study a few years ago proved people in England can gain anything from a 1kg to 5kg over this period. Nights out, parties, mince pies around the office, maybe a cheeky drink at lunch time, it is easy to get carried away and wait for January 1st to arrive. The issue is that by the time the New Year comes around you’ve put weight on, not exercised for the last 3 weeks and all in all feel pretty rubbish about your self. How many of you can relate to the big speech of ‘As soon as Christmas and New Year are out the way….” Now I know you want to stay in shape and avoid putting weight on don't you? Then you can feel and look good for all these parties you want to go to. So what if you binned that speech this year and took a more realistic approach. An approach that can be carried on in to the New Year if you choose and built in to a long term strategy designed to keep your weight under control to give you a body that you are happy and confident with? This approach is realistic and guaranteed to put you in a position where your normal January overhaul is no longer required. 1. Highlight Key Dates: - Highlight the days that cant be avoided. - Go through your calendar and pick out the days you know will be a full on booze party or food carnage. For example mine this year are: 16th December - My Birthday 18th December - Night out with friends 23rd December - Night out with friends 24th December - Christmas Eve 25th December Christmas Day 26th Boxing day 31st New years Eve I have 7 days this month which I know are going to be more food and drink than I would normally have. So now I have fully recognised that this is going to happen I can start to plan for it. 2. Pick Low Days :- Those 7 days are going to be higher in calories than normal. So the next thing I’m going to do is pick 7 days in the month where my calories are going to be very low. I define low for me as 1400. The purpose of this is to basically just offset those days where I have recognised will be higher through alcohol and food. My 1400 Calorie (low calories day) days will be 15th, 20th, 21st ,22nd, 27th, 28th and 30th December. The days in between will just be classed as ‘normal’ days for me (2500 calories). Straight away even though I have a month like yours which is probably way more social than normal, I have made a plan which has created balance and stopped me putting on weight that i don’t want. I now have 7 high days , 7 low days, and 17 days that will be classed as normal. Exercise As well as this you should plan to do some kind of exercise at least 3 times a week. With correct planning you should be able to easily find time for 30-60 minutes intense exercise. Circuits, Heavy weights or HIIT training are all options for you. With all the added sugar in alcohol and food the intensity of your exercise is really important. It’s the intensity that will ensure it’s the sugar that has been burnt off, and leave your metabolism elevated for longer. 3. Record Food:- Food diaries are key to any one trying to control their weight. I keep a food diary even though I pretty much know what I eat adds up to. I have done that for 10 years , all of my clients who are in control of their weight also do that. The reason is it is constant confirmation and feedback of what I am doing. With relation to your work if you never had any internal or external feedback how would you know if you were being successful? Wouldn’t it be great, that at the end of each day you knew specifically how accurate you were being with your food? Instead of leaving it to chance you knew exactly what the scales would say when you stepped on them. On those high days you wouldn’t be expected to record every drink you have but you can estimate. You can then increase your accuracy for the low and normal days to ensure your success. The best app for a food diary is called Myfitnesspal. You can scan or type your food in and it tells you everything you need to know about it, it really simplifies the whole process. Try this method of controlling your weight this Christmas and you will enter the New Year in near peak shape!