The following article was provided by Innovative Fitness (White Rock), a boutique fitness studio that has changed thousands of lives since its debut in 1995. As North America’s industry leader in premium personal training, coaching, and lifestyle management, they provide best-in-class coaching and training 100% structured and tailored to your body, your goals, and your schedule, while optimizing your health and enabling personal reinventions. Continue below to learn about their nutritional tips & tricks that will help prepare you for this year’s holiday season at home.

For many of us, a big part of the holidays is coming together with family (even if that happens to be virtually) and nourishing our bodies with great food and maybe a few holiday elixirs. Many people think that there’s no way around gaining weight over the holidays because of all of the decadent food. If this is you, you may already be planning the diet or exercise plan you’ll implement after the holidays to drop the weight that you expect to gain. Other people choose to forego the food and events altogether because they’re afraid it will sabotage the progress that they’ve worked so hard to achieve. If you fall into this group, you might feel like you’ll be missing out on what the holidays are all about.

It doesn’t have to be this way…

There are a number of strategies that you can use to help mitigate weight-gain over the holiday season, without feeling like you’re depriving yourself of all that delicious food and good company. Today, we’ll look at three specific strategies that have proven to be very effective:

1. Commit to getting some type of exercise every day.

For many, the holidays not only mean an increase in calories, but also a decrease in structured exercise. We don’t make it to the gym as often as we usually do because we prioritize family commitments. While somewhat understandable, this throws our calories in vs. calories out off-balance before we even factor in any additional food intake.

This doesn’t have to be complicated, and it can even be fun! Get out in the yard and chase the kids around for 30 minutes. Alternatively, you can sneak some exercise into your regular routine around the house by lunging from room to room instead of walking, or committing to doing 10 pushups every time you make a trip to the bathroom, or 20 bodyweight squats each time you go to the fridge or make a game out of it by putting a rule in place that anytime someone says “Merry Christmas / Happy Hanukkah” (or whatever holiday you happen to be celebrating) EVERYBODY busts out one of these mini workouts. 

Just decide what your activity is going to be in advance and stick with it!

2. Try slightly modified versions of favourite recipes like our Guilt-Free Pumpkin Pie.

There are lots of healthier options of classic holiday recipes available online these days. For some people, this is a great option. On the other hand, this doesn’t necessarily fulfill the emotional connection you might have with your grandmother’s stuffing recipe, or dad’s cheesecake recipe. Our recommendation is – for the specific dishes that you have an emotional connection with – stick with the family recipe. For those recipes you DON’T have a strong specific connection to, see if you can find a healthier version of it online.

3. Eat slowly and don’t eat to the point of feeling physically ill.

This is one of those tips that SEEMS way too simple to be effective but, the truth is that this might actually be the most effective strategy on this list. Your body is pretty good at telling you how much food you need, as long as you take enough time and pay close enough attention to the signals it’s sending you.

The best action item you can possibly take into a “feast” is a commitment to eating slowly in order to give your body the time it needs for the natural hunger and fullness cues to work their magic. You’ll be amazed at how little food it might actually take to feel full, compared to your usual intake. Take a few bites, then sit back and engage in conversation for a few minutes before taking another few bites. After all, the season is about connection more than anything else.

Looking for more tips? Visit our friends over at Innovative Fitness (White Rock) to learn more about how you can practice healthier holidays! When you purchase a 1-month or 3-month package for Personal Training, Virtual Training, or Beyond Nutrition Coaching from Innovative Fitness White Rock, mention the PROMO CODE: “Peace” and 10% of your purchase will be GIFTED back to Peach Arch Hospital Foundation to enhance health and wellness in your community.