Published November 29, 2013

Want To Avoid Holiday Weight Gain? 5 Easy Tips

by Helen M. Ryan
Santa Claus riding a bike

Oops we did it again. Well, almost.

During the Holiday season it can be hard to stay on track with your fitness and weight loss goals.

Sometimes, when you are in the middle of festivities, even the dreaded fruit cake can be hard to resist.

How can you keep yourself going strong and healthy throughout the season? Here are some quick and easy tips.

  • Keep exercising…even if it’s in short bursts. Any exercise is good, and if you can’t make it to your favorite Spinning class, do some squats, lunges, pushups, or planks at home. Walk the dog. Bike to the store (weather allowing). And even half of a class is better than no class, so you might even consider coming to class halfway through and finishing up with everyone else (starting slowly to warm up). Consistency is key.
  • Use child-sized or dessert plates when at a Holiday event. You can “fill it up” easier, tricking your mind (and that of everyone around you). A half-filled adult-sized plate looks empty. A full child-size plate looks—well—full.
  • Enlist a friend or family member to 'stay healthy' with you. Go to the same parties, do quick power walks together, and give one another moral support. There is strength in numbers, and it’s easier to stay “strong” with someone else supporting you (like in Spinning class, remember?)
  • Eat a low calorie salad or soup before going to any event or gathering. Fill up on the good stuff and you won’t have room for too much of the not-so-good stuff.
  • Be really “inefficient” when preparing for the Holidays. Make multiple trips to the kitchen instead of one, park really far away from stores, carry in boxes and bags one at a time, hang your own Christmas lights, carry that tree yourself, stand as much as you can (while writing Holiday cards, talking on the phone, gift wrapping, and even while doing that thing you do on social networks.)

The Holiday season lasts only four weeks, but you can do your health a big disservice during that period. If you find pockets of time here and there to take care of your health you will be much happier come January, and will have far less of a hurdle to jump.

Now, where did I put that fruitcake?