Enjoy the silly season while staying on track

by Laura Kowski on Sunday 12 November 2023

4 min read

As work winds down and the celebrations start to kick off, good intentions for gym routines and clean diets tend to go out the window. While you should allow yourself to have a good time during the ‘silly season’, this period can be challenging if you’re trying to stay on track with your fitness goals.

The good news is, months of hard work isn’t going to be undone in a few short weeks. But stepping out of your routine for a while can make it harder to bounce back when the silly season’s over. Here are some tips on how to keep some of that focused energy burning away as you loosen up a little.

Pick and choose

You don’t have to drink at every gathering you’re invited to, or eat everything you’re offered. Choose what events you want relax and unwind. There’s nothing wrong with indulging in delicious festive foods or having a special drink to celebrate with friends or co-workers. But, you may not find yourself enjoying these chances to wind down if they leave you feeling sluggish, overindulged, or sick the next day.

It can be hard to stick to your guns when peer pressure is involved. When you’re spending time with loved ones, it’s even more challenging to set and keep boundaries in place. If you want to sit out on the drinking at a dinner or office party, you might feel more confident going in with a game-plan. Remind yourself of the reasons you’re choosing not to drink and bring some low calorie or non-alcoholic options along. Kombucha cans are a great option to keep your tummy happy. Most of the time, people won’t notice if you’ve poured your drink into a fancy glass anyway! Dress soda water up with some lemon and bitters and they’ll be none the wiser.

Plan your wellness routine around events


If you know you’ve got a weekend jam-packed with events and tempting treats, try to balance out the rest of your week. On days when you’re not celebrating, plan healthier meals, keep yourself hydrated, and make sure you’re getting in the movement you might skimp on when it’s time to let your hair down. With so many different classes on offer at Virgin Active, you’ll find it easy to keep moving through the Christmas-period chaos. Whether your movement of choice is a slower-paced Yoga class, or some high intensity Boxing, there’s something to suit your mood every day of the week.

Staying on track during the week doesn’t have to mean bland meals, either. Check out these mind-blowing nourish bowl recipes for some mid-week inspo.

Stay mindful


Studies show that we tend to eat more when we’re in groups, and even more so if we’re comfortable around the people in that group, like friends or family. And when there’s an abundance of delicious food involved that we don’t eat every day, this creates the perfect storm for overindulging.

It’s totally fine to listen to your heart (and maybe your eyes) instead of your stomach during a Christmas dinner. But staying mindful of your environment can help you avoid some uncomfortable side-effects, like the Santa-belly bloat. Try to stay in tune with your body, how you’re feeling during a meal, and whether you’re just piling up your plate out of habit because your brother always hogged the roast potatoes as a kid.

If you find yourself eyeballing multiple desserts, you can still give yourself the chance to try them all – just be smart about it. Choose smaller portions, and maybe only go back for seconds on your favourite!

Need a bit of extra help to stay on track? Our Personal Trainers are professionals in this field. You, like everyone else, come to them with similar ideas, challenges, and goals. So maybe treat yourself to something extra sweet this silly season and book yourself in for a wellness consult with one of our friendly PTs!

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