Christmas. A joyous time of year for one and all. A time for love and sharing, though while our taste buds rejoice in delicious Christmas treats, our waistlines often take the hit.

As excess and indulgence reaches its apex for the year, an average of 8,640 calories are consumed over the course of Christmas Day. 

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:

Create a Calorie Deficit

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

Go for Density

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.

Keep it Moving

Try to be more active. This is a no-brainer, but 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.

Eat Consciously

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 without really taking notice. Simply thinking about what you're consuming can limit the total calories taken in.

Timing

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.

We hope our list helps you enjoy a guilt free festive season and sets you up for a confident and happy new year.