Shop until you drop. When you’re busy last-minute shopping in the run-up to Christmas, pick up a couple of calorie-counted ready meals and a bag of salad at the same time. This means you won’t add “What am I going to eat?” to your expanding list of things to worry about.

All the walking and carrying you do when shopping for presents will burn up hundreds of calories. Keep making trips back to the car to drop off your bags rather than waiting until you can hardly walk under the weight of those carriers – the extra exercise will help you burn calories.

Don’t overfill your cupboards or fridge. It is tempting to start stocking up on festive foods long before Christmas arrives, but you’ll only end up with far too much – and you’ll end up eating it.

Don’t spend ages driving round the supermarket car park waiting to get a car parking spot close to the entrance. Instead, park further away – it’s the little things that will help you stay on track over Christmas

TAKE TIME OUT. Don’t wear yourself into the ground preparing for the big day. You’ll be far more likely to grab food on the run without paying attention to whether it’s a good choice or not. Instead, delegate some of the jobs that need doing, take time to relax and get away from the commotion for a while.

Don’t arrive at parties starving. Otherwise you will risk becoming a permanent fixture at the buffet table, pick at everything in sight and eat far more than your daily calorie allowance allows. Cut back on calories during the day too to allow for the extra food and drink you’re likely to have.

Dancing is an excellent way to have fun, burn calories, get fit and lose weight at the same time. So take advantage of the party season and get on down.

Don’t drink – drive instead. Always plan what you’re going to drink before you arrive at a Christmas party. If you really want to avoid the temptation to drink, offer to drive everybody home. That way, you won’t have to explain why you’re sticking to mineral water.

Get out and about with your family and friends. Don’t just slump in front of the TV eating and drinking. Go for a walk – it will give you a lift and boost motivation

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