holiday weight gain

8 Rules for Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain

holiday weight gain

Keep those inches off during the holidays with these tricks.

I was a teacher before I was a writer and fitness coach. Each second week of December without fail our teacher planning room was overrun with Christmas cheer.

Parents arrived in flocks with arms loaded, spreading the joy of Christmas with homemade candies, cookies, luncheons, and more goodies. It was 2 weeks of endless treats, and if the teachers weren’t careful those pounds would quickly creep up.

After a week in, I was scared to make photocopies for my class. We stood in line waiting our turn to print tests or reading material. And there sat a tableful of brownies, cakes, cookies, and fudge. It crept closer to our hips, nudging us to not let it all go to waste. Nudging us to let is all go to our waste.

I know teachers aren’t the only professionals who face the dreaded holiday table. Those offices fill up with ‘thank you’ desserts and it’s hard to keep your fingers out of it all.

Add in parties, dinners, and holiday outings. The situation seems bleak for your hips and thighs. Don’t fear that Santa will only bring you stretchy yoga pants this year. You will get those lovely jeans you worked so hard to fit into if you stick to this quick guide on keeping the holiday weight off.

 women running together

Kick Up the Exercise a Notch

My good friend Marianne Kane decided to help keep her on track this holiday season she would walk to and from the gym each session. Adding in a little extra exercise will help keep you balanced.

You won’t have to bypass holiday goodies entirely if you add in some extra cardiovascular exercise to your weekly exercise regimen. A good 30-minute walk each day, sprint intervals in the stationary bike, a quick tabata round 3 times a week. Possibilities are endless and the more you mix it up the less likely you will grow bored from exercise.


Get In Those Fruits and Veggies

Strength coach and powerlifter Jordan Syatt recently lost 6 pounds quickly. His secret? Adding more veggies to his diet. That’s it! He didn’t change his workout routine, didn’t add any extra cardio, and didn’t cut down his calories. He filled up on veggies with every meal and the pounds melted away.

Aim for 1 cup of veggies 3-4 times per day and 2 servings of fruit. This will help you feel full, keep your energy up, and reduce the urge to splurge on sugary treats.


Set Limits

If you set limitations on how many treats you have, this helps you control exactly what you eat. Knowing you can only have a set amount of treats that week will prevent you from eating just to eat.

Save those treat times for things that you really look forward to during the holidays. Rather than eating a piece of fruitcake just because it’s there, save up that treat for when your neighbor brings by her famous peanut butter fudge. You will be glad you waited and won’t feel guilty since you didn’t give into temptation.

woman eating salad


 Eat Before You Go

If you are headed out to a holiday party or event, eat before you get there. Have a nice salad with a source of protein like chicken, eggs, or tofu.  Grab a piece of fruit with some nut butter.

Whatever you do, don’t show up ravenous. If you wait all day to eat at the party, chances are you will overeat on less nutritious foods.


Be Choosing with Alcohol

Enjoy couple of alcoholic beverages, but watch those high calorie spirits. Egg nog, Baileys, and other high calorie drinks can add up quickly. Stick with white wine, vodka or gin with soda, or light beer instead.

Talk More, Eat Less

Make a small plate, and then head away from the table into the crowd. I know when I go out to dinner with friends I eat far less because I spend so much time gabbing.  Socializing lets you get into the holiday spirit without loading up on calories.

Avoid the “Just Because” Eating

The grocery store, the gym, the salon… Everywhere you go it seems free holiday food and drinks are offered. Just say ‘no’ to these unplanned snacks and you will feel good about yourself when you get home.


Stay Hydrated

Drink plenty of water during the day at at your events to keep you alert and your body hydrated. Often those hunger alarms sound when you are just dehydrated. Rather than reaching for a chocolate truffle when you feel hungry, grab a glass of water with a squeeze of fresh fruit.

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  • Thanks again for great insight, Rick!

  • This is a timely post Kellie, just what everybody should read about especially that holiday season is just days away when sumptuous foods are served on the table and just so hard to stop the craving. Need to eat guilt-free food. These are great tips you got in keeping the holiday weight off.

    Thanks for sharing this to us. I am looking forward to reading your blogs.

    Rick Kaselj
    Exercises For Injuries

  • That’s so true. It’s better to go for the stuff you love than to waste a treat on so-so goodies.

  • I have to pick and choose at free for alls dinner and events – not every food on that table is worth it to me, so pick the ones that are favorites or sound great and leave the rest behind!

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