Moderation is Key: Enjoy Yourself and Take Care of Your Health

A little bit of effort and strategy can go a long way this holiday season and keep you on track with your nutrition and fitness goals. While the holiday season can challenge your well-planned workout schedule and meals, you may benefit from giving yourself some grace this season and changing your focus.

It is important to be mindful of healthy behaviors but enjoy the holidays as well. Rather than stressing over ‘staying on track’ or ‘avoiding the dreaded holiday weight gain,’ focus on spending time with friends and family, taking time off work, and other hobbies you may not typically have time to pursue.

Enjoy the holidays and the time with loved ones. Allow yourself time to enjoy less healthful foods but in moderation.

It can be easy to get into an unhealthy cycle of overcompensation to “make up” for missed workouts or meals that may not be as nutritionally dense as you’re used to eating.

Here are some do’s and don’ts that can help you:

  • Do aim to fill half your plate with vegetables. 1/4th lean protein such as baked/grilled turkey, chicken, fish, lean ground beef, sirloin, or plant-based proteins such as black beans, edamame, and chickpeas. 1/4th quality carbohydrates such as whole grains, fruits, starchy vegetables.
  • Don’t try and overcompensate with over-exercise and food restrictions.
  • Do eat with intention and intuition. Build your plate with proper portions, then sit and eat. Avoid casually snacking and munching with unknown portions while socializing or watching television.
  • Don’t beat yourself up if you fall off track. Get back into your usual routine and focus on what you need, such as water, vegetables, lean proteins and regular physical activity instead of focusing on cutting out the “bad” foods and habits.
  • Do be mindful of empty calories in mixed drinks, alcoholic beverages, and even some alcohol-free drinks. Many holiday drinks are high-calorie drinks in disguise, especially rich and creamy cocktails such as White Russians or egg nog (spiked or not). Light beers and wine are slightly lower in calories. Liquor that is either served neat or with a low-calorie mixer such as tonic water or seltzer is