How to manage Christmas in 14 easy steps!

Healthy is the New Skinny

Tis the season to be jolly is it not? So that means lots of social gatherings with friends & family, toasting to all things festive, possibly lounging around on the sofa nursing a hangover, eating out, eating in, eating everything…chocolate for breakfast, mince pies for lunch and turkey roast dinners for days!


The trouble with Christmas is that quite often we feel that we need to make the most of the festivities, and focus as food as part of the fun. Of course it is a big part, but there’s indulging and then there’s bingeing just because “we can”.


I’ve done it…picked at chocolate all of Christmas day and then can’t be bothered to eat anything remotely healthy. My Christmas dinner ends up being more about the roast potatoes and stuffing than the lean turkey and vegetables. And unless I get myself back in the gym, I continue with this vicious cycle of eating rubbish because that’s what I’m now craving. I’m sure a lot of you can relate.


Christmas is of course a time of year to kick back, have some fun and indulge but here are some tips to try to help you stay a little more in control of yourself and your body over this festive period:


  1. Focus on the fun of Christmas, rather than the food! When you let food become the main focus of the festivities, over-indulging becomes too easy!
  2. Don’t feel like you need to eat and drink as much as you can just because by a certain date you will need to reign it in and it will no longer be “okay” to do so. You can still enjoy mince pies and mulled wine in June if you really want to. If you already live with a fairly balanced approach to your nutrition, you will find the balance a lot easier than someone who restricts themselves week on week..
  3. Choose what to indulge in and what to skip. You don’t need to eat everything that is offered to you just because it’s Christmas!
  4. Try to stick to 3 main meals each day, most importantly kicking the day off with a healthy breakfast. Aim for quality protein, healthy fats and veg…smoked salmon, scrambled eggs & grilled asparagus is ideal for breakfast and will keep you satisfied for a good while. Make sure you do the same at lunch and dinner. Save the sweet stuff for afters. Guaranteed you won’t be able to eat as much of the treats than you would if you started off your day with croissants smothered in Nutella! Yes I’ve been guilty of that and if that’s what you want to do Christmas Day, then go ahead. What I’m saying is try not to make it an everyday thing over Christmas.
  5. Eat the good stuff first…eat your protein and vegetables before you dive into the roast potatoes, stuffing and Yorkshire pudding!
  6. After Christmas Day is over with, get out of the mindset that you will start to be good again tomorrow, or the next day, or in January. The more you convince yourself that it’s just another day of indulgence and you can turn it around soon, the worse you will feel and the more damage you are likely to do. I’m sure you don’t want to spend the first months of the new year feeling miserable because the festivities are over but also because your favourite jeans no longer fit.
  7. Stay active. Start your day with a walk. Schedule some time to hit the gym over the holidays. Yes it’s time to relax and spend time with loved ones but keeping active will help you make better food choices, and you will deserve more treats.
  8. Stock your fridge and freezer with healthy foods. You’re more likely to opt to eat these than waste good produce having to throw them away. If you have time pre-festivities, prepare some healthy meals that you can store in the freezer and can easily heat in the oven when you’re hungry, instead of dialing out for takeaway.
  9. Try not to drink on an empty stomach. By the time you’re hungry, you are more likely choose pizza over anything healthy.
  10. Don’t allow yourself to go hungry. It’s far easier to reach for those chocolates.
  11. Stay hydrated and drink plenty of water. Thirst can often be mistaken for hunger.
  12. Eat little and often, and don’t binge. Bingeing will just leave you feeling awful and sluggish, and then when it comes around to being remotely hungry again, you are more likely to eat bad and probably too much once again.
  13. Christmas isn’t about restriction but it shouldn’t be about being gluttonous either. Try to stick to the “80/20 rule” where 80% of the time you stick to good quality wholefoods, and the remaining 20% you can push the boat out.
  14. And the final piece of advice I have for you is…to enjoy yourself but not at the expense of your health and well-being, or prolonging those health & fitness goals you have your mind set on in 2016.

Why not join my StrongbeatsSkinny Fitness Challenge, starting on 4th January? Each week both myself and Kitti will have workout challenges for you to follow, nutrition & lifestyle tips, plus motivational mantras to see you through. You can download a basic Nutrition Guide from the homepage of my website to make sure you have everything you need to stay on track. And all this for free!!! Just follow us on Instagram: mirella_strongbeatsskinny / kitti_strongbeatsskinny or on Facebook via our StrongbeatsSkinny page.


Happy Holidays!


Mirella x