Navigating the Holidays: Enjoying Festivities Without Derailing Your Fitness Goals

Ironically, so many of us spend the year grinding and sweating away in the gym to sculpt our bodies for summer - when we can finally show off all the hard work that’s paid off - all for it to be thrown out the window for cocktails and carbs when the festive season hits.

It’s not just Christmas - any holiday or seasonal break can quickly derail your health and fitness if you’re not prepared. The good news? You can indulge and enjoy food, drink, and treats without setting yourself back to square one.

Consider this your year-round guide to staying on track with your fitness goals when the holidays hit. Below, we outline 5 easy ways you can navigate social events and celebrations without missing out, and without compromising your progress.


1. Eat protein-packed holiday meals

At the very foundations of nutrition, we know that protein is essential for muscle recovery and growth. But one of the key benefits over the holidays is that it also helps keep us full and satisfied, preventing the temptation of overindulging. Try matching every gram of carbohydrate with one or more grams of protein to maintain a balance and fill you up more quickly. Bringing a plate? Load it with hidden protein - even in your desserts (hello Vanilla Ice Cream 100% Isolate). No one has to know!

Protein-packed Christmas meal


2. Focus on maintenance over progress

The goals and expectations you set for yourself over this period will have a huge impact on your results. Rather than setting a new PB or even keeping up with the training schedule you have throughout other times of the year, focus instead on what you need to do to maintain your current physique, strength, or fitness level. This more attainable approach helps set you up for success and makes staying on track with your goals more manageable. And when you return to your regular routine, you won’t be putting all your blood, sweat and tears into clawing your way back to where you are right now.

Weight maintenance


3. Plan strategic cheat meals

Get your game plan ready - we’re approaching the festive season smart. Rather than indulging off impulse, set the times in the day when you’re going to give yourself a free pass. If you have a social event in the afternoon, stick to nutritionally balanced meals and snacks in the morning to compensate for the rest of the day (and you’ll enjoy it even more). Fight the ‘all or nothing’ mindset by controlling your portions, eating before you go so you don’t show up starving, and balancing your macronutrients. 

Plus, time your workouts wisely. Consuming carbs and protein post-workout can help with muscle recovery, so plan to hit the gym before you go (we can guarantee you won’t be going afterward anyway).


4. Supplementation

Don’t sleep on your supps! If you’re laying off the gym, you might forget about your supplements for a while. Don’t neglect the fact that these are designed to supplement your diet with what might be missing or lacking, and when you’re more lax on your nutrition, this is a prime time to lean on them.

Feeling sluggish from the celebrations the day before? Pump your pre to get yourself energised and out the door. Loading up on high-calorie, low-nutrient food? Keep up your protein shakes and smoothies to fuel your body and help you feel satiated.

Click here to find your nearest ALTERED NUTRITION stockist.

Platinum Gainz Protein

5. Hydration

We know water isn’t exactly your drink of choice over the holidays. But with all the sugar, carbs, and alcohol in your system, you might find yourself feeling lethargic (or worse) after the celebrations - not the most motivational state to hit the gym. Keeping your fluids up throughout the day won’t stand in the way of your enjoyment, and will leave you feeling a lot better off later on. Plus, drinking water can also help you feel more full and prevent overeating. Try to have a glass of water between drinks to easily remain hydrated. 


There’s no ultimatum between staying on track with your fitness goals and enjoying yourself over the holidays. It’s not hard to get the best of both worlds, and future you will be grateful - trust us. Rather than depending on unreliable waves of motivation to eat clean and hit the gym, having a planned, balanced, and strategic approach to the holiday period will maximise your enjoyment and your long-term results.