Last Friday was the first day of December and, let’s face it, the official start of the Christmas / New Year period. And how did we celebrate the start of this? By eating a tiny little chocolate first thing in the morning, well at least I did (I can’t be the only 29 year whose mum still buys him an advent calendar?).

And this pretty much sums up the next 5 weeks. Chocolate, food, parties, alcohol, more chocolate, more food and most definitely more alcohol. Back to back parties, socials, family events, the big day itself, being ‘out out’ New Years Eve, massive meal New Years day – it’s excess at is finest.

Until we hit the 2nd January. Then boom suddenly we are back to Mr Fitness Goals. 2018 will be the year I smash all my PB’s, get jacked, get ripped, loose those few pounds, run that PR, nail that muscle up or shift that tin. Except fuck me that first workout was hard. I don’t remember being that slow, that heavy or that lethargic. Guess those few weeks of excess have a price to pay?

Now if like me you don’t want to give up on your fitness goals over the festive season and you want to stroll into the gym in the New Year with some of your hard earned gains still in tact there are a few simple tips you can utilise to keep on track:

The Obvious – Keep training! Just because it’s December doesn’t mean you cant still hit the box. We know its colder, the days are shorter and you just cant be fucked but you can still get there. The box is open as normal, the classes are running as normal and the coaches will be there to spur you on, as normal! Try to commit yourself to a certain number of sessions a week and come hell or high water stick to them!

If you can’t train (bullshit) then keep active – I don’t buy into the fact that people can’t get a workout in. I am equally as busy as everyone else and I still manage it, it just takes some minor planning and prioritising! But if you really, really, really can’t (be fucked to) train then keep active in other ways. Walk the dogs, park further away when shopping, use the stairs, play some family sports games (not fucking Wii Fit bollocks) and just move as much as you can.

Eat well when you can – There is nothing more annoying than when a dinner guest causes a fuss because your dinner party menu doesn’t fit their current diet regime. So, accept over this time that some meals will just be out of your control. However I guarantee you will still have the majority or breakfasts and lunches as part of your normal routine. Don’t completely jump off the wagon and try to keep these meals as healthy as possible. The ‘fuck it i’m eating shit tonight so may aswell eat shit all day’ approach is stupid and will catch you up, big time!

Don’t skip meals – carrying on from above I know lots of people who like to save their calories. This is literally the most ridiculous concept ever which not only doesn’t work but will most often backfire on you! If you stroll up to a buffet of delicious holiday treats ravenous because you’ve starved yourself all day you’ll most likely over indulge and pack more calories into one meal than you’d normally eat through an entire week. Eat a sensible meal at lunch and you’ll approach the unhealthy foods with your normal level of hunger which will prevent you from over eating!

Drink lots of water – not only will keeping hydrated help with those holiday hangovers but more often than not we mistake thirst for hunger. By keeping your hydration levels up you’ll most likely stop a few mince pies finding their way into your mouth!

Listen to your body – It’s incredibly easy to ignore your normal body signs over Christmas and keep piling the food in. Learn what your bodies hunger cues are and listen to them. That last yorkshire pudding might be nice, but is it necessary?

Pick wisely – This is mainly for the drinkers out there. Alcohol is packed with useless calories, literally useless! By picking certain drinks over others you can minimize the amount of these empty calories you consume. Fuck off too much larger or cider and focus on spirits. Have ice and a non-carbonated mixer and you’ll be making the best choice you can.

Enjoy it – this might all sound a bit sensible and unrealistic but I promise you it will pay off in January when you decide you want to be fit and strong willed again. All of the above isn’t a kill joy and it’s designed to help you keep on track so that when the moments of excess present themselves, you can enjoy them guilt free! There is nothing worse than feeling guilty about your nutritional choices. By following the above, you won’t need too!!!