Practical tips to keeping fit & healthy over Christmas

Written by Angele Satariano;

An accountant by profession, Angele spent 8 years at a desk job, until she decided to follow her dream to become an athlete and open her own health and fitness studio – Active Spirit. Her focus is on women’s well being, particularly pre-natal fitness and post-natal recovery. She qualified as a Personal Trainer with Premier International Training in London and also undertook a pre/post-natal certification with Premier. Appreciating the importance of proper guidance and support for women during these key phases of their lives she dove in deep and qualified in two advanced certifications with Burrell Education. Angele is determined to make a difference by empowering women to take control of their health by educating them and giving them the tools to live happy, fit and healthy lives!


The Christmas activities are well underway and before we know it all the festivities will be over. Come January we’ll have gained a few kilos, regret our gluttony and hate ourselves for missing out on training during the holidays!

Apart from the extra weight and how we feel from the outside, our body is deeply affected by our nutrition and daily habits. If you’re pregnant or had a baby recently, you’ll want to be extra careful during this time. You may not be aware of it, but even though everything looks fine from the outside, your body is still healing! What we eat and drink have an affect on every single cell in our body. Those same cells make up our muscles, ligaments and tendons and these connective tissues need healing post birth especially if you’ve had a C-section, pelvic floor trauma or have diastasis recti. Connective tissue can only heal if given the best environment and tools. Your eating habits are ESSENTIAL to your healing, and not just to helping you fit into your jeans!

Don’t worry, you’re still in time to set yourselves up on the right track and avoid all the January disappointment and regret. To help you out, I’m sharing my methods for staying fit and healthy at this time of the year. Here’s to a better start to the New Year….

Eating out

Who doesn’t love long lunches and dinners at restaurants? I usually try and keep eating out to a minimum, but I know that it’s difficult at this time of the year. Try picking a healthy option from the menu. I don’t really eat salads at a restaurant because I’m often disappointed (my salads at home are fit for a King!), so I usually opt for rice or fish, and I skip the chips and request potatoes instead.


Staff parties, pizza and wine nights (my husband is the culprit for this one!), Christmas Eve, NYE – the list goes on and on. Apart from socializing, alcohol and party food are the main attractions.

I usually try and make time to prepare and eat a small healthy meal before I head to a party. If I don’t, I’d arrive to the party ravenous, and when I’m in that state of hunger, I eat everything I see without even thinking about it! Arriving to the party with my hunger at bay stops me from over indulging on the unhealthy stuff.

Alcohol isn’t such an issue for me since I’m not a big drinker, but if you’re drinking, make it a point to keep yourself well hydrated with water during the the night. Doing some light exercise in the morning will really help you feel better even if you’ve got a hangover.

Secret Santa

If this years Secret Santa is being hosted at a friends house and you’ve been asked to take some form of food with you, make something healthy that you wouldn’t feel guilty eating! There are loads of ideas out there on the web – the sky is the limit!

Christmas/New Years day

Christmas lunch at my family looks something like this: galletti, dips and crisps to nibble before lunch, Nanna’s timpana for starter, a selection of meats and potatoes for main course, Christmas pudding and custard for dessert, an assortment of chocolates, mince pies and Christmas cake throughout the afternoon. Wow I feel full even just writing it!

On Christmas day I usually sleep in a bit since I would have got to bed late the night before. I love starting the day off with a run, and afterwards I make sure to have a good healthy breakfast. That way, I don’t arrive at lunch too hungry. When at lunch, I eat everything that’s on offer but I stop eating BEFORE I’m full. When I feel that I’m not so hungry anymore, I just stop. That full belly feeling where I can’t even breathe must be avoided at all costs! It’s just too uncomfortable. I’m always ‘not hungry anymore’ long before the dessert comes out, so that makes it easier to skip the sugary stuff.


Even though your schedule might be jam packed with events, do your best to keep up some form of exercise routine during the holidays. If you can’t make it to the gym class you usually go to in the evening, wake up slightly earlier and go for a walk/jog in the morning before work. Training takes priority in my everyday routine and I wouldn’t miss it even if it means I’ll be a little bit late to a party or event.

Each and every moment is an opportunity to start anew

Just because you didn’t eat well at lunch, doesn’t mean the day is ruined so you might as well have an unhealthy dinner too! If you skipped yesterday’s workout, make it a point to train today. The past is the past, and what you do now is what counts!

I hope that you’ve found these tips helpful and that they’ll work for you! Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year filled with health and happiness!

For more on Angele or to get in touch, follow her on Facebook at Active Spirit or on Instagram @activespiritmalta


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