Training & Nutrition Tips for Staying Fit During the Holidays

Training & Nutrition Tips for Staying Fit During the Holidays

This is a wonderful time of year full of friends, family, good food and drinks, and travel. However, proper training and nutrition around the holidays can be tough, and therefore, it is not uncommon for people to put their health and fitness goals on hold during the holidays by overeating/drinking and not exercising at all.  If you are OK with this, it’s totally fine; just acknowledge it and move on! It’s a free country, and you are free to do as you please. Nobody is going to force you to work out or say no to dessert. But remember, long lasting progress towards your goals is made by taking your training and nutrition seriously all of the time, not just when it’s convenient.  I’m not saying to not have fun during the holidays, but I’m also not saying to go completely off the reservation and forget about your goals. This short article will give you a few training and nutrition tips for finding that happy medium of having fun while not letting the holidays throw off your progress.

Training & Exercise Tips During The Holidays To Stay Fit:

  • Make your training a priority.  “I don’t have time to work out” is not a valid excuse, because you always have time for things that are a priority to you.  I’m not saying you need to work out for an hour per day every day that you’re with your family, but a few 30-40 minute workouts throughout the week would be better than nothing.  

  • Stay on your normal workout schedule, or as close to it as possible.  If you normally work out on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, try to stay in your routine.  If you have to move your Wednesday session to Tuesday and your Friday session to Saturday, that’s ok too.  Just get the work in.

  • If you find the above tough, work out early in the mornings or late at night so that you don’t cut into your family/friends time too much.  

  • If the gym is closed on a day you normally train, do a bodyweight workout at home! Maybe you can’t bench press, deadlift, or push the sled, but you can certainly do some push-ups, lunges or squats, chin-ups, and/or go for a jog.  

  • If you are traveling for the holidays and still want to train, you can probably find a gym to drop in to at least once while you’re there.  Drop in fees are usually $5-$10, and a simple Google search and a phone call would confirm.

  • Have a plan.  Ask your trainer for some routines that you can do to stay on track for your normal training while at home or at a gym you drop in to.  

Nutrition Tips During The Holidays To Stay Fit:

  • Continue to track your calories.  If you are currently using MyFitnessPal or something similar, continue to use it during this time.  This will help you stay in a routine.

  • Control your portions.  Just like nobody is going to force you to work out, nobody is going to hold you down and force-feed you that 3rd plate of apple pie or cover your mashed potatoes in a half-pound of butter.  YOU and ONLY YOU are in charge of what you eat and drink.

  • Use a smaller plate.  This may help limit your portion sizes.  See above point.

  • Remember that alcohol has calories.  Alcohol has 7 calories per gram, which is more than protein and carbs, and almost as many as fats!  So take your alcohol intake into consideration along with what’s on your plate.

  • If you know that you have a huge meal ahead of you later in the day, eat light earlier in the day.  Avoid foods high in fat and carbohydrates early in the day; stick to protein rich foods like non-fat milk, whey protein powder, egg whites, greek yogurt, and chicken breast for your earlier meals.  

  • Say no when necessary.  Just because you CAN eat a second plate or have a third drink, doesn’t mean that you SHOULD.  It is perfectly ok to say no, and you are not going to hurt anybody’s feelings by doing so.

  • Don’t obsess and don’t try to be perfect with your diet every single day, just try to be good enough.  If you eat a little too much one day, plan to do better the next day by hitting your calorie goal.

I hope this article gave you a few helpful training and nutrition tips for staying fit during the holiday season! Remember to have fun and don’t obsess about it if your training and nutrition isn’t 100% optimal. Just do your best to stay on track using these tips, and then get back to your regular schedule and routine as soon as possible.