• Dr Felecia Sumner

7 Secrets to Stay in Shape During The Holiday Season

Even though our celebrations may be more intimate this year, the combination of colder weather and plenty of comfort food can still mean that your health and fitness goals are sidelined over the holiday season. Plus, lots of people find that they put weight on too, which can be hard to shift come January. If you want to avoid this scenario, you’ll need to be a bit more diligent over the festive period and take a few extra steps to be active and eat well. Here are some tips for staying fit during the holiday season, even if you’ve got lots of plans!


It’s okay to cheat sometimes


Staying fit over the holiday season doesn’t mean that you can’t “cheat” and have a few festive treats too. Don’t beat yourself up for getting into the spirit a little bit … just as long as you’re not overindulging all the time in the name of “holidays” and just make sure that you try to eat healthy the rest of the time.


This is super important over the holiday season as any pounds you gain at this time of year can be really difficult to lose and often contribute to annual weight gain. It’s definitely a delicate balance between not restricting yourself too much but not going overboard either, even on “cheat” days where you allow yourself a few festive treats.


Make healthier versions of holiday treats


Want a guilt free way to “cheat” at holiday parties without throwing your hard work out of the window? Try making super healthy versions of your favorite holiday treats so that it won’t hinder your healthy eating plans.


Need some inspiration?


● You can make healthy brownies with bananas, almond butter and cocoa powder

● Applesauce, cannellini beans, pumpkin, vanilla and peanut butter healthier versions for healthier versions of Buckeyes

● This cinnamon apple cake is ideal for healthier holiday inspired comfort food, as is this carrot apple bread

● Want a healthier version of mulled wine? This mulled beetroot and orange juice mulled beetroot and orange juice is perfect!


There are lots of ways to make super healthy versions of the festive treats you love, without compromising on taste. And if you share them at holiday events, you’ll probably find that your friends and family love them too and won’t even notice that they’re so healthy.


Drink plenty of water


Water is really important for keeping yourself hydrated over the holidays, especially if you’re indulging in alcoholic drinks. That’s not the only reason to make sure that you keep up with your fluids though. It’s also very useful for helping you to feel full, which can cut down on the amount of holiday snacking you do.


Workout early in the day


Got some busy days and evenings lined up over the holidays? It’s easy for fitness to slide off your to-do list completely when you’ve got lots of plans. One way around this is to squeeze your workouts in earlier in the day so that they definitely happen. First thing in the morning can work well, although this can be a big challenge if you’re not used to early workouts!


Do what you can


If you’re super busy, you might not have the time or motivation for your usual workouts. Doing something is a lot better than nothing and can help you to stay fit and avoid seeing the pounds creeping on. You may decide to switch up your usual workouts completely to fit the time you have available. For example, High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) sessions can be great for this.


Don’t sit for too long


Do you know about the dangers of sitting down a lot? Chances are, you probably spend a lot of time sitting down over the holidays. From cocktails with friends or family to watching holiday shows and movies, there’s a huge amount of potential for lazing around during the festive season and that can make you more likely to add a few extra pounds. Plus, it’s not good for your health either. Try to get up and move about for at least 5 minutes out of every hour you spend being inactive. This can counteract some of the downsides of sitting too much.


Get active as much as you can


Workouts aren’t your only option for being active over the holiday season. Look for different ways that you can get moving more without having to compromise on enjoying yourself. From winter walks to games and dance offs … anything goes! On a more practical note, you can fit in more steps in your day-to-day life. Going to the grocery store? Park further away than you normally would so you have to walk that little bit extra. Using the escalator? Climb up the steps as you would a staircase, rather than just waiting to get to the top


However you decide to celebrate the holiday, know that it’s a primer for your next year. As you make moves see progress in 2021, let this be the beginning of treating yourself better. You deserve it!

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