My realistic tips in the build up to Christmas

cat wearing a santa hat saying that he got fat at christmas

I honestly think that Christmas is the most amazing time of the year but I also 100% believe that the over indulging we do at Christmas creates a lot of negative feelings and sometimes these negative feelings can really do some lasting damage. So here is my pennies worth to help you get your mindset right to enjoy the holidays and not send your thoughts to a negative place.

Accept that Christmas happens once a year and should be enjoyed. It is a time for meeting friends and family and a time for enjoying food and drink. Accepting that you are allowed to enjoy yourself is really, really important.girls at a party smiling and enjoying drinks


Don’t quit your exercise routine in the build up to Christmas. Adjust it but don’t quit it. If you completely quit you are more likely to spiral into the ‘all or nothing’ mindset. This does no one any good and you will end up going bananas on the food and drink over Christmas and end up hating yourself.  I always take a step back. I don’t quit fully but I will exercise less or sometimes I do some different types of exercise instead of my normal routine. In my online program I will be encouraging the group to not go as hard but to keep the engine ticking over.


Don’t restrict yourself at this time of the year. If you tell yourself “you can’t have” something then all you want is that thing so don’t put things into “can’t have” category. Instead try creating a mindset that allows you to have a little bit of everything occasionally. Let me help with an example. I simply love Roses (the chocolates, not the flowers and we aren’t talking Roses singular here, I’m talking roses) but in the build up to Christmas the tins of Roses are everywhere. If I say I won’t ever have Roses then I’m setting myself up for fail. Instead, I say to myself; “I’ll have Roses the night of the Toy Show” then I’ll hold off until the Toy show and enjoy them on that night. Then I’ll pick another few occasions.  Nights out will be the same. I’ll let myself have what I want on the nights out but I’ll pull it back in the other days. This is a much healthier mindset and it means you will enjoy the treats when you have them instead of just picking at them all the time.

Don’t buy the goodies just yet. I know everywhere there are special offers on this, that and the other. But willpower isn’t infinite and if the junk is in your house you will 100% dip into it. It isn’t a deal if you save a € in November but it costs you in terms of your health and happiness in December.

Steady the ship and realise that one night out a week won’t make you fat. Weight gain isn’t that instant. Remind yourself that one night out can be balanced out by having 5 or 6 good days that week. If you have a big night coming up just stay ‘good’ for the few days in the build-up and it will balance out. I really great tip is to tell yourself that weight gain will be as a result of a build-up of your week’s intake of calories not one night out so you can balance your intake over the week. blue circle box with selection of choclate sweets in it

Always tell yourself that falling off the wagon is part of the process. Health and Fitness is all about resetting and going again. This reset can happen a few times a day, a few times a week or a few times a year. The more you keep resetting the better you will get at it. That is how it works for all of us. Me included! I always think of the health and fitness journey the same way as going for a walk and your shoe lace opens – you don’t simply quit because your shoe lace opened, you slow down, stop, tie your shoe and go again. Health and Fitness is no different. The journey isn’t over because your shoe lace opened – tie it and go again.

New Year’s resolutions are shit – don’t do them.  I have no more to say on that. Well actually – I do. Long term habits are not changed or created by one dramatic event such as a New Year.  Long term sustainable habits are created by changing small things daily. If you want long term good habits start small today (not New Years). If you want to feel like a failure then set unrealistic, unachievable goals in the New Year.


I hope you enjoyed my few bits n bobs and it will help you to enjoy the festive season even more than ever.

Have a great one,


red Christmas decoration on a wooden table with donna dunne fitness logo embedded in the image