Michelle Bridges' 6 tips for surviving the festive season.

Christmas is almost here, and if there’s one thing that’s flowing more steadily than champagne at this time of year, it’s food. Oh so much food.  And most of the time, it’s not the healthiest kind of food – after all, kale doesn’t immediately come to mind when you hear the word ‘Christmas’.

Very few mere mortals have the power to say no when pudding, trifle and Christmas cake present themselves all at once, with several glasses of bubbly to wash them down. Even Michelle Bridges understands this.

“It’s Christmas, you want to loosen the reigns a little bit,” the health and fitness guru recently said during a Today show segment.

Michelle Bridges shares 7 easy ways she stays healthy

But if you’re concerned about the possible ramifications of overindulging this festive season, Bridges has a plan that will help you get through without falling into a sugar coma.

Here are some of the tokens of advice the health and fitness guru shared during her time on the Channel 9 show:

1. Just say no

This one might be tough to stomach, but politely declining a couple of party invitations can prove effective in removing temptation before it even presents (unlimited rum balls, anyone?).

Weigh up the parties you most want to go to and cut the fat – literally.

2. Give yourself a limit

If number 1 sounds a little less than festive, you can always maintain a busy social calender by chasing every alcoholic beverage with a glass of sparkling mineral water (or still water – bubbles up the nose aren’t a treat for everyone). This way you can stay hydrated, and will be less likely to just drink the night away.

Bridges also recommends keeping a glass of water – whether sparkling or otherwise – topped up, so as to avoid those sneaky waiters who pop out to replenish your champagne supply the moment your guard is down. And, if you drink it out of a fancy glass, you’ll still feel festive.


3. Eat beforehand

Going to a party with a full stomach is an easy way avoid overdoing it on the hors d’ouvres.

“When you know there’s a party or an event on where it’ll be a free for all with all sorts of food, just have something to eat before you go,” Bridges says.

4. Choose your poison

There's no need to ditch alcohol altogether at Christmas - unless you want to - but if you're conscious about your health, it's worth knowing which drinks are (slightly) healthier than others.

"If you're going to have a beverage, maybe opt for a vodka lime and soda," Bridges advises. "It's better than having beer or wine, the calories are a little bit lower."

5. Write it down

Keeping a food and exercise journal can prove a great motivator. You may not down that fifth helping of crumble if you know you have to write it down afterwards. Additionally, having a record of the times you were doing well can provide a great reference point for days when you feel like you've fallen off the wagon.

6. Exercise on Christmas morning

Now, before you get defensive, we're totally on board with cutting loose on the food table come Christmas Day. It's just tradition.

But, if you want to avoid that inevitable 3pm "Uhoh, too much turkey, time to loosen the belt" moment, Bridges recommends getting up and being active first thing - then you can get your glutton on for the rest of the day.

"You'd be amazed how many people get out there and do something on Christmas Day - run on the beach, go for a swim, do something," she says. It does sound tempting... plus, think of all the extra energy you'll have for ripping open your presents! Win-win.

How do you keep your eating and fitness in check at this time of year?

You can watch Michelle Bridges' Today show appearance here: