5 Ways to Enjoy the Holidays and Not Gain the Holiday Weight

I know the holidays are kind of almost over, but this may help for what you're going to be eating this upcoming week! I know that towards the beginning of December, I was starting to pack on a couple of holiday pounds (thank you, Starbucks Grande Peppermint Hot Chocolate). About ten days ago, when I really could feel myself caving into every cookie and plate of cheesy potatoes I passed, I re-evaluated my weight and diet and decided I did NOT want to start 2013 with an additional ten pounds on me (ones I worked very hard to get off this year!). So whether or not this post comes a little too late for some, I hope it can still be helpful!

These are a few tips I've lived by for a couple of weeks now, and I really encourage them! I am by no means a licensed trainer or a professional in anything fitness-related, so please don't feel you are reading God-given words on fitness. This is just what I've gathered by research and personal experience!

And now...

5 Ways to Enjoy the Holidays 

and Not Gain the Holiday Weight:

1) Get to the gym! 
In the last week and a half, I've consumed anywhere between 1700-2500 calories daily (well above what I normally like to consume), due to holiday parties and festive food, etc. Because I knew I was packing on the calories, I hit the gym 7 times in the last 9 days, doing a solid hour of cardio each time. And a couple of those days, I also went on a 30-45 minute walk outside with my husband. All of my efforts didn't just help me keep weight off: I lost a couple pounds! I'm only telling you this to say that CARDIO WILL SAVE YOU! Don't think that a week or two (or three, or four, or the whole month of December) of poor eating won't come back to haunt you. It will! And your skinny jeans will laugh at you from the back of the closet.

Me at a work party with a co-worker.

 2) Choose the foods you eat during the holidays wisely!
You don't have to have a little bit of everything you see at each party. If you want to indulge, choose just a few items that you absolutely love and have modest portions of them. Why add a heaping pile of green bean casserole to your plate when you honestly don't even like it that much? You can easily pack on hundreds of calories by just trying something you barely like or are just eating because it's there. The best things to fill your plate with are lean meats (chicken and turkey, rather than pork or beef) and veggies (ones preferably not smothered in butter or a sauce, however, buttered veggies > 8 slices of cheesecake..duh). Pasta and dinner rolls and things like that are likely to weigh you down but not necessarily fill you up. Also, don't eat one of every dessert available: pick your favorite, and stick with a modest portion of it.

 3) Watch what you drink!
I know, I'm ruining all your fun. But alcoholic beverages are obviously full of sugar, carbs and calories. So are sodas. I don't even have to tell you this, but obviously the best drink you can have is water. It will aid digestion, prevent bloating and help keep some of that weight off! Sip on water all day if you can. The more water you drink, the more it will fill you up and help pass the food you're eating. I'll be honest and tell you I plan on sneaking a Diet Coke in here or there, which I cannot in good conscious tell you is good for you by any stretch, but it's zero calories, carbs, sugar, everything. In my opinion, if I'm gonna add an extra 140 calories to my meal, it better be in the form of a really delicious cookie, not a soda.

That's water in my hands, my friends! And my lovely blogging friend, Calla. :)

 4) Don't take home leftovers!
You don't need them! Honestly, this heavy food is not good to live off of for days. You know how you feel after a week of eating heavy, buttery, oily, sugary foods around the holidays. Lethargic. Like a beached whale. Like you might go into cardiac arrest. Enjoy your meal with your family and friends, but then leave the food with them!

Me & the other front desk girls giving out office awards. Dundees, anyone? 

 5) Plan all other meals ahead of time!
 If you know you're going to eat a ton on Christmas day, have healthy, low calorie meals planned for the day before and after. Or if you have family parties Christmas Eve night and Christmas night, start out each day with a light, healthy breakfast and remember to work out! It's all about balance. In the last week and a half, I've had about 3 or 4 days where I was at parties/gatherings where unhealthy food flowed in abundance, and I just made sure that I worked out that day (either before or after festivities), drank tons of water all day, and ate very light and healthy around the holiday meals!

The holidays do not have to be punishment for anyone, in my opinion. You shouldn't have to completely abstain from all things festive and delicious, but you also shouldn't have 5-10 pounds greeting you with the first of the year. Both of those scenarios are awful! These tips have been my happy medium of finding a way to enjoy the holidays without paying for it later. Let me know if you have any healthy holiday tips in the comments! And of course, Merry Christmas!


  1. these are good tips! no matter how hard i try tho, i can't pass up that one extra cookie or piece of cake. i always tell myself i will do more at the beginning of the year and hopefully i will! i usually walk about 4 days a week but with the weather being in the 20s, it's so hard to do.

    1. I hear ya! It's in the twenties here as well.. My husband and I usually just bundle up to the max and walk fast! :)

  2. Great tips! I love the side comment on the office awards...Dundees.. hahaha LOVE The Office :)

    XO, Kelsey

  3. Great tips, Lynette! I love that you've encouraged balancing healthy foods and gym time with all the yummy holiday temptations! Happy Holidays to you and yours :)

  4. Thanks for the tips Lynette, I love reading these kinds of posts, especially around this time, it's a nice reminder to make good decisions and just be sensible!

    I hope you're enjoying the holiday season xx

  5. very smart tips! it's always a challenging time of year when my kitchen is bursting with baked goods :)

  6. Wonderful post! Definitely something I need to work on.

    Samantha @ Sam ipsa loquitur