Slim Down During the Holidays with These Smart Tips


By: , SparkPeople Blogger
  :  51 comments   :  47,784 Views

As a fitness instructor, this is the time of year that I dread. Attendance drops dramatically in my classes, and I notice a lot more empty spots in the gym parking lot than ever before. I know people are busy, but I also think that people give up, planning to get back on track next year.

What's too bad is that sticking it out not only has a multitude of benefits for your fitness level, weight management goals, and stress reduction, but also prevents you from starting over later. And as we all know, getting back on track after being OFF track for so long is never easy.

So here are some tips for you to stay focused this time of year—and maybe even ring in the New Year a little lighter.

Get Motivated to Move

25 Ways to Get Back on Track Today
Don't let a few slipups prevent you from reaching your goals. You can lose weight, eat healthy and exercise, and you don't have to wait until New Year's to do it. Don't give up on your goals.

Burn Off Holiday Calories
Don't worry if you went a little overboard last week. Our fun and easy exercise videos will help you burn extra calories on your time without setting foot in a gym! Fit in fitness.

Lose Weight Over the Holidays
Yes, weight loss and holiday celebrations can go together. Here are my top 20 tips to make it happen!

Need motivation to stick to it?
Commit to a new goal or challenge. Now is the perfect time to start a fun 4-week challenge to keep you focused and on track through the end of the year. Choose from fitness, healthy cooking, bootcamp and more!

Healthy Food Ideas

Make Roasted Turkey & Vegetable Soup with your leftover turkey.

Get back on track! Try 15-Minute Chili for extra filing power on a cold day!

Wondering how long those leftovers will last? Think safety first.

For more ideas for using your Turkey Day leftovers, check out these delicious recipes.

Are you committed to slimming down—or preventing weight gain—over the holidays? How do you plan to do it?

