Temptation is all around us during the holiday season. Work lunches, family get-togethers, dinner with friends. It’s a constant food (and drink) feast and often the strong willpower we have delivered throughout the year is weakened.

A handful of party nibbles here, an eliminated workout session there – before you know it you’ve taken on a surplus of fuel combined with unused energy. Fear not; it is possible to treat yourself without wrecking all the hard work you’ve put into your healthy lifestyle throughout the year.

Here are five top tips to enjoying the silly season without compromising your goals.

  1. Own it
    Set goals for the holiday season – they can be workout goals, healthy-eating goals and lifestyle goals. Write them down. Take time to focus on these daily. Goals encourage improvement, progression and optimism – and that’s what sets you up for success. Small wins are the secret to securing big-picture goals. This might mean committing to at least half an hour of exercise a day, swapping a mid-afternoon sweet treat for a handful of nuts or spending five minutes each morning with a positive meditation.
  1. Control your hunger
    Social events change eating routines. Attending social occasions with an empty stomach and eating at irregular times causes most people to eat and drink more than normal. The best plan of attack is to eat a snack before you go and you'll be less likely to overeat when you're at the party. If you do arrive hungry, drink some water to fill up before tucking into the food. Search out the protein-rich foods – meatballs, smoked salmon, seafood, chicken skewers. These foods will keep you feeling fuller for longer.
  1. Sweet temptation
    Try to avoid the dessert table. If you're going to a friend's party or an office potluck, consider bringing a sugar-free treat that you know you'll enjoy. Bringing your own dessert will make the more unhealthy alternatives less tempting.
  1. Make the next meal count
    Just because you binged at the buffet, don’t let one bad meal ruin your whole day of making healthy choices. Forget the phrase “I’ll try better tomorrow”. You can make your next meal count; you don’t have to wait until tomorrow.
  1. Keep moving
    Ensure you schedule time for exercise, even if it’s just a brisk walk. Not only will you burn calories and raise your metabolism (making you less likely to pile on the festive pounds) but you’ll feel more alert and motivated. Better still, encourage your family to move with you. If they’re new to exercise help them get started the smart way.

It’s important to have a great festive season, so trust yourself to make good decisions and enjoy a merry fitness.

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