Christmas. A joyous time of year for one and all. A time for love and sharing, but mostly our taste buds loving Yuletide related foods and our waistline sharing the burden.

As excess and indulgence reaches its apex for the year, an average of 8,640 calories are consumed through our gluttonous appetite for mince pies alone. Over the festive period this amounts to a despicable 27 pies being devoured in the celebration of baby Jesus. If he had still been with us I doubt he would’ve blessed this level of greed enjoyed en masse and would’ve held back on the amount of water turned to wine. Although that trick would help reduce the financial expense and insanity seen over this turbulent 3 week period.

So how can we steer through this storm of mulled wine and mince pies without having to wade through the post Christmas wasteland of 50% clothes sales to accommodate our swollen midsections and obscured abdominals?

Here are five strategies that may come in handy when trying to avoid this year's Christmas bulge:

christmas-dinner1. Before a planned Christmas dinner where desert, alcohol and other calorie dense foods will be enjoyed, give yourself a calorie deficit throughout the day by reducing the size of meals before the event or even throwing a fast in prior to a large evening event.

2. If you are going to a drinks and canapés type party then don’t go hungry, have a fibrous, protein filled and voluminous meal which helps reduce hunger, increase satiety, without being heavy on the calories.

3. Try to be more active, this is a no-brainer, but as we may have more time off, why not try to enjoy the limited day light by getting out for a walk, run or cycle. If you can push the intensity of the exercise then even better. High intensity exercise can help increase metabolism and burn calories even after the training session.

4. Whilst at a party or dinner, try not to indulge on everything that is on offer, the larger variety of flavours available can mean more total calories consumed because satiety is reached faster with less choice.

5. Don’t overdo the binge too early on in the season, if you have already enjoyed all the chocolates and pies on offer at work throughout the weeks leading up to Christmas then you are only digging a deeper hole to get out of afterwards. Try to limit the days which you have foods which you know aren’t doing your health and figure any good, this sounds obvious, but even just having one or two extra sweets each day will swiftly amount KGs of weight gain.

Enjoy Christmas, but try not to enjoy it too much or next year you might find yourself on the naughty list.