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How to Maintain Your Weight Over the Holidays

The winter holidays can be a very easy time to gain unwanted pounds, especially with the mindset of resetting everything in the new year. I would be hypocritical and probably considered a terrible human being if I told you not to enjoy your favorite treats over the holidays.





THERE IS A WAY to enjoy your treats and to not gain any unwanted pounds or body fat over the holidays.


Most companies have some sort of holiday party. Salad, kale, grilled chicken, MRM Cinnamon Bun protein shakes and broccoli are not exactly party favorites. Most likely, there will be lots of good tasting junk food! The key is to still enjoy your junk food, but make sure you are eating healthy, nutritious foods the rest of the day.  I recommend not showing up to the party on a totally empty stomach.  Anticipate having little to no healthy options at a party. If there are healthy options, then I recommend on filling up with those first, especially green veggie options and options high in protein. You do not want to be starving since you may eat way more than you anticipated. Eat the foods that you truly want to have. Try not to eat or drink the unhealthy things that you do not really have your heart set on. For example, I always skipped sodas, juices, chips, and hard pretzels since I know they are empty calories that will not fill me up.  In addition, they are items you can get any time of year, and quite frankly if I am going to indulge, none of those items are on my list.  I want the homemade Christmas cookies instead.  Also, if you are drinking alcohol, then stay away from the sweet mixed drinks. Opt for light beer, dry wine, or a straight shot of non-sugary liquor if those options are available. You can also follow the same advice for parties you go to with family and friends.





I also recommend choosing when you are going to splurge a little bit on holiday treats.  Plan out your next couple weeks.  Choose a certain meal or dessert you want to have once or twice in a week.  Try not to plan entire cheat days.  Try to avoid grazing since there is almost guaranteed to be candy, cookies, and other sugary treats seemingly everywhere you look at work.  Eat a complete, healthy breakfast and lunch, along with plenty of water to avoid being hungry.  Save your cheat time for the parties.  Do not beat yourself up if you give into temptation.  Just pick back up and plan to eat healthy the next day.  More importantly, KEEP YOUR BODY MOBILE.  That is not only good for burning a few extra calories, but your body will just feel better rather than being stuck in the same position for hours, allowing your body to tighten up.



Here is my game plan for the holidays:


I am planning to enjoy myself Christmas Eve night with two parties and Christmas Day for breakfast and dinner (especially with the Steelers playing).  Otherwise, I still plan to eat a healthy breakfast, get a 20-30 minute plyometrics workout done, eat a healthy lunch and snacks in between on Christmas Eve.  On Christmas day, we usually eat a big cooked breakfast.  I will load up on eggs and fruit so I minimize the starch and stocking stuffer consumption.  I will eat a very healthy lunch, then I will plan on eating a lot of protein to start off the dinner before eating the simple carbs to minimize the amount of the tasty, unhealthy stuff I eat.  On December 26th, I will go back to working out, eating healthy all day and enjoy a controlled portion of pumpkin pie.  From December 27th through the 30th, I will go back to my normal healthy routine.  I will plan for an night of indulging on New Years Eve, then New Years Day will consist of healthy meal-prepped chicken and veggies I will take on the road with me.


Try to workout when you can.  Even if you are not around a gym, there are plenty of exercises you can do.   We will be posting holiday workouts.  To get something customized for your goals, we can help you with our online personal training plans.  To be consistent and not fall off the wagon on your route toward your goals, pick your battles, choose when you indulge wisely, but you cannot take a total 2-3 week break.  Indulging everyday more the once will more than likely cause you to gain the wrong kind of weight this holiday season.  


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Matt Bible
Co-Owner at CASS Fitness
Matt Bible is the Co-Owner and an Executive Personal Trainer with CASS Fitness. He specializes in helping his clients lose weight, gain strength, and help prevent lower back issues. He lives in Gaithersburg, MD. He also enjoys strength training, outdoor activities, traveling, and music.
December 15, 2016 | Health, Nutrition Articles | 2

2 Responses to How to Maintain Your Weight Over the Holidays

  1. Avatar Juana Parker says:

    I usually try to stick to one plate, one storey rule. Get one small plate and fill it up with whatever you want but only one storey high not two….and then I allow myself some dessert. Drinking extra water in the form of green tea also helps as it reduces my consumption of high calorie beverages. Also before a meal I usually eat a bowl of salad, fruit or veggies as it helps me prevent overeating.

    • Avatar mattbible says:

      That is a great strategy, Juana! Small plates are always the way to go. The story rule makes sense too. Indulging is okay once in awhile, but methods like you mentioned are great in using portion control.

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