BBQ’s, cocktail parties, Friday night drinks, Spring Racing Carnival… there’s no denying that the social season is upon us. While it’s an awesome time of year, it can wreak havoc on your goals (and your waistline). The good news is you don’t have to completely sacrifice your social life and become a hermit if you want to see results. Here are a few simple ways you can stay on track and still enjoy yourself this silly season.

1. Hold yourself accountable

Write down your goals for the social season, put them on the fridge, tell your friends, partner and family. When you tell those around you what you’re setting out to do, you’re more likely to stick to your guns (and politely pass up the party pies that are being passed around). If you’re going to an event with a friend, ask them to help you stay on track. If you’re going solo – why not schedule in a workout with a friend for the next morning? You’re more likely to head home early and get some sleep if you know you’ve got to be up early for a workout.

2. Pick your poison wisely

Did you know that your favourite Espresso Martini has the same amount of calories as a Mars Bar? While they may taste delicious, cocktails are packed full of sugar and calories so they definitely shouldn’t be your drink of choice when you’re trying to stay on track to reaching your goals. If you’re going to have a couple of drinks, stick to clear spirits with sparkling or mineral water and make sure you always stay hydrated by alternating each drink with some good old H20.

3. Always come prepared

This is something I always tell my 28ers – never arrive to an event on an empty stomach! You’re way more likely to overdo it on the canapes if you’re absolutely starving, so be sure to have a small balanced meal or light protein snack before you go to avoid inhaling the first fried food platter that comes your way. Nowadays there are more and more healthy options at events and social gatherings, so if you are planning on eating a bit there, my advice is to assess your options. Take a look at everything on offer (before you go for the first mini burgers you lay your eyes on) and make an educated choice for something fresh and avoid the fried stuff.

4. Don’t skimp on sleep

Too often we forget to prioritise it, but sleep should never be underestimated when you’re trying to reach your health and fitness goals. We need adequate sleep to give us enough energy to tackle our busy lives and to bring the best of ourselves to our work and relationships. You’re also much less likely to hit snooze on your morning workout if you’re well rested and have had enough sleep. So, prioritise getting enough zzz’s each night and don’t be afraid to have a nap if you’ve had a late one.

5. Is it worth it?

At the end of the day, this time of year is packed full of social events and let’s be honest, by the end of it they can get pretty repetitive! Ask yourself, is it a truly special occasion or just another stock standard night out? Some events are worth going all out and enjoying yourself, and others just simply aren’t worth your time. So pick and choose wisely – and remember, as long as you enjoy yourself on a night out here and there and jump back into your healthy routine the next morning, there’s no need to worry about undoing all your hard work.

For more like this, these experts reveal how you can lose 5 times more weight by retraining your brain, and this is how to lose 5kg by summer, according to a nutritionist.

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