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Diet & Nutrition

EXCLUSIVE: Michelle Bridges' top tips on how to lose weight around Christmas time

Don't let yourself turn into a Christmas turkey!

By Rebecca Sullivan
Overindulging can seem unavoidable at this time of year, with an endless stream of end-of-year functions, Christmas parties and last-minute catch-ups with those friends who insist on locking down one last long lunch before December 31st arrives.
With so much eating out and opportunities to enjoy (sometimes more than a few) drinks, it's easy to stack on a few kilos in December.
So if you fall into that camp, we asked celebrity trainer Michelle Bridges, who has made a career out of steering women back on track, for her advice on how to lose weight after we've indulged just a little too much over the silly season.
She also has some great tips for how to avoid gaining weight in the first place around Christmas time, with some handy hints for how to navigate the seemingly endless social engagements without overdoing it.
Michelle showing off her killer rig on the 'gram. Instagram

1. You don't have to accept every invitation

"You don't have to say yes to every party," Michelle says.
"The ones that you say yes to, think about which events you are going to have a few drinks at and which you're going to be the designated driver. Embrace the ones that you say yes to and enjoy yourself there," she said.
Pacing yourself when it comes to alcohol is also a smart move.
"We always say one for one, so for every one glass of wine you have, drink a glass of soda water with a slice of lime in it," she advised.
Otherwise, seriously consider just sticking to the soda waters and going sober during one or two Christmas gatherings.
"I always wake up the next day feeling better for it and with my halo shining," Michelle joked.
While the weather is nice, get out and about and go for a run or a walk. Instagram)

2. Don't go to a party completely starving

Going to a party in the evening when the last meal you had was at lunuch can often be a recipe for disaster. Many evening events are scheduled around the time many of us would have dinner, but we're often provided with just a few canapes, instead of a proper sit-down dinner.
"You're following the waiter around and eating everything in sight," Michelle said.
She advises having a snack around 5pm or 6pm, just before you go out, to take the edge off your hunger.
Her go-to snacks?
1. "One of my favourite is a small handful of macadamias nuts and four dates. The flavour combo is sublime, but you get a sweet hit and good fats. That absolutely sets me up."
2. "I love celery sticks with peanut butter. Those good fats allows you to feel more satisfied."
3. "I throw a few of those little yoghurt packets in my handbag and have them as I'm driving somewhere."
4. "I'll get a green apple and cut it into slices and put a dollop of ricotta and just a couple of sultanas on top."
Michelle says don't stop exercising just because it's the holidays. Instagram

3. Embrace soda water and lime

Soda water and lime is the non-drinkers saving grace at social gatherings. It's not as boring as normal tap water, plus when served in a nice glass, it gives the illusion to others that you're actually drinking alcohol.
"I call it a 'Mishy Champagne'," Michelle said, referring to the code word she gives her family and friends when she doesn't want to drink at events.
"The last thing you want to have to do is defend yourself against people saying 'Just have a drink!' So I say 'I'm having a Mishy Champagne' and no one has to know that you you're not drinking. You don't have to announce it to everyone."
WATCH BELOW: Five simple diet changes that can help you lose weight. Story continues after video.

4. Don't get sucked in by the pre-Christmas lunch snacks

Most traditional Christmas food - ham, turkey, seafood and vegetable sides - is actually quite healthy.
But it's the nibbles and desserts where it's really easy to over indulge.
"Avoid those tables with the chips and nuts and cheese," Michelle said.
"Once you start, it's hard to stop. I find I'm better off not to start at all. Instead, I'll go over and chat to people and before I know it, dinner is about to be served."

5. Keep exercising, even during the holidays

Michelle says the top excuse she hears from people about why they can't exercise, is that they don't have the time.
But in the holidays, we're off work, so have plenty of hours in the day to devote to ourselves.
"The holidays are a great time to start, because you can start slowly and do it at your own pace and time and you can get yourself into a rhythm and routine.
"If you think you're going to get started once you go back to work, good luck. Get yourself into a groove and get a habit rolling. That's more likely to stick. School work
Plus, it's a great, healthy way to spend time with loved ones.
"One of the best way to connect with reach other is to go for a walk. If you're thinking, 'I can't sit here anymore, my stomach is exploding', go for a walk with your family and you can start connecting."
The next round of Michelle's 12WBT begins on January 6, 2020 and pre-season is now open.

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