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  • 51
    ya ya ya ya i like it even though im sporadic because of time and kid restrictions i have decided they need to join me on my long walks and they need the flax and all the good eating tools ive found in these adventures to so in the last two years ive lost around 95 lbs and went from top size 26 to a 9/10 i walk more douring the holidays and blame the kids behavior on it the park across town is our best friend cause we walk - 12/3/2010   9:28:42 AM
  • 50
    Re-read and recommitted! - 12/2/2010   5:06:57 PM
    Thanks for the common sense ideas. I definitely am off track, and I don't plan to wait for after New Year's to get back to business! Bless you. Merry Christmas!
    Pam - 12/2/2010   4:52:13 PM
    Yes, Yes, Yes I am committed to staying on track this holiday season and this winter.
    I dont want to start another new year beginning again.
    - 12/1/2010   7:24:37 PM
    I always exercise in the late afternoons. But with the Cristmas schedule, and thanks to this article, I was forced to switch to mornings in order to keep a 3 to 4 times a week workout. I was pleasantly surprised how different is the workout dinamic in the mornings. I met new people and I feel more comfortable I'll stay in control during the holidays. Thank you! - 12/1/2010   11:17:01 AM
  • 46
    I'm still doing a lot of walking! And even more cleaning since Christmas is coming!!! - 12/1/2010   12:32:58 AM
  • 45
    Joining the 5% challenge team as well as feeling better, I am committed to being healthy during the holidays to avoid any weight gain! Committed to exercising 5-6 days per week, tracking food and drinking my water!! - 11/30/2010   11:26:24 PM
  • 44
    this was a very good article to read for the holidays i am going to try real hard to maintain weight loss during the holidays i want to feel better about myself and I just posted this article to Facebook - 11/30/2010   10:39:25 PM
  • 43
    this was a very good article to read for the holidays i am going to try real hard to maintain weight loss during the holidays i want to feel better about myself - 11/30/2010   10:33:55 PM
  • 42
    The holidays are the same time every year. I find if I start shopping when school starts, I can pick away at it, get the toys that are hard to find later in the year without problem, and not miss my workouts due to the crazy running around of the last couple of weeks. I might not get the black friday sales but paying a little bit each month as I go, is better than one big lump at the end of the year. Less stress for me and getting in my workouts is priceless! - 11/30/2010   1:19:49 PM
    Unfortunately I have gotten a bit backed up with work this semester (term papers + PhD applications, yikes!) and now that every hour counts, I am not able to spend the time for fitness that I usually do. I am watching what I eat, though, and hopefully will come out the other end okay. Actually I will be back to normal around December 15th. - 11/30/2010   9:43:44 AM
    I do plan to slim down during the holidays. I just joined Gold's Gym. A long as I don't overeat & get some exercise I think I will be fine. - 11/30/2010   9:01:50 AM
  • 39
    Thanks for the reminder! Luckily, I've reached a point in my journey where I can't not work out. It's a good addiction (because it's under control) - even when we travel, we stay where there's a fitness room, and we get guest passes at my mother's gym when we visit her. - 11/30/2010   5:22:19 AM
  • 38
    This past Thanksgiving was the FIRST in 12 years that I did NOT GAIN a pound! I plan to eat the same way at Christmas that I did for Thanksgiving---limit portions and sizes to 1/2 cup up to 1 cup of different foods available. I had turkey[no gravy/white meat], stuffing,gr.bean casserole,mashed potatoes w/cheese on top and pumpkin pie[I did not have any bread or rolls].Eating a small portion of everything that we had [we did not offer bread,rolls or gravy] let me feel satisfied but not overly full! - 11/30/2010   12:37:14 AM
  • 37
    Thank you for this timely reminder that Thanksgiving is a single day in November; and Christmas is a single day in December. "The Holidays" do NOT include the month of days in between - unless I let them! - 11/29/2010   10:46:09 AM
  • 36
    Thanks for a timely article! I was just about to send my trainer an e-mail to cancel until after the holidays. You've given me the motivation to workout THROUGH the holidays :) - 11/28/2010   6:05:09 PM
  • 35
    Yes! I joined the 28-day Bootcamp challenge 4 days ago before reading this because I wanted to stay motivated during the holidays and I must say I have never being this fit and conscious about my health before! - 11/28/2010   10:10:24 AM
    I am going to track my food, continue exercising, look for other ways to celebrate the holidays, limit my social obligations to just a few outings and go full, not hungry. I am also going to try and be mindful of the land mines that can sabotage me into eating things that are not healthy for me. Thank you for an inspiring blog entry! - 11/28/2010   6:54:46 AM
    great information... now to apply it :) - 11/28/2010   6:43:40 AM
  • 32
    I just continue doing my 3 hrs. of daily exercise bike riding, holiday or no holiday, weekend or not, that gets done, same as taking any med every day. Maintenance is my thing, losing wouldn't be good anyway, because it won't be kept off, it's a "false loss", that comes back quickly this time of year. - 11/27/2010   8:49:28 PM
    These are some great tips and well taken... - 11/27/2010   6:18:51 PM
  • 30
    Our pool is closed for the Christmas season, but I'm trying a few exercises Rehab Plus gave me to do. It is very difficult to watch your calories, there is so much good food. I am not a big sweet eater, so I won't be eating much of that. I hope to at least maintain, if nothing else. - 11/27/2010   3:58:11 PM
    Attendance drops dramatically in my classes, and I notice a lot more empty spots in the gym parking lot than ever before. I know people are busy, but I also think that people give up, planning to get back on track next year....AND PEOPLE GET SICK, TOO! I DREAD GOING TO THE GYM AND TRAINING NEXT TO TYPHOID MARY! Please stay home if you are ill! - 11/27/2010   3:54:46 PM
  • 28
    I love Spark People showing us goals that can be formed or grabbed hold of and then challenging us with our PLAN.

    I had a friend who told me she was going to lose 50 lbs. for her 25th wedding anniversary (11 months away). When I asked her what her plan was, she changed the subject!

    I've learned a lot about making a plan. That is the difference between achieving a goal and missing it all together!

    BTW, my goal for the next 35 days is to lose 5#'s by Jan. 1st, 2011.
    My plan: I'm doing cardio 35-55 min 4 days a week, strength training for 1 hr. 2x's ea week. I'm adding in fruits & veggies every day.

