It's Christmas and the goose is getting fat... but there's no reason why you can't avoid piling on the pounds. With a little effort (and following my steps below) you can come out the other end of it without any weight gain.

The key is to try and do some exercise over the festive period as this will make you feel so much better after Christmas and will make 'getting back to normality' in January so much easier. I would love to hear how you get on during this time period and please tell me what successes you have (as ever you can email me at

Here are my five rules to follow for a happy and healthy festive season.

1. Keep Active by simply going for a few walks, if nothing else. If you know you have a big meal/night out coming up just going for a brisk walk beforehand can make a difference. You will, at least, burn off the calories before you put them back on! If you are working in between Christmas and New Year then walk into work or get off a stop earlier on the bus/underground. Take the stairs, walk up the escalator etc. All these small things will add up over the two week.

2. Don’t Drink Too Much may sound obvious but drinking a lot of alcohol is just using up a bundle of calories for no good reason, other than to get drunk of course! So, do have a drink, but try to be sensible; if you are eating and drinking make sure you have a glass of water in between courses and also in between every alcoholic drink you take. Keep an eye on your soft drinks as well, as they will almost certainly contain sugar and again, a load of calories.

3. Plan ahead and if you know you are going out in the evening to a party or for drinks, eat really healthily during the day as well as aiming to drink 2-3 litres of water so that you are fully hydrated by the time you turn up to the party.

4. Get Ahead of the Game for the new year by starting/re-starting your exercise regime in between Christmas and New Year. Just a couple of sessions in the gym, or a run/bike ride will get you ahead for January and imagine how smug you will feel come January 1st! Also, you can have an extra glass or two on New Year’s Eve if you have done some exercise beforehand.

5. Socialise properly with friends and family by talking to each other at gatherings and avoiding too much alcohol so you can enjoy your conversations whilst sipping a glass of wine slowly! Aim for at least one or two occasions when you are the designated driver to give your body a break.

Merry Christmas!