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By Admin | In Exercise and Nutrition Tips and Advice | on December 24, 2013

Christmas is a time for celebrating with family and friends, and one time where you feel like you can indulge in lots of scrummy food.

We have almost come to accept that we may put on a few pounds over Christmas.  So yes, like I said before it is perhaps the one time I will say enjoy all the yummy food.  However, I thought I’d write a post to show you how you can maybe do some damage limitation:


  1. Choose your favourite foods to eat, rather than just eating everything.  Whether you are doing the cooking, or you are being cooked for, you know generally what will be on the menu, so choose wisely.  What foods could perhaps do without and which foods are important to you.  Maybe you have to have a Yorkshire pudding, but you could do without the stuffing?
  2. Don’t tell people you are going to try and ‘eat healthily’.  Don’t bring attention to it.  People will feel that you are then not enjoying yourself or that they should feel guilty about what they are eating, or even be mean and try and encourage you to eat all the ‘bad’ things.  The ‘chef’ may also feel disappointed that you are not eating all they have provided, so just keep it low key and choose wisely.
  3. Fill you plate with vegetables.  Then have small amounts of your favourites.  Your plate will then still look full.
  4. You don’t have to say yes to everything.  You don’t have to pick at every chocolate box given to you at work, or pick at all the canapés left out if you are out somewhere.
  5. If you are cooking, try not to nibble throughout the day.
  6. If you are not cooking, offer to bring a dish, and make it a ‘healthy dish’.
  7. Obviously enjoy your favourite tipple, just don’t go over board.
  8. Get your exercise in still.  Take a walk on Boxing Day.  Go ice skating, or sledging.  Enjoy an early morning run.
  9. If you slip up once, you don’t have to then throw in the towel.  Move on, and make a better choice next time.  Don’t get into a slippery slope.

10. Control stress – to control stress or emotions people often eat.  Christmas can be a tiring and stressful time as well as a joyful time.  So, instead of using food as a comfort, use exercise or relaxation methods such as meditation and yoga to control this.


So then it is January and we all start thinking of New Years Resolutions.

“I’m going to exercise more”

“I’m going to give up chocolate”

“I’m going to only drink at the weekends”

“I’m going to get the bike out again”

“I’m going to go to the gym 3 times a week”


How many have said these things and then 2 -3 weeks down the line they have already broken their statement of intent.  Why are we so optimistic in December but then so disenchanted by the end of January?


Is it a lack of will power, discipline, or unrealistic expectations?

The habits we accrue over the course of years, or even decades, are not often undone in the course of a few days or weeks.  Can we expect to change our habits, without changing ourselves?  By just saying that you are going to do something is not necessarily enough.  If we desire to do something, we must desire to become something.  What do you want to become?  Who do you want to be?

“A person only changes when the pain of remaining the same is greater than the pain of changing”.

We may well set ourselves goals and targets to achieve, but some things may not always go the way we want them to go.  Things that are out of our control may happen.  It is how we respond and adapt to these changes and occurrences that will determine our likelihood of achieving our goals.  This is largely dependant on how we view ourselves.  The only thing we have control over in this world is ourselves.  Maybe ask yourself: “who do you see yourself being in 6 months time?”  Who we are is most accurately reflected in what we do.  What we do determines the results that ensue.


Think about the principle of ‘causality’ that Socrates wrote of.  For every effect (or result) we experience in our lives, it can be tracked back to a specific cause.  If we don’t like the effects in our lives more often than we do like the effects, the cause lie in the person we are and our mental map of the world.  Therefore, if we want to change the results in our lives, we can, if we set a different cause in motion.


A marathon runner will not smoke.   This is not because she is disciplined or has an iron clad determination not to, but simply because smoking does not fit into her self concept of what is important to her.  Who we think we are, and who we think we are not, will strongly influence what we do or will not do.

Training and abstinence from health eroding habits is probably just as natural to the marathon runner as overeating and smoking is to someone else.  Both habit patterns ensue from the person’s self-image.

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Personal Training and Fitness Coaching