Its the festive season. Time for work functions, lunches, dinner invites, drinks for work or with friends.

With so much socialising on our agendas, we're definitely entering a potential disaster zone for our bodies which we've worked so hard to shape this year. On average, a person will increase their weight by two to five kilograms over the festive season. Drinking an extra glass of wine, eating handfuls of party nibbles and eliminating a daily walk will produce a surplus 500 calories of unused energy. Keep that up for two weeks and that's a one-kilogram weight gain, yikes!

However, before we get too carried away with potential weight gain, there are steps you can take to take control of your eating and socialisng over the coming weeks. The key is awareness ie being aware of your goals beyond christmas will keep you focused on the enticement of party treats. The following points will be able to help you:
1. Take control . Hoping you won't put on weight over this period is not a defined goal . It's a vague "leave it to chance" approach. Be brave and weigh yourself now. Set yourself a post festive season goal weight. This will motivate you to maintain, lose or gain
weight over the Christmas/holiday period. When you are clear on your desired weight goal, you can then direct your actions, attitude and choices to achieve it.

2. The big picture. Where is your mind? Is it focusing on all the goodies you know you shouldn't be eating or is it excited by thoughts of a healthy, fit and toned body? Get clear on the motivating factors required to maintain balanced healthy habits. How can you get back on track when your focus is diverted?

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3. Set some rules. Set yourself a standard or rules you're going to live by over this period eg. I will consume no more than two drinks at a function; I don't eat party snacks; I walk 30-minutes daily, will give structure for remaining in control.

4. 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 in this situation is to eat a little snack before you go and you'll be less likely to overeat when you're at the party.

5. Stick to your routine.
The festive season is stressful and demands are placed on us from work and families to attend functions. This can cause us to sacrifice our self-care routines such as exercising, drinking water, eating fruit and getting adequate sleep.

It's not the odd heavy eating and drinking nights that cause weight gain, but rather that feeling of "blowing it" which causes us to neglect healthy habits and routines. So make sure you make time for yourself indulging in your favourite exercise routines.

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6. Have fun. The focus of Christmas related events are enjoyment, celebration and connecting with friends and family.

Unfortunately this is often overlooked and food becomes the focus. Raise your awareness by asking the question: What am I am looking forward to at this event or occasion? Use your answer to shift your focus.

7. Don't deprive yourself. Feeling like you are missing out can lead to increased focus. This is a special time of year and depriving yourself of Christmas treats is not a good thing to do. The more you resist, the more you'll indulge in when you finally acllow yourself to eat it.

Remember, anything is okay if it is consumed in moderation. It's not the treats that do the damage but the healthy lifestyle habits that are neglected.

8. Don't let others Sabotage you. Pressure from others to eat and drink can be challenging. Plan ahead for the event. Think what
pressures you could face and visualise your response. Often a straightforward "no", with a simple explanation is all it takes.

9.Be flexible. Often no one day is the same over this period and this makes planning more difficult. If you have an active social life,
take a few moments each morning to note down your daily exercise and eating plan to fit around your daily commitments.
By planning on a daily basis, you can be flexible but still remain in control.

10. Be aware of triggers. Stress resulting from shopping trips, work functions and family commitments can see many turning to food for comfort. If you are an emotional eater, make sure you're aware of how this triggers your eating and take steps to overcome them.  

Hope you all have a Merry Christmas and an active New Year!
Lisa, Go Figure

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