As we approach the holiday time of year, diets get thrown out the window and people switch to damage limitation mode! It’s entirely inevitable and even the best of us will be drawn into a feeding frenzy of processed foods, refined sugar and other poor dietary choices! So if you’re unable to remain a perfect feeder here’s my top five tips for avoiding too much holiday weight gain:

• Motivation: find a way to stay on course! Maybe that’s by sticking a picture on your fridge to remind you to make smart eating choices. If your goal is a hilly sportive next summer, why not a picture of that.

• Accountability: find a way to track what you eat. Apps like MyFitnessPal are great for setting yourself a limit. Give someone access to your food diary, it’s amazing how much smarter people eat when they know someone could be watching!

• Keep Riding: yes don’t stop for holidays, even if you can only manage half an hour get it done! You’ll burn some of the food you’ve eaten and limit some of the damage done by over indulging.

• Fill Up On Healthy Food: you might still over indulge but if it’s healthy foods then the damage to your body might be less. If you have a sweet tooth then keep a stock of fruit, much healthier, will provide quality nutrients and might satisfy sugary cravings.

• Water: this is another little trick, drinking plenty of water might help you feel full. Replacing as much of your fluid intake with water is a smart choice too. Try drinking a large glass of water before every meal or when you’re hungry.

For me it’s also important to relax at this time of year, sitting around with family and enjoying everyone’s company. The last thing I want to be doing is getting frustrated because I won’t allow myself the odd treat. I don’t want to come into the New Year stressed, I want to be full of energy and motivated enough to stick to my plan for nearly another twelve months!

So there is going to be a perfect balance between coming into the New Year feeling like you’ve had fun and relaxed without feeling guilty because you’ve undone about two months’ worth of hard work. It’s finding the tipping point!