There’s no denying it — we’re well into the silly season, with many of us merrily delighting in month-long festive feasting!

It’s all well and good to enjoy a little indulgence (in moderation) at this time of year — but troubles come when a few special social occasions spin on for weeks and months (if we’re honest, some of us don’t admit to the holidays ending until well into early February)!

But there is a way to do it better. Instead of feasting to feel full and fatigued this festive season, you can feast on the right foods, in the right ways, to feel good.

Here are my top five tips for getting festive, feasting and feeling good! It can be done!

Maintain routine!

Getting festive doesn’t have to disrupt your daily routine of eating well and getting regular exercise — in fact, it’s important to maintain your healthy habits as much as possible in the lead up to Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Keep up your workouts, opt for the healthier party food choices and remind yourself of the importance of sticking to routine.

Prepare for peer pressure

We all know about the power of peer pressure. It might seem like a harmless gesture from a friend – ‘have a big slice of cake’, or ‘one more won’t hurt’ – but it pays to prepare for unpredictable comments that could increase your food and drink consumption unwillingly. Practice saying no so as not to offend friends or family. And avoid risky alcohol consumption — many alcoholic drinks add a heavy calorie hit to your party intake!

Exercise more!

Just as it’s easy to eat a little more around this time of year, it can also be easy to incorporate a little more exercise. Offset your extra food consumption with a swim, game of backyard cricket, a walk with the dog or a longer gym session.

Give active gifts

I know we all want the latest smartphone, an upgrade for our favourite video game or the box set of the best new TV show to hit screens this year — but consider giving active gifts, especially to children. Healthy cookbooks, exercise equipment, gym clothes, massage vouchers, bikes, skipping ropes, vouchers for kayaking or sailing — the list is endless!

Portion your plate

Research shows many Queenslanders are mindless eaters — even when full, more than two in five of us always or mostly finish everything on our plates, increasing risks of overweight and obesity. Monitor your intake of finger food, opt for half glasses, choose smaller plates and grab smaller pieces.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of the festive season and admit defeat to overindulgence and excess consumption before you’ve even begun!

Evidence shows that with the right focus and commitment, you can stay healthy and happy this festive season. Make 2014 one to remember — for all the right and healthy reasons.

Enjoy your festive feasting for lasting health and happiness!