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Overeating and unhealthy foods are common causes of holiday weight gain. A personal trainer or fitness classes combined with a mindful eating plan will keep you in good shape for the New Year.

Beat the Holiday Bloat

Holiday feasts are a cause for celebration as we enjoy elaborate meals alongside our family members but all that eating, combined with the more sedentary lifestyles most people lead in the colder months, often results in weight gain. However, you don’t have to skip the festivities if you are mindful of your food intake and activity level. Try these tips to keep yourself in check during this holiday season:

Stay Active

The most common activities around the holidays do not usually involve a lot of exercise or movement. This holiday season, instead of simply watching sporting events or movies on television or playing board games, plan a more active agenda. Take a walk as a family to enjoy holiday lights and foliage in your neighborhood, or play a casual game of soccer or touch football. If your family isn’t convinced, sign up for some workout classes. It doesn’t have to be much, but any steps you can take will improve your metabolism and establish better habits.

Make Better Food Choices

Decadent treats are a big part of feasts. You don’t have to skip dessert, but eating other items can help you control your calorie intake. Carbs and sugar are empty calories that are easy to eat in abundance. It is easy to include protein in your meals by adding meat or serving dishes with quinoa or beans instead of bread, stuffing, or white rice.  Protein also increases your metabolism and curbs hunger. Vegetables, fruits, and whole grains that are high in fiber are also filling, leaving less room for excessive amounts of sweets afterward. And don’t forget that beverages, especially alcohol, also contain calories.

Bring Your Own Food

If you know that your family is unlikely to have a lot of healthy options on hand, you might want to bring something of your own to larger gatherings. This ensures that you will have at least one choice that you feel good about and also may encourage other family members to bring more nutritious items in the future. You can create most of your favorite holiday recipes with some simple substitutions to reduce the amount of sugar or carbs. Being proactive also reduces the stress and anxiety of attending family gatherings so you are able to relax and enjoy.


It is easy to make excuses for overeating, especially during the holidays. You may promise yourself to improve your habits as soon as the New Year hits or rationalize that it would be rude to refuse your family’s hospitality. Nutrition and fitness go hand in hand, so a personal trainer can help you to identify achievable goals and stick with them. If any of your friends or family members are also watching their weight, consider becoming each other’s cheerleaders and giving pep talks as needed. Celebrating your success is a great way to increase motivation!

Consider How You Eat

It is not just what we eat that matters, but also how we eat. Overeating is more likely when distracted, so avoid snacking or eating while working or watching television or a movie. The less food you consume in a single sitting, the fewer calories you will have to work off later. Control portion sizes by choosing a smaller plate or bowl and not going back for seconds. Make snacks less accessible to you so that you are eating because you are hungry, not because there is simply food in front of you. Also, be mindful of how much you are eating as you cook and sample your work because it can add up in the long run.

Don’t Delay, join The HUB today!

The HUB Recreation Center in Marion, Illinois offers many options to stay in shape. Become a member today and let our personal trainers and fitness instructors help you get fit in the New Year!





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