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5 Tips to Survive This Christmas

Updated: Nov 5, 2021

It's that time of year again! The decorations are up, the presents are under the tree and the fridge is bursting with food! More often than not, people come back from the Christmas period a few pounds heavier thanks to overindulgence and lack of exercise. How can we avoid these pitfalls and set ourselves up for a successful 2020?

Double Up On Protein

It is easy to say “avoid sugar” or “don’t eat too much”. And while these are VERY important to avoid over-eating and subsequently gaining weight this Christmas, the reality is that in this country Christmas has almost become synonymous with over-indulgence. So, how can we trick ourselves into eating less?

One way we can do this is to have extra protein with your meals. Protein is said to be more satiating than carbohydrates and fat, though the evidence is inconclusive in this regard. With that being said, filling up on protein is a good idea when you know you are going to be eating a lot of food.

Filling your plate with mostly green vegetables is also a good way to avoid consuming too many calories. Green vegetables are often lower in calories than other foods you may consume this Christmas and are also important sources of minerals and vitamins.

Just take it easy on the sprouts for….obvious reasons.


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Don't Stress

Relax and unwind! Stress is your worst enemy when trying to get in shape. Cortisol - the hormone released when you are stressed - has many effects on the body; both positive and negative. While cortisol can help the body in times of acute stress - think ‘fight or flight’ - when it is chronically elevated it can have some pretty bad effects (1):

  • Weight gain

  • Diabetes

  • Immune system suppression

  • Gastrointestinal problems

  • Cardiovascular issues

  • Depression

  • Insomnia

So, to avoid stress, ensure you sleep well, make time to have fun with those you care about and stay active. This brings us to the next point.


Being active over the Christmas period is very important. Any prolonged physical activity helps you to burn more calories and walking outdoors is a great choice. Increasing the number of calories you burn is generally a good idea if you are going to increase the number of calories you consume.

Arguably, your most important meal of the day is the one straight after your workout or a hard period of exercise or activity. After exercise your body needs protein and carbohydrates to help replenish and rebuild and, luckily enough, most Christmas dinners are predominantly protein and carbohydrates! Turkey, potatoes, stuffing, vegetables and all the other trimmings give you a healthy dose of protein, carbohydrates and minerals and vitamins - exactly what you need after a workout. So, get outside and earn your Christmas dinner!