Beat those holiday pounds
Updated on 04 December 2016

It is common knowledge that when the holidays roll around at the end of the year it can be easy to gain weight. This is probably due to the fact that we are busy socialising with our families (probably eating), planning our holiday festivities and shopping for gifts and the like: exercise and healthy regimens are sometimes no longer a priority for us, and thus the pounds can creep on.

While the holidays are mainly about joy, communion and celebration, we cannot allow the aftermath of all that fun to bring us down – there are ways to prepare your body so that you can stay in shape, and maintain your pre-holiday fitness.

Eating Habits:
Food is often the main activity during the holiday season. Work parties and socialising with friends etc. These are long affairs with multiple plates flying on and off the table and the food is usually moreish, but not necessary healthy. Since eating at those events is as mandatory as it gets, you should opt for healthier options from the menu.

Go for more balanced meals, splitting up your meal content into 50% protein, 25% carbs and 25% healthy fats. Whilst that might sound complicated, it is a simply a story of substituting your usual staples (carbs) for healthier options. Instead of rice try quinoa, it is a carb high in protein and low in starch. Opt for sweet potato instead of regular potato. Avoid bread in general, but if you can’t always go without, ensure you eat brown, or whole-wheat variations. Add vegetables to your diet, they are a great source of fibre and healthy carbs.

When the festivities roll around, you have earned the right to indulge, but don’t go nuts. Be smart about your choices; don’t over-fill your plate with mac n’cheese and mashed potato, but rather go for the protein, the turkey with a side of mash potato.

Increase/start training:
No matter how disciplined you are with you food, ultimately if you are inactive there will be some weight gain, so now would be the best time to start training!

If you already workout, increase your gym sessions per week, at least in the three weeks leading up to the holidays, instead of going 3 times a week try 5 times a week, push harder and eat well before and after going so not to over-exhaust yourself.

If you don’t work out, now would be the perfect time to start. The world of exercise is vast and diverse and good for you. No one is asking you to join an Olympic lifting class, if that’s not your thing - but ease yourself into an RPM class at your nearest Fitness First, allowing yourself to work at your own pace and intensity. Circuit training is another great way to be active, especially if you don’t workout since there are adjustable scaled options to suit all levels of fitness.

Travelling for the festive period and can’t get to a gym? You can also workout from home. Wake up in the morning and go for a run, or do some jumping jacks or push ups, use a skip rope, or do some interval training or even some yoga.

Use this time to set 2017 goals - The holiday season can be the gateway to your New Year’s resolution to lead a healthier lifestyle! Call 800 FITNESS (348 6377),
visit or log on to

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Fitness First is a global brand that originated in the UK. Backed by over 17 years experience, the fitness chain has grown into a network of over 380 clubs, with over 1 million members in more than 15 countries worldwide.

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