Holiday Fitness Tips

The average American gains anywhere from 5 lbs. to 12 lbs. between Thanksgiving and New Year’s!

So before we kick off this month and a half marathon of good times and overindulging, let me weigh in with 5 tips to help you minimize setbacks and stay on track with your fitness goals between now and January 1st.

1. Schedule Your Workouts Ahead Of Time. As busy and as stressful as the holidays are, it is important to maintain some sort of physical activity. It is OK to go for shorter duration, higher intensity workouts here such as intervals or circuits. Just get it in. A 20-30 minute bodyweight circuit is a lot better than nothing at all. Short duration, high-intensity workouts can create a caloric after burn known as EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption) which allows your body to continue burning calories up to 24 hours after your workout is over.

2. Don’t Starve Yourself In Anticipation Of The Big Meal. Holding off for that big meal will most likely cause you to overeat, going back for seconds and thirds. Have a little something like eggs for breakfast. Try starting with a side salad before you dive into the main course.

3. Don’t Save Unhealthy Leftovers. This one is always tough for me. I love my Grandma’s stuffing, but when Thanksgiving is over it’s got to stay at Grandma’s house. I don’t need to be eating Thanksgiving dinner five days in a row and I recommend you don’t either if you have fitness and nutrition goals you are trying to accomplish. Stock up on the leftover white meat and veggies instead.

4. Stick To Low-Calorie Drinks. We all know alcohol doesn’t provide us with any real nutritional benefit when it comes to our fitness goals. But it’s the holidays and many of us will most certainly be enjoying a few drinks with family and friends. Be mindful of holiday drinks, most have a ton of extra calories and fat. Your best low-calorie option is to go with liquor (whiskey, vodka, tequila, brandy, gin, etc.) on the rocks or with a zero-calorie mixer like club soda or diet soda. If that’s not your thing then go with wine or a light beer.

Suggested Reading: How To Drink Alcohol And Still Lose Weight

5. Try A New Healthy Recipe. You don’t have to go Paleo or Keto here. Don’t be the guy that brings a bag of unsalted almonds to Thanksgiving dinner. Just try searching for some healthy holiday recipes and give one a shot.


holiday fitness tips 

With all of this being said, the holidays are not about fitness or guidelines, they are about spending quality time with loved ones and friends, and being thankful for them. So be safe, enjoy some good food, a few adult beverages and when it’s over, get back to crushing your goals!

Committed To Your Health,

Online Fitness Coach Brian DonovanBrian Donovan is a certified fitness and nutrition coach, and the founder of Online Fitness Coach – an online fitness program where clients get direct coaching and personalized training and nutrition plans. Coach Brian was voted Chicago’s “Best Personal Trainer” by Chicago Reader magazine, Best Of Chicago 2014 edition. He has been featured in publications and websites such as Muscle & Fitness, Chicago Reader, Voyage Chicago, Bach Performance, and The Personal Trainer Development Center (PTDC).

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