouth has started watering before you even notice, but remember that that’s just your body talking and that you are in control. 

Making good food choices is not difficult, it’s something you’ve been doing all year and although you’ve probably eliminating most of these foods from your diet and your home; chances are that you won’t always have the luxury of being there 24/7.

This doesn’t mean that you should be strict on yourself, but focusing on lean protein, vegetable sides and limiting the amount of courses you have are good ways to go about eating correctly without looking impolite. We all have those friends who scoff at our eating choices because we’re “healthy” and you can even show them that being “healthy” isn’t about starving yourself or eating like a bird, but just being selective in what you choose.

The festive season is a time where you are meant to have fun, but keep in mind that it is going to be harder to maintain the body that you’ve achieved throughout the year if you just let loose and go wild during the holidays.

Enjoy yourself and stay safe!

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