How to Stay in Shape Over the Holidays

The Christmas parties and get-togethers have started. It is indeed the happiest time of the year, but it is also the time when our habits go out of the window as our schedules get filled with one social function after another. On one hand, it is a good break from the daily routine especially if you have been training for most of the year.  But on the other hand, you would not want to start from ground zero  with every day that you miss doing your  hard-earned good habits.

I am currently reading “Superhuman: A Guide to Becoming the Best Possible Version of Yourself” by Tynan. In this book, he highlights that the power of a habit is not actually in the individual execution, but in the consistency. He says that is is far worse to skip doing something than to just do a horrible job of it. So he suggests to make the habits relatively easy, but never miss doing them. I shall write more extensively about habits as a topic once I finish the entire book.

Admittedly, I have not been as religious in my fitness and wellness routine in the past weeks but I try to keep to some of my basic ones:

Exercise First Thing in the Morning

With all the social events, it is so easy to just bump off your exercise schedule. To resolve this, workout in the morning. You are much more in control of your mornings especially when the rest of the world is still in deep slumber. This works for me because I am naturally a morning person but I can imagine that it may be a struggle for someone who is not. The key is knowing what time of day you have most control of and weave your training into this time. This also does not leave you with a lot of excuses since there is nothing really vying for your time early in the morning. I also realised that the repetitive movement of exercise provides me with a sense of stillness that has helped me stay calm and collected in various situations. Doing this has allowed me to start my day at a settled pace instead of just rushing out to tackle the day.

Eat at Home Before Going Out

If the social event is more of cocktails and pica pica, better to just eat dinner at home first, if you can, so you have control of what you will have for your meal. It is rare that healthy party food will be served so instead of going to these parties hungry and just bingeing on whatever the waiter brings to your table, you are better off nourished by food staples from your home. If this is not possible, at least try to eat healthy elsewhere before going for drinks.

Get a Smaller Plate at Parties

With all the buffet and yummy food around, it is so tempting to just keep on eating. So make it a little inconvenient to eat a lot by using smaller plates. This forces you to just choose more deliberately on what you put on your plate as well as discern on quantity since you have limited space. There is also the hassle of going back for seconds or thirds so it is a natural deterrent for over indulging.

Locate Yourself Away from the Buffet and Bar

The tendency of people is to sit as close as possible to where the food and drinks are so that it is easier to go back for extra servings and summon the waiters for additional orders. By being as far as possible from the buffet you take out the temptation and therefore avoid getting stuck in a situation where you have to make the difficult decision of whether you will go back for a second serving. The extra chore of walking and lining up will make the decision not to go easier. This works specially for people like me who are impulsive and have very low EQ.


I love to hydrate, not just with water and gatorade but also with beer, wine and cocktails. And the holidays are the perfect excuse to indulge a bit on the booze even if we are aware that these are laden with calories. So to make sure that I take it easy on the caloric intake but at the same time still enjoy my IPA, I make sure that I drink at least twice the amount of water for every glass of alcohol. It also helps ward off the hangover.

Also, drinking a glass of water before a meal allows your tummy to settle a bit and gives you a feeling of satiety so you don’t have to stuff yourself silly as soon as you see food.

So let us all be merry, but always in moderation and continue to be mindful of our habits throughout the holidays.


Yes I love a nice big mug of beer, or two 🙂

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