It’s that time of year again; Christmas is upon us. It seems to come around quicker every year. The decorations are up, you’re ready to relax in front of the telly. It’s freezing cold outside but you’re nice and warm indoors. Bring on the sitcom Christmas specials, the chocolate, and the Baileys.

But you’ve also got a niggling feeling of dread as you consign yourself to the inevitable weight gain that always seems to accompany the festive season.

It doesn’t have to be that way. By making a few simple changes and having the right mindset, you can enjoy a wonderful Christmas without gaining weight. This could be the year where you don’t pile on those festive pounds. Here are our fat fighting festive tips to help you enjoy a fit and healthy Christmas.

1. Enjoy yourself

The number of calories you are burning may reduce when you break up from work so something needs to fill the gap. The best thing to do is just enjoy yourself by getting involved in as many things as possible. This could mean playing games with the kids, Christmas shopping, anything! You could even go ice-skating. Look for opportunities to get active and throw yourself into it. 

2. Choose the healthy option

This may sound obvious but it’s easy to forget, so exercise a bit of discipline and be aware of how many calories you’re consuming. If you’re going to have a drink – and let’s face it, most of us are – swap Baileys for gin. When it comes to dessert, choose low-fat cream. Take fruit over chocolate. In most situations, there will usually be a healthy option so give yourself a boost and take it.

3. Winter walks

Don’t be put off by the cold weather, a brisk walk in the winter can be really enjoyable and it’s a great way to burn calories and keep fit. If you’re a bit self-conscious about going running, then walking is an ideal substitute. The endorphins released during exercise make you feel great, so get wrapped up and get out there – head to the park, woodlands, or wherever takes your fancy. Set your own targets; walk for as long or as far as you want. You’ll get a tremendous feeling of achievement at the end of it, and the health benefits are priceless.

4. Don’t press the self-destruct button

When the mince pies have got you on the run, and the Yule log has you up against a wall, the important thing is not to press the self-destruct button. A little treat now and the is fine as it will increase motivation and prevent binging. But remember: keep things in moderation, just because you’ve opened that selection box it doesn’t mean that you have to eat it all RIGHT NOW.

5. Ask Santa for a Fitbit

There’s plenty of fitness gadgets like Fitbits on the market now and they’re fantastic for keeping fit and hitting weight loss targets. They measure a whole range data such as your heart rate, the number of steps you’ve walked, the number of calories you’ve burned and even the quality of your sleep. Drop some hints with your loved ones and it could be the best present you’ve ever had.

6. Be confident

Look back on the year at what you’ve achieved. If you’ve managed to hit your weight-loss goals or you’ve gone some way to reaching them, use this as motivation. Don’t go into the festive period with trepidation, go into it with confidence and purpose.

7. Don’t let it get you down

Even if you are facing weight gain in January, it’s not the end of the world – Christmas comes but once a year, after all. Instead, finish the year on a high – have a fantastic Christmas and look forward to a new year of self-improvement.  

What’s your approach to the festive period – are you going all out and taking the inevitable weight gain or are you trying to exercise some self-control in the hope that you maintain the weight loss you’ve been working towards all year? Let us know over on the forum.