Don’t Stress it, it’s Christmas. Top tips for a healthy holiday season.

I can not tell you how many people I have spoken to in the last few days who are stressing about weight gain over Christmas, it has been so many!

Stressing to the point that they are finding it hard to enjoy what they are doing, feeling guilty for having a mince pie with friends or enjoying themselves at their staff Christmas meal!


Don’t stress it, it’s Christmas.

Your focus and attention should be on having fun and time with the people who you love. Life can be so busy that these opportunities are rare and at times the only time you spend with some people is Christmas so you should enjoy that, be thankful for the time you are sharing and the happiness it brings.

Do not allow the worries of the Christmas season pounds wear you down!

xmaas1team-1860942791-1512818535947.jpgSo if you come into our health club now you will NOT have your measurements done! In fact, the tape measures have now adorned the tree so you can not have them!

Stressing will only cause more weight gain!

When you are feeling stressed, and let’s face it Christmas is well know for the stress that many people feel with the increased social calendar, maybe the kids plays, parties, mufti days, trips, not to mention the family visits, the friends who come round, the presents, the wrapping, the planning etc. December can be a time of stress for many. 

When your body and mind feel stressed your stress hormone levels rise and this can lead to increase in fat deposits!

It’s wise to exercise!

So given the stress element of December exercise really is your best friend not only because it will help to maintain your waistline and counter some of the Christmas goodies but also because exercise is such an amazing stress reliever and a fantastic way to maintain a healthy mind!

Now that does not necessarily need to be the gym, but by all means come on down and join on of the classes or enjoy a functional circuit or motorised session, in fact if you live near our health club in Plympton and want to try us before the new year then you can request a FREE Guest membership HERE. But when time is limited and you have many other demands why not try some of these:

  • Meet your friend a walks distance from the coffee shop you are planning to visit rather than parking nearby. That way you get a little stress relieving and calorie burning walk in before you take a seat and enjoy the stress relieving social time!
  • Plan a winter walk! There is nothing quite like enjoying a walk on a cold winters day, wrap up warm and head somewhere beautiful. Lots of people say they will do this over the holiday period but don’t get round to doing it so make it a date, plan the when, where and who and go for it. Just watch out for mother nature and be prepared.
  • Ice skate! Winter sees temporary rinks pop up all over the place so why not head on out for an hour on the ice. We personally love the Ice rink at the Eden Project and you will certainly find us combining the hours and hours of amazing walks in the grounds of Eden, skating and then warming up in the rain forest biome this holiday season!
Image: Eden Project

And then there is the stress, guilt, worries and panic over holiday weight gain!

Take 10! This is about being mindful and thankful. Giving yourself the chance to say thanks. Be kind to yourself and recognise the good you are doing. Take just 10 minutes to focus on the breath, slow and steady and be kind to yourself, let your worries go and relax.

Be mindful of the things you say to yourself this Christmas too!

Instead of saying to yourself:

I am putting on so much weight, I have had mince pies, and ate some of the chocolates at work and missed one of my gym sessions this week. 

Change it to

I feel really good that I managed to come to my fitness class this evening and am making my body stronger


It feels nice to get out of the office at lunchtime for a brisk walk, I feel energised and invigorated

Instead of the terrible guilt trips we put ourselves under, I know I can do it to myself at times!

I am so disgusting, I am so fat. I ate loads at the Christmas party


Look at ‘THAT’ (said whilst looking at self in mirror)

Try taking a moment to recognise the good you have done

I feel really calm and happy after taking 10 minutes to focus on deep breathing

I am thankful for the beautiful veggies that have nourished my body

The walk I took with my friend is helping me to stay healthy and I am thankful for a healthy body


And for those who are seeking a little tip or two just to fight the Christmas weight gain (which by the way averages between 6-12lb so don’t freak out in Jan it can be fixed) then here are my top 5 tips!

  1. Plan exercise – you are going to be busy so find 3 times a week for 30 minutes to workout, walk, classes, a quick gym session or an online workout. Just do it!
  2. Up the veggies – fill your plate with the green stuff, its a simple way to enjoy a delicious Christmas meal without over loading on the calorie and fat heavy items that come out at Christmas time
  3. Plan your choices early! If you lack will power and are really struggling with the increase in your social calendar or coffee dates, evening drinks and extra meals out plan in advance. If you know where you will be going take a peak at the menu in advance and know what you are choosing. It is far easier to pick the healthier option in advance rather than going with the flow or responding to being hungry in the moment.
  4. Ditch the XXXX. If you know your Christmas downfall is mince pies or the chocolate tin, or the Christmas cake or salted nuts then avoid it! Go for one Christmas season without that one thing this year. And by Christmas day if you are really really missing it then do have it, enjoy and savor it. But only for one day!
  5. Have a date to get back to the Gym in January, book a session now with your coach or trainer for the new year and stick to it. Often its not just the Christmas season that is the problem its the fact that we don’t get back to a normal routine quick enough in the new year and then the bad habits continue and are so much harder to break.

And final bonus ready for January!

Avoid the quick fixes!

I know it is so tempting to believe that the latest celebrity diet and video combo (to which they have of course earned a pretty penny and had everything prepped for them, a personal trainer every step of the way, not had to work a 9-5, sort the kids and family etc for the most part and if we paid for what they had to get the body they achieved it would costs thousands in trainer and chef fees) or the latest fad diet or super pill will melt away all the Christmas pounds but be realistic. If you have taken 4 years to get to your current dress size it will not be gone by next Tuesday no matter what the advertising says! So please please do not waste your time and money.

Think healthy eating, regular exercise at least 3 times a week for long term results from consistent effort!



3 Replies to “Don’t Stress it, it’s Christmas. Top tips for a healthy holiday season.”

  1. This was a great read and certainly puts things into perspective…. I will have a great Christmas with family and friends and not punish myself if I over indulge once or twice thanks guys xx

  2. Everything you teach is about finding balance. It’s the reason I use this gym- because mince pies WILL happen, and extra pigs in blankets WILL happen. But knowing that putting time aside to enjoy these things is all balanced by putting time into my fitness routine completely relieves any sense of guilt. Food tastes good, and exercise feels great – so I plan to enjoy both over the festive period!

  3. Thank you it put things in perspective for me and reminded me it’s ok to relax and enjoy Xmas with friends and family XX see you in the new year

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