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Top tips to enjoy Christmas but ensure it doesn't set you too far backwards

With so many temptations around it’s difficult to keep your fitness goals in mind, writes David Last.
Dec 19th 2016, 12:53 PM 5,182 1

THE FESTIVE SEASON has kicked in, the trees are up, lights are on and Christmas FM is on the go.

You may have found yourself on a good run with your nutrition and training and perhaps feel you are well on top of your health and lifestyle goals.

But this is the time of the year when plenty of distractions can come into play — Christmas parties, late nights, alcohol, good food and lots of happy times with family and friends. All the good stuff.

Of course, the priority should be to enjoy the festive season with good food and drink, taking time to switch off and mostly spending quality time with family and friends.

But that doesn’t mean you should treat December as a write-off when it comes to looking after your health, fitness or lifestyle goals and wait for a clean slate in January.

Some of you spend enough time training all year round and now shouldn’t be the time to let that hard work go to waste.

Here are my top tips on how to keep the Christmas holidays relatively healthy so you won’t feel like you’re starting all over again in 2017.

Control the controllable and don’t go overboard

This is easier said than done for most but it is important.

There are going to be parties and get-togethers almost every night over the festive break for many. And for most Irish people social gatherings tend to involve alcohol.

Now is the time of the year where you should enjoy yourself but pick and choose the gatherings you go to — you don’t need to be attending every social event.

If you do find yourself drinking a lot my goal is to go with the drink you truly enjoy for one or two and then keep it in moderation.

On top of that, try keep to clearer spirits, avoiding sweet mixers and too many dark beers.

Simple tips that we all should know are also very helpful. Eating a well-balanced meal with carbs, proteins and fats before your night out, and drinking plenty of water on the day and in between drinks, will always help you out.

Get out and keep active when you can

Many of us spend a lot of the time watching TV, sports, box-sets or Netflix at this time of year.

What I suggest is to leave some time to get out and walk, run, stretch or even get a home workout in.

You don’t need to do this every day or stick to your usual exercise routine you had going in November but aim to try move, stretch or get a little sweat on a few times over the festivities.

Below I have put together a really basic home workout where you need little to no equipment. It’s perfect for getting a light sweat on and some basic movement done while topping up your mobility/core work.

Source: David Last/YouTube

80/20…75/25…or maybe 70/30

I have talked about having a realistic approach when it comes to nutrition.

In a previous article I mentioned eating good quality food 80% of the time and leaving 20% over for the foods that perhaps tend to be that be higher in sugar, carbs, calories and so on.


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Let yourself a little loose at this time of the year and go with a 70/30 approach as realistically there is going to be far more nice food around. Enjoy it but just don’t go overboard.


I’d like to finish this short article by wishing you a very happy Christmas.

I appreciate you reading my blog and taking an interest in my content and I look forward to continuing to help you out with advice in 2017.

I hope you’ve found this information useful and if you need any more advice you can pop me a direct message from the links below.

You can also get more advice on my social media pages, which are also linked below.

David Last is a personal trainer based in Dublin. For more information you can follow him on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Or you can send him a direct message here.

You can also see some of his previous articles here.

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