Staying motivated over the Christmas period

by Ali on December 12, 2008

As December draws on, it gets harder and harder to stick to healthy eating and exercising plans. But staying somewhat motivated will really help you to stay fit and unstressed during the busy holiday period. If you’re finding your enthusiasm waning fast, try some of these:

Keep a food diary

Something I usually find in the run-up to Christmas is that the usual cookies, sweeties and cakes that occasionally appear in the office are a far more regular feature than usual. It’s so easy to just pick up a couple of cookies, or a handful of chocolates, when getting a cuppa – and all those little snacks add up, almost unnoticed, throughout the day.

Writing down everything you eat might seem like an extra hassle that you just don’t need during December, but it will do wonders for your willpower. It’s much easier to resist those chocolates when you know there’ll be a record in black and white…

Focus on good choices, not perfect ones

It’s very easy to fall into an all-or-nothing mindset when tackling a big goal like weight-loss or getting fit. Remember that it’s always better to do something towards your goal than nothing. You’re unlikely to be able to stick to a rigid diet plan during the holiday period, but that doesn’t mean you should give up entirely on healthy eating. When you have a choice over what to eat, go for the options which are good for your body.

Don’t worry about being perfect: a mince pie here and there won’t turn you into a Christmas pudding … but try not to let your good eating habits go entirely out of the window. Sticking to a healthy breakfast and avoiding sweets before lunch will help you stay motivated for the rest of the day.

Do some exercise

I’m always more likely to make healthy food choices if I’ve been to the gym: I don’t want to waste all that hard work by stuffing myself with sugary, fatty snacks! Exercise will boost your mood, give you an appetite for proper, filling foods (like wholegrains and lean proteins) instead of junk, and will help you to feel good about your body – all great ways to stay motivated.

If you’re really struggling to stay away from the office cookie jar, why not escape for a quick walk? Or if that’s going to cause your boss/manager to raise hell, get busy with running some errands around the building – perhaps catching up with your photocopying, or finally returning that CD you borrowed from someone on the next floor up. Don’t forget to take the stairs…

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