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It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

So they say anyway…

If you’re trying to be ‘on it’ with your health and fitness it also happens to be the most challenging time of year.

With work socials, chocolates literally everywhere you look and it being a natural time of year to catch up with friends over a drink or three it’s no wonder most people end up gaining a few lbs over the festive period.

So how do you make it less stressful?

For me the answer comes down to clarity of intent.

It’s easy to get caught up in the hype but I would strongly advise you to just take 10 minutes and sit down and think about the upcoming couple of weeks.

Think about what your ultimate goal is.

There’s no right or wrong answer here and it can range from ‘I’m going to be totally on it throughout’ to ‘screw it im going to cut loose and I’ll make it up in January’. Or something in between where you’re going to exercise a little self restraint but allow yourself moments of indulgence.

Once you’ve made your choice you can look ahead and see what you have coming up that might provide a challenge and establish in advance how you’re going to handle it.

If you’re taking the ‘cut loose’ approach then this is super easy. Do whatever you want guilt free. You’ve already made that decision, you know the consequences and you know you’ll need to put a little extra work in January to make up for it.

If you’re taking a more moderate approach then look ahead and see when you’re going on that night out with friends and then decide how you’re going to handle it. Going to indulge? Great! Do it guilt free because you’ve already decided in advance to do that and also that you’ve been more restrained on other days.

Going to go out but stay restrained? Also great! Look ahead and decide what you’re going to eat in advance so you don’t get caught up in the moment and end up ordering the Camembert to start, the Mac and Cheese main and the cheesecake for dessert when you actually meant to order the steak and sweet potato fries and skip pudding.

There are no wrong or right answers here, the point is just take a bit of time to decide how YOU want to approach the next couple of weeks and plan accordingly.

Once you’ve established clarity on what you’re going to do the stress is taken out of the decision making.

Whatever you decide to do and end up doing, enjoy and have a fantastic Christmas!