10 Ways to Prevent Holiday Weight Gain

It’s no surprise that during the holiday season with parties, family and friend gatherings and travel it’s hard to stay motivated and on track with your fitness routine. While you may not be able to keep up entirely with your workouts and food schedule, trying these tips that will help you fight the battle of the bulge this season.

1. Check in with your personal trainer

Even if you won’t be able to physically meet with your personal trainer there are many other resources to keep in contact with them so you can maintain that accountability. Try a zoom workout with your personal trainer while you’re traveling. Text messages and/or calls on a daily basis can be a great way to keep your mind thinking about fitness. There’s no doubt that you will have gatherings during this season that involve indulging in eating and drinking, so it’s good to ask your trainer what recommendations they have in terms of food and alcohol consumption.

2. Limit alcohol and high caloric beverages

The holidays are the biggest consumption of alcohol every year and it’s also a real waist extender, not to mention all the holiday flavored coffees and sugary drinks. You will want to enjoy yourself during the season and as the cocktails are flowing and everyone is ordering more rounds, it’s easy to join the crowd and the temptation can prove to be difficult, but use these tips to help fight the urge. Limit your quantity of alcohol and sugary beverages. Try lower calorie cocktails, light beer, and sugar free holiday flavors in your drinks. Drink water in-between each glass, try trading the alcohol for a simple club soda and lime, no one will know the difference ;-). Always keep in mind that you’re trying your best to stay on track.

3. Exercise when you can

You may be traveling for the holidays or you may have obligations that take you away from your typical workout routine, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find other activities to partake in and still burn calories. Just because you’re staying somewhere without gym access doesn’t mean the time is a total waste, in fact it may be beneficial to switch up your workout regimen for a week or two to confuse your body into burning fat. Try doing things like walking or running outside, get the family or friends to join you in a HIIT training program or a kickboxing class on an APP. There’s also of course a zoom with your personal trainer to get that workout in. The possibilities are endless and well, it may prove to be a fun experience with people as an added benefit to the calorie burn.

4. Limit portion sizes

It’s easy to get carried away with portion sizes during the holidays. There’s food everywhere you look and in mass quantities, so why not have another serving of dad’s mash potatoes, or mom’s apple pie? But portion control is huge for you to maintain your weight. Try these tips to ensure you don’t go for seconds. Drink a bottle of water before and after your first serving, you’ll be so full from the H2O you won’t want seconds. Stay out of the kitchen! This is a big precursor for seconds because it’s so easily accessible. Once everyone is done eating, put the left overs in Tupperware right away to avoid grabbing food just because it’s out on the counter.

5. Avoid sweets

Ok, this can be hard for most people I understand. The sugary beverages, cakes, pies, cookies, candy. It’s endless and the only tip I can give you on this is just simply to avoid it all together if you can and have the will power to do so. Sugar goes right to the stomach, hips, and thighs basically everywhere so it’s best to just walk away from the impulse. If you feel like you need to partake, please practice portion control on this one.

6. Use smaller plates

This is a really helpful tip for not overeating and it has been proven to work time and time again. Use salad plates or a smaller dinner plate when you’re eating. It’s as simple as that. You can’t put as much on your plate as a traditional dinner plate so mathematically you just won’t be able to eat as much, but remember, this also includes not going back for seconds.

7. Avoid over taste testing

You want to show off your cooking skills to your friends and family, and they want to show off theirs as well. Everyone is in the kitchen taste testing and making sure their recipe will stun the crowd. Before you know it, 300 calories later, you have tried your amazing dish 10 times to make sure it’s perfect. Taste testing can get away from you because you aren’t concerned about calories, only that your dish is good. Limit the amount of taste testing that goes into your food. One or two times are fine but after that it becomes just excess calories. If your friend wants you to try her corn bread casserole a tiny taste is acceptable, and then move on.

8. Get a buddy system

If you don’t have a personal trainer to hold you accountable, then you need a buddy that will, and you can do the same for them. Check in every couple of days, discuss the events coming up and the food options that way you both can come up with solutions to keep yourself and your buddy on track. Talk about the exercise that you’ve already done and are planning to do. You can meet up with your buddy and go for a hike or bike ride to keep the point of your fitness goal front and center during the holiday season. The communication with your buddy will be extremely beneficial during the season.

9. Weigh yourself often

Weighing yourself and seeing what’s on the scale can mean several things, water, undigested food, sodium, muscle, fat and other factors. It’s understandable that weight can fluctuate on a daily basis, but it’s critical to maintain your average weight during the season so that you can continue on your fitness journey without starting from behind. You’ve been to a work function, two parties, and a family gathering. You’re exhausted from the engagements; you hop on the scale and discover that you’re 6 pounds heavier; well that’s not all water. This can be prevented if you practice weight management and check on your weight often. If you check your weight regularly during the holiday season it will help you maintain your current weight and prevent you from making bad choices when you’re at gatherings which would set you back a few weeks from your goals.

10. Practice mindfulness

Understand for yourself, that it may be difficult to achieve the perfect result that you want during the holiday season. Sometimes it’s embarrassing and not always fun to tell family and friends you’re on a diet or you have a fitness goal that you don’t want compromised. You may and quite often get an unfavorable reaction. With that being said, you still should think about the reasons that you have in your mind to stay motivated and focus on not being tempted by things just because everyone else is doing it or it’s “that time of year”. Place your goals at the highest priority and make good mindful decisions for yourself. At the end of the day, you have to deal with the implications of making bad decisions, not anyone else. So practice making the right choices and when January comes, you’ll have enjoyed yourself and not compromised your fitness goals.