George Branford Personal Training
5 Tips to Staying on Track Over the Festive Season

5 Tips to Staying on Track Over the Festive Season

So as December approaches the boozy Christmas parties and late night social events are becoming closer, I wanted to get a blog out there to help my clients be prepared and stay on track with their health and fitness goals over the festive season.

So firstly my favourite saying around this time of year is:

“It’s not what you do between Christmas and New Years, it’s what you do between New Years and Christmas that matters”

I wouldn’t advise anyone to pass up on the parties and events because they are worried about spoiling their progress, I feel christmas time is an important time to let your hair down and enjoy friends and family company. Its all about finding the right balance, see below my top tips to not effect your progress at this time of year..

1 – Plan your workouts into your diary

Finding the time to workout can be hard at the best of times let alone over christmas where your diary become packed with fun, foodie, boozy social events that are far more inviting that a gruelling sweaty gym session. So plan ahead put your workout into your diary and be strict about completing them, my advice would be get the workout done in the morning, its out the way, you feel good and your metabolic rate is boosted.

2 – Select your meal before you go to the restaurant

We all have plenty of notice for where we are going to be having our Christmas dinners so my advice is get onto the restaurants website and check out the menu, then you can choose what meals best support your goals before you arrive, If you have a personal trainer ask them whats best to have, if not, why not ask me?

3 – Don’t turn up to the party Hungry

The amount of nibbles on offer at Christmas parties are unreal and turning up hungry is a bad idea, you’ll end up eating everything in sight. Fuel yourself appropriately throughout the day, I would advise something similar to the following…


My protein over night oats to start the day, ( a good breakfast will prevent you feeling more hungry later in the day and picking)


Have a Nutrient dense Lunch like one from My Food Plan, Sea bass, Sweet potato, Tender stem broccoli and Spinach


Then before heading out I recommend having some Greek Yogurt with a mix of Fresh Berries and a drizzle of honey to help with that sweet tooth.

4 – Pick your booze carefully

When it comes to boozing its pretty simple for me the less you booze the more you lose, the leaner you’ll become. Of course I don’t expect you to not touch a drop of alcohol over the festive season that would be ridiculous and boring. Just drink within moderation and drink smart.

My Choice of booze on a night out is always a Vodka lime & soda, which is roughly 97 calories, the soda has 0 calories, The lime very little & the vodka roughly 97 depending on brand. For every one of them I have I try and drink a glass of water aswell, this helps keep the body hydrated and prevents nasty hangovers. If its Vodka & Gin you like be aware of what your mixing, the likes of cranberry juice, coke and sprite have very high sugar levels and are generous in calories, stick to the soda & Lime.

Do your best to stay clear of the beers and ciders, you’ll need to drink more of it to get boozy, plus both are much higher in calories than spirits.

5 – Stick to the 80/20 Lifestyle

Something I talk about a lot with my clients throughout the year not just around Christmas is living 80% of your life the right way, eating clean, drinking clean, sleeping well, training hard, and staying focused on your goals. Whilst allowing 20% to let your hair down, have cheat meals, go out boozing, have late nights, pretty much do what the f**k you like.

This applies massively over the festive season because on one hand you don’t want to be boring and miserable by not drinking and not stuffing your face with everything in site, whilst on the other hand you don’t want to Destroy your hard earn progress by spending 3-4 weeks Eating crap, Drinking crap and sacking off your workouts. So by having that 80%/20% balance I’m assuring you very little damage will be done.

I hope you found this read helpful now to enjoy your festive season (in moderation)