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How to Avoid the Holiday Bulk Up

It really is the most wonderful time of the year. Thanksgiving kicks off the beginning of the holiday season and although this is the time to be merry and bright, it is also a classic time for health and fitness goals to be completely forgotten. You’ll start back up in the New Year, right?

What if you didn’t have to give up on the goals, while also enjoying the holiday festivities and all of the pies and wine that it may bring?

With a little bit of planning and good intentions, you certainly can.




Focus on what you really love.


One of the hardest parts about avoiding treats is the abundance of them. There are so many more options this time of year. Cookies, cakes, buns, and special Christmas candies all seem like a good idea. But if you stopped and thought about it, what is your favourite holiday treat? Is that available? If yes, then enjoy it and savour it. Remind yourself that the holiday season lasts a long time, so there will be more opportunities to have this treat again.


Avoid the all or nothing mentality.


Research has shown that the psychology of restriction is never a good thing when it comes to food. Telling yourself you can’t only makes you want it more.

So once you’ve had your 1 (or 2) treats, don’t then say you’re going to have a perfect diet, and the best workouts ever to make up for it. That will likely result in you indulging in more.


Keep your workout routine up, with modifications.


The holiday season can get very busy. One of the best ways to de-stress after a trip to the mall to buy gifts, or before that work party you really don’t want to go to, is by going to the gym and blowing off some steam. Take time for yourself!

With that said, because it is so busy, give yourself permission to have shorter workouts. 30 minutes a day is really all you need, so try to get at least that 2-4x per week and you’ll be feeling great throughout the whole season.


Watch your alcohol. 


This time of year will not only present more edible treats, but a few more alcoholic treats as well. Remember that alcohol is essentially empty calories that result in dehydration and inflammation. Both of these can cause you to feel fluffy, tired, and maybe even result in more cravings. 

If you are going to drink, make sure to drink lots of water while you’re drinking, and know that some drinks will have more sugar than others. 


Getting through the holidays without an additional 5lbs on top of the weight you wanted to lose before they started isn’t that hard. It is very easy to give in and let go, but if you are truly committed to your health and fitness goals, and you want a little less work in the New Year, then give a few of these tricks a try. Your health goals will thank you for it.



By Riley Pearce
CSEP Certified Personal Trainer at Free Form Fitness

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