How To Stay Healthy Over The Holidays

With Thanksgiving now behind us and more holidays in the recent future, it is time to do some reflecting and planning!

Reflection: How well did you do with portion control?  Did you find time to exercise? Are you still celebrating the holiday by eating leftovers and sitting around?

I myself am a big fan of Thanksgiving and the food and drink that comes with it! Yes, trainers have cravings too! With that said, we cut out several of the sweets, butters, and breads to allow ourselves the enjoyment of other items we wanted (stuffing, adult beverages and a lot of turkey). We also make sure we stay active by going on a family hike and the rest of the weekend we put up decorations and got right back into the swing of things with our regular exercise and nutrition.

Being mindful of our eating and movement helps prevent us from gaining the normal 10-15 lbs. over the holidays. If you are like a majority of individuals with the holidays and the end of the year upon us, you have more stress and you are attending more functions and coming up with more excuses to not workout and eat properly.

With the holidays approaching you are thinking “How can I not gain weight?”, “What can I do to motivate myself to get into the gym while it is cooler and darker outside?”, “What can I eat and/or drink at the party I am going to this weekend?” etc.…

I will be frank with you and let you know that eating clean during the holiday season and staying focused with your workouts is challenging for most individuals. It is however, not impossible! If it is important to you, you will succeed! You need to make your health a priority and not let others influence you into eating or drinking something you do not want and/or need.

You need to get your butt out of bed and hit the gym (or get outside) and get your workouts in.

Truthfully, it is difficulty, not impossible, to lose weight with all the parties and good food you will be around, but you can at least maintain where you are at and then have a head start on 2019.

Below is a list of several foods that will be eaten on Thanksgiving and holidays and the corresponding caloric outputs needed to counter these foods. Outside taking smaller portions, using a smaller plate, filling up with lean protein sources and veggies you can combat the weight gain by increasing activity. Remember if you consume more calories than your body needs you will gain weight!  If you know you are going to over do the eating, try and be more active than normal to offset the additional calories. This is not ideal for losing weight and/or body fat. This will however assure you do not start 2019 off further from the way you want to look and feel.

FOODS                                    CALORIES                   CARBS (grams)          FATS (grams)

1 light beer                              102.66                         5.81

8 oz. wine                               198.24                         6.42

Turkey thigh                            492.48                                                             26.82

Potatoes-mashed 1 cup         237.30                         35.51

Apple pie-1 slice                     270                              45                                9

Gravy-1 serving                     25.69                           4.56

Turkey-Breast                       152                                                                  .8

Yam-4oz                                  132                              31.20

Ham                                          246                              4.2                               14.27

Most Red meats (3oz)            188                                                                  12.6

Chocolate chip cookie           68.7                             8.86                             3.6

ACTIVITIES – based on 1 hour

WEIGHT OF INDIVIDUAL              130lbs              155lbs              190lbs

General Aerobics                                354                  422                  518

High impact aerobics                         413                  493                  604

Bike-leisure <10mph                          236                  281                  345

Bike-fast 16-19mph                             708                  844                  1035

Child care-seated                                 177                  204                  259

Child care-standing                            207                  246                  302

General house cleaning                      207                  246                  302

Vigorous house cleaning                    266                  317                  388

Running- 11.5 mph                              531                  633                  776

Running-6 mph                                    944                  1126                1380

Weight lifting-light                             177                  211                  259

Weight lifting- vigorous                      354                  422                  518

You can see that there are better choices that can be made with food as well as just stepping up the intensity of your current routine and/or adding some activity can make a big difference.

So, enjoy your holiday season by being active and making better food choices. Take this time to start a habit of going to the gym and/or exercising at home on a regular basis. It takes approximately 4 weeks to form a habit. Start your routine off exercising on a regular basis and focus on the clean eating after the holiday. This will allow you to focus on one at a time rather than changing both at the same time and becoming overwhelmed.

I suggest getting at least 30 minutes of exercise on a daily basis. One’s fitness goal(s) will determine how long they should exercise and what type of exercise should be the main focus. If it’s to offset the extra calories, do more cardio. If it is to have more muscle to burn more calories on a consistent basis then lift. Either way a combination of both with stretching is the best for an overall healthy exercise routine.

For those of you who feel you just do not have the time to exercise, the following are two examples of workouts that can be done in less than 20 minutes and will target each muscle group. If you find them too easy and you have more time repeat each exercise for a total of 2-3 rounds. I recommend you consult your physician before starting any exercise and/or diet program. I also suggest you give STS a call today and get in for your workout, consult, meal plan or whatever you need to be fit in 2019!

Workout 1:

*Squat thrust x15

*Push-ups x15

*Squats x25

*Bent over db or band rows with palms facing in x15

*Leg curls with a stability ball or machine

*Pelvic raises x25

*Leg raises x 20

*Lat raises x 12-15

*Bench dips x 15-20

*Squat jumps x 15

*Db or band curls x 15

Workout 2:

*Lunge and kick x 15 each leg

*Mt climbers x 25 each leg

*Shadow Box using 5lb db’s or soup cans x 30 each arm (jabs)

*Shadow Box using 5lb db’s or soup cans x 20 each arm (upper cuts)

*Squats and side kicks x 15 each leg

*Squat and side punches when you come up x 15 each using same as above

*Bicycle kicks (abs) x 30 each way

*Squats and db curls to shoulder press x 15

*Supermans x15

*Bent over rear delts (reverse flies) x 15

*Planks x 1 minute

Scott Keppel is the owner of Scott’s Training Systems, a world-class coaching facility in Chandler, Arizona. He is a nationally certified trainer through NASM and ISSA. His mission is to empower women of all ages and fitness levels. For more information head to or check him out on Instagram at @stsnation.


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