Keenan Blog

How to Stay Ahead of 2019 Fitness Goals During the Holiday Season

December 13, 2018

It all starts with Thanksgiving and doesn’t seem to really wrap up until the college football championship a week after New Years Day. We’re right in the middle of the holiday season, along with all the food temptations that can lead us off the track of healthy nutrition and weight management. The average American gains anywhere between  3 and 7 pounds during the holiday season. As we ride this caloric wave that ends the year and begins the next, what can you do to prevent unwanted weight gain and promote overall total health?

Use these simple tips to keep from getting behind while still enjoying the festivities and time with family and friends:

  • Practice portion control. The recommended portion size for a piece of meat is 3-4 ounces. The recommended portion size for a side dish, such as mashed potatoes, cranberry, and stuffing, is the size of your fist or a deck of cards. Be mindful of the portions you are consuming during holiday meals.
  • Stay hydrated! To help avoid unnecessary snacking, use water as an appetite suppressant.
  • Limit alcoholic beverages. They not only add to calorie consumption, they don’t mix at all with safe holiday travel.
  • Bring a healthy dish to the party! While pies and cookies are fun, you can have fun by going a different way. Try a vegetable tray or fruit plate providing healthy options for your fellow party goers.
  • Move the party out of the dining room after dinner to avoid second or third helpings.
  • Watch your caffeine intake, especially late in the day. It can affect your ability to fall asleep and a good night’s sleep contributes to better weight control.
  • For many of us, the holidays can be stressful. Instead of “feeding” your stress, try taking a time out for deep breathing, or go for a short walk.
  • Stay fit! Make sure to fit in physical activity the morning or afternoon before a large holiday meal or party. Don’t suspend your exercise until January!

Food does not have to take center stage during the holiday season. Focus instead on appreciating your loved ones, enjoying a little extra time away from work or school and taking the opportunity to care for yourself before things rev up again after the New Year.

About Matthew Szenderski
Matthew holds an MBA in Health Management and is certified by the ACSM as a Health and Fitness Specialist. He has over 8 years of experience in the corporate wellness arena with areas of expertise in coaching, biometric screenings, program development, and controlling health care costs.