It’s so easy just to throw in the (gym) towel during the holidays, merrily trading exercise for excess. Before you know it, December has turned into 31 cheat days.

But when you think the average amount of calories consumed on Christmas day is a whopping 6,000, combined with all those extra tasty treats dotted around the house and a license to indulge in boozy beverages – it’s no wonder we can feel as stuffed as the turkey by New Year’s Day!

We don’t want to be party poopers so instead, here are a few tips to help stop all that festive fun turning into regret come New Year…

BE MINDFUL All the delicious food and drinks on offer at this time of year can rival any black hole, pulling you back for more even when you’re not hungry. Stay strong, resist going back for seconds, think about what you’re selecting and try to balance your plate with healthier options. Alcohol increases appetite and reduces resolve, so go easy on the Prosecco and enjoy a sparkling water or two with lemon, in between tipples. That’ll also help you stay hydrated, which means you’ll feel better the next day.

BE BALANCED Between shopping, socialising and entertaining, the Christmas build-up can be exhausting. Working out may well be the last thing on your mind. But don’t resign yourself to being a sofa sloth just yet! A spot of exercise here and there is definitely worth making time for – not only will it keep your waistline in check, it’ll also help reduce the stress that can start to build as the Christmas intensity does. Try to squeeze in a quick sesh of high intensity exercise if you have a spare evening, and once the holidays start, stick in a family stroll after lunch, or try a spot of pyjama Pilates. Let’s face it, pretty much any time spent working out in December is a bonus. Just think how virtuous you’ll feel!

BE A GOAL SETTER We all benefit from a bit of time to unwind, but setting goals for the early part of 2019 – whether that’s entering a 10k run or your first cycling sportive, joining your local gym, or signing up with a local sports club can help retain some fitness focus amidst all the festivities. If you can persuade a mate to sign up for an event with you – even better! There’s nothing like a  training date to keep your fitness programme on track.

Places Leisure centres are making it even easier for you to have a guilt-free Christmas and smash those fitness goals in 2019 with some amazing offers throughout the festive period! So take a look and work out your plan of attack for December. If all else fails, just enjoy it all knowing you can #GetBackOnIt with Places Leisure come January.