We all deserve to enjoy the festivities of December, relax, let go a bit and have joy in some indulgences.

What’s even better is to do this without getting exhausted and reaching January in body that feels heavier, bloated and sluggish.

This month it’s likely you’ll have more to do than normal and your daily routine is likely to change for part of December too. It’s also likely that your eating and drinking habits are going to be different this month.

With a few simple strategies it’s possible to get everything done in a state of ease and enjoy the Christmas indulgences without  acquiring the extra bulges and feeling exhausted by it all.

The first thing to be aware of  is your superpower of slowing yourself down when the momentum of the month speeds up.

Slowing down is a practice which allows us to get things done quicker and easier because we approach tasks in a more focused way. This saves us time as we don’t get pulled into an overthinking mind and start rushing about which eats our energy and makes us less productive, more stressed and forgetful.

Slowing down preserves our energy to enjoy the fun and the magical, plus we’re more likely to keep up with our other wellness habits better because we still have time and energy left for them.

Slowing down can be as simple as taking ten deep conscious breaths a few times a day (between 5 and 10 times). It’s just a case of remembering to do it. Set a timer on your phone a few times a day to remind you to just stop and breath. Take those pauses to reset yourself.

EXERCISE TIPS To reduce the effects of eating more and exercising less a short HIIT Workout works wonders. All you need  is fifteen minutes of the right kind of exercise, which will continue to burn energy/fat even after you’ve finished the workout. This will also maintain your fitness levels and clear your mind of cluttered thoughts.

All it takes is a set of body weight exercises, performed in a cardio manner and a 30 second timer. Some examples are press ups, mountain climbers, squats, lunges, high knee jogs. Do as many as you can in 30 seconds. You just do the best you’re capable of doing at your best which will be enough. I highly recommend a plank in your HIIT, which can be done on your knees and is the most magnificent exercise that targets many different muscles.

Another way to keep your fitness levels up at Christmas and get rid of Christmas cabin fever, is to go out for a brisk walk or run. You can make a walk a good workout by changing up your pace to faster, slower, deeper steps and using your arms.

FOOD INDULGENCE TIPS: After a few days of extra food indulgence, a simple intermittent fast works well. Fasting for between 12/16 hours resets your hunger hormones, it puts your body into a good fat burning state and improves your energy levels. This can be done overnight when you’re asleep and it’s as simple as not eating after a certain time that suits you, then having your first meal of the day a little later.

Having the odd low carb day can make you feel better too when you feel heavy and bloated. You can keep this simple just by cutting down on the obvious ones for a day, such as potatoes, stuffing, bready food, and eat more protein and veg instead for a day.

Mindful eating is a magnificent tool to use, as slowing down your eating means you’ll taste and appreciate your Christmas food more. This also makes you feel fuller quicker so you’re less likely to overeat.

ALCOHOL : Many of us drink more alcohol at Christmas, I know I used to. It’s worth noting that alcohol turns off fat burning at cellular level and it acts like a super carb in the body. It’s good fun at the time though it can also change our mood and how we function.

However, there are simple changes that can reduce these things and make a difference to how many empty calories are consumed when drinking alcohol.

Wines – Go for heart healthier red wines (Spanish). For white wines go for DRY as these are lower in carbs and sugar.

Beers and Lager – Go for low carb ones.

Mixers – Be very aware of what you mix your drinks with for example a tonic water can have up to 32grams of sugar in, where as Soda water has none.

Drink some water in between drinking alcoholic drinks.

Be mindful of your electrolytes which are the essential minerals in the body responsible for proper nerve and muscle function. When these become unbalanced through alcohol your hangovers are worse and cravings for carbs and sugar are increased. Eating something high in potassium before and after drinking is one thing that can help keep the electrolytes more balanced.

There are many simple things you can eat around drinking which help keep your electrolytes balanced and slow down the rate that you absorb alcohol.  I’ve made a Christmas alcohol guide that covers this. The guide also gives you some of the best brands of alcoholic drinks/mixers for consuming less additives, carbs and sugars. This is really useful if you like a drink at Christmas, yet you’re health conscious. You can get a copy HERE

You can have it all in December, the only thing that’s required is that you pace yourself accordingly and change things up a bit. Be creative in doing what you enjoy and reducing any after effects that you don’t enjoy.

I hope this is useful for you, it works for me every year.