The holiday season is a time for joy and being with loved ones – but also a time where most people forget about fitness, nutrition and ruin their shape during the holidays.

With copious amounts of fatty food, alcoholic beverages and lack of exercise you may run into difficulties staying in shape during the holiday season.

Look, I totally understand the constant challenge of staying on track during the holidays and have created a simple checklist to stay in shape during the holidays.  


1. Relax and enjoy the holidays

Before you start stressing out about all the unhealthy foods at many festive parties, understand, this is the holidays – it’s okay to indulge a little. This is by no means the end of the world.

Getting frustrated with yourself will not do anything positive. The best thing you can do is to indulge, but limit the amount of junk.


2. Bring your own food to parties

Family parties are filled with food, but very little of it is suitable for your particular diet and workout program. Cook up a stew filled with lean meats/beans and veggies – in this way you can’t go wrong.


3. Construct a balanced plate

Let’s say you forgot to bring your own food – constructing a balanced plate may be your only saviour. Next time you’re at a holiday party, try starting with some low-fat protein, then load the plate with veggies. Your plate should be close to being filled and the remainder should fall to some starches; sweet potato, potato, pumpkin, squash, etc.


4. Control Sugar Cravings

Looking at this food in the long-term it’s essentially empty calories.

One way to avoid high sugar foods is to eat a wholesome and balanced meal before you start your dessert. Here’s what you’re going to do; fill a plate with a 1/5th lean protein and the rest with veggies.

Eat that plate first then have one small slice of cake or dessert – this should help to limit your craving and still enable you to have a little indulgence.


5. Keep moving

The biggest challenge during the holidays is not finding food, but rather finding time to exercise and stay active. The simple trick – move, constantly.

A dog needs walking – volunteer…Christmas Lights going up – you’ll do it. Anything that will enable you to keep moving will help limit the amount of weight you put on.


To be honest, this is not the time where you will be making strength progressions.


Don’t get on yourself for not hitting the gym, instead, do your best to stay on track as best you can – control the amount of muscle loss you have during this time period.

This could also be the best time for you to start doing those physio exercises and work out that nagging shoulder injury. Now is your chance to deload and workout deficiencies.

The holiday season can be a very difficult time to stay on track and maintain strength progress. Do yourself a favour and just relax, take some time off – but be conscious of your daily eating and lack of exercise. Try to stay moving, and eat the best foods you can.