    Food intake & balance is still my weak point. Sugar is still a "demon" to be slayed. That is most likely the point that keeps me from losing. The good news is that I'm NOT gaining. - 11/27/2010   2:39:33 PM
  • 27
    Great suggestions! I do not want to feel the dreaded holiday bulge again this year. I am working to make exercise a priority, and to reach for water before any sugary treats. - 11/27/2010   2:08:50 PM
  • 26
    Thanks for posting SO MUCH awesome info in one blog post. I've never known where/how to enter a challenge :) I'm ready to actually commit to this - 11/27/2010   1:47:29 PM
    This time of year always seems to make me forget me long term weight loss goals. Temptation is everywhere. Thank you for these valuable tips. - 11/27/2010   12:22:35 PM
  • 24
    Great article and wonderful ideas! Thank you!!! - 11/27/2010   12:22:07 PM
  • 23
    I am determined to move and fit in even 10 minute workouts throughout a busy day. Its a step forward and keeping moderation and portion control a MUST. Having the SP community to chat with, look for support and ideas is going to help me get through the holidays without slacking off on activities and healthy eating habits. Having others who are trying to be accountable and understand your daily struggles does make a difference. Keep the blogs coming Coach Nicole, I love learning and finding new ways to keep my momentum intact. - 11/27/2010   11:24:07 AM
  • 22
    I WILL backoff overeating and step up my exercise! Yes, I can do it!
    Please, join me! - 11/27/2010   11:21:28 AM
  • 21
    GREAT tips...i posted to my FB page to keep re-reading!!! Excellent!!!! We CAN do this!!!! - 11/27/2010   10:22:56 AM
  • 20
    Thanks for the info. I was a little worried that I wouldn't do it, however I lost two pounds this week. My husband and I went to the gym Thanksgiving morning, now we have a new tradition of stair steppin while watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade! - 11/27/2010   10:11:34 AM
  • 19
    I treat this time of year as any other time - with health and fitness as a priority. These are great tips. Thank you! - 11/27/2010   8:57:32 AM
  • 18
    My #1 goal during the holidays is to not gain. It was actually a goal for a long time before I even started SP. - 11/27/2010   7:06:40 AM
  • 17
    Wow, talk about a treasure trove of information! I will "digest" it over the next few days by saving it to my favorites! Thanks. - 11/27/2010   3:27:05 AM
    Much to my delight, I've found I can't eat like I used to! So, I'm planning on continuing to listen to my body, keep charting every ounce of food I consume, and keep working out and strength training. I plan to stay on track and follow that little red goal line right on down the page! - 11/27/2010   2:08:40 AM
    I am going to keep exercising regularly and eating healthy in my calorie range like the rest of the year. - 11/27/2010   1:20:08 AM
  • 14
    I am trying to slow down on the fattening food and increase my attendance at Curves. I just started on Curves Smart. I am really trying hard to get back in the exercise habit. - 11/27/2010   1:00:29 AM
  • 13
    Best time to lose weight, during the holidays! - 11/27/2010   12:56:05 AM
  • 12
    Wow -- with all those links, there is a lot packed in here... But I must admit that most of all - I really want those socks! (no... really!) - 11/27/2010   12:52:04 AM
  • 11
    Great article - I do plan to stay on track and keep losing during the holidays. I know it will be a challenge - I travel frequently - but the tips here will help. - 11/26/2010   11:36:35 PM
  • 10
    I plan to minimize overeating and step up my exercise. I know it will be a busy time so I am better off doing my exercise first thing in the morning. I also set a goal to get up to 400 miles by the end of the year. I am at 339 miles now so I have my work cut out for me! - 11/26/2010   8:35:52 PM
  • 9
    I will be releasing some pounds between now and January 1, 2011 so I certainly will NOT be packing any on. I know the average person gains 15# from October 31st to December 31st, but that isn't going to be me. - 11/26/2010   7:48:39 PM
  • 8
    Great article.

    Last year I gained weight during the holidays even though I ate within my recommended calorie range and continued to work out. The only things that changed is that my stress levels (and time commitments) went up and I ate at a less regular schedule.

    This year I will do my best to eat within my calorie goals at least the majority of the time, continue to work out, and try to keep a more consistent schedule. - 11/26/2010   2:30:46 PM
  • 7
    I never gain weight over the holidays. I don't have any social obligations so the holidays for me are pretty much like any other time of year. - 11/26/2010   1:11:41 PM
  • 6
    Good -- and timely -- article!
    I'm weird; I can lose weight traveling and during holidays or vacations; it's the daily grind that I am less committed to (probably lasts too long and I get bored). I'll try these tips and see if I can't build a pattern now that will last into the return to 'normal./ - 11/26/2010   12:14:31 PM
  • 5
    Holidays or no holidays - no excuses for not staying on track, right? I'll be committed to thinking about these thoughts over the next weeks... - 11/26/2010   12:12:42 PM
  • 4
    Nice article. Right on the money. I am going to try real hard to be one of those people who loose weight or maintain over the holidays. For me it's about making the holidays about celebrating the birth of baby Jesus and enjoying good friends and family. - 11/26/2010   11:45:05 AM
  • 3
    Yes I am less people at the pool more open lanes for me to swim... I step up exercise as there is less to do in winter - 11/26/2010   11:24:40 AM
  • IN102WIN
    I pledge to be mindful of my eating and exercise everyday. I plan to increase my walking and/or running, track my meals and weigh my self twice a week!!! - 11/26/2010   11:23:23 AM

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