17 Surprisingly Simple Healthy Holiday Strategies

We are fast approaching the holiday season and statistics show that the typical American consumes on average an additional 400 to 500 calories per day from Thanksgiving to New Years Day. Don’t get me wrong, I love the holidays and all that goes with them; great times, good food, parties and celebrations, but think about this, an extra 3,500 calories equals 1 extra pound. So if you are not careful you could gain more than 5 pounds in just a short period of time. As a personal trainer I encourage my clients to simply maintain this time of year, nothing fancy just hold on to the progress that you have already made. Even with all the holiday temptations simply incorporate a few of these tips into your holiday season and you will find that it is easy to maintain and not gain as well as stay fit & healthy!

  1. Eat slowly – it takes your brain approximately 20 minutes to register that you are full
  2. Stick to only 1 plate of food
  3. For Turkey; go skinless & remember white meat has half the fat of dark meat
  4. Check out the menu and then eat only what is special – you can have rolls or corn any time
  5. Wear snug pants (one of my favorites!)
  6. Move! After meals help clear the table, do the dishes, put everything away or play with the kids
  7. Leave the left over’s
  8. Eat normal meals throughout the day, if you are starving you are more likely to over eat and make poor food choices
  9. Scope out the buffet table first to see what is available then stick to just a few items, studies show that the more different tastes & flavors of food you have the more likely you will be to over eat
  10. Sit or stand as far away from the food as you can – what you can’t see won’t be as tempting
  11. As far as specialty drinks; they can contain a lot of calories, so be careful you may want to opt for a lighter beverage such as a light beer or white wine. It is also a good idea to alternate a glass of water with each alcoholic beverage
  12. Here is my favorite for the ladies; when you are going to a holiday party, carry a clutch purse because it is difficult to juggle, a drink, a plate of food and your purse

Working out is so very important this time of year, lets face it, the holidays are hectic. Keeping up with your fitness routine will not only help you burn some of those extra calories but it will also help you stay focused & keep the stress down! Keep in mind some exercise is better than no exercise at all! Use these tips to make the most of the time that you have for fitness.

  1. Use circuit training; do each exercise in your workout back to back
    without stopping, take a short break and repeat the circuit 1 or 2 times
  2. Break up your cardio sessions into mini workouts throughout the day; 10,
    15 or 20 minute blocks are great
  3. Combine cardio and strength training sessions
  4. Get a quick half hour workout in during your lunch break
  5. Burn calories whenever you can: park as far away from store entrances as
    possible, walk at a brisk pace whenever you’re out & about, always take the
    steps & instead of using the drive throughs, park your car and walk in!

One more fun fact: Shopping on Black Friday for 2 hours burns approximately 300 calories? It’s easy… simply maintain… enjoy the holiday season… and then get right back into your fitness groove!

Happy Holidays!

Be Fit. Be Healthy. Be Happy.