Even though it’s late November, the Christmas decorations are coming out of storage, and the holiday parties are just around the corner its important not to lose focus on your fitness!

December can be a challenging month as we all tend to lose motivation and abandon our regular training program’s in favour of fun and festivities. To a certain degree this is fine, but getting the balance is key!

When people stop training, they often start eating and drinking too much at the same time. This is a big part of why January everyone goes mad on exercise to try and burn off the excess! But is this necessary?
With a few established strategies and a bit of effort, it’s possible to maintain your health and fitness throughout this festive month, and maybe even see some progress, too.

Fitness should be a all year round constant effort and not a short-term effort fix! Some of the strategies included here can be adopted for the rest of your life, and they should help you to be in control of your weight, energy levels and overall health.

So here are my five tips for staying on track this December:

1. Take notes: One of the best ways to maintain accountability on a fitness and nutrition program is to keep a journal or log of your activities. Although it’s helpful to record your workouts, this is especially effective with your diet. Also monitor what you drink as their are a lot of empty calories in alcohol.

2. Partner up: Before the holiday season hits, find a training partner and set a schedule for exercising through December. Training together will give you that added motivation to push one another.

3. Substitute: I used to think that willpower was the answer to sticking with a nutrition plan, but more and more I rely on substitution as a successful strategy for myself. When you’re at a social function, make a conscious effort to substitute healthier food and drink for things that you know are usually your weaknesses. If you’re thirsty, try soda water with lemon instead of an alcoholic cocktail. Go for lean meats and veggies rather than sausage rolls and the cheese plate. If you need something sweet, try having a few pieces of fruit rather than traditional high-calorie baked treats.

4. Try a long winter nap: It’s pretty obvious that fatigue and exhaustion are bad for you. Many people run themselves ragged in December, working hard all week and then partying, socializing and shopping all weekend. Set a goal of having a nap at least once each weekend. When you’re tired or stressed it’s much harder to get motivated to exercise, and it’s a lot easier to break down and eat unhealthy food, or drink too much.

5. Test yourself: Before or at the beginning of December, weigh yourself and take a few body measurements. Establishing a baseline for your weight and shape is a good idea at any time.
It can help you be more aware of when you’re losing ground, and also give you a good standard for evaluating progress. Simple areas to measure would be waist, hip and thigh girth.

Follow these tips and january won’t be such a struggle to get back on track!!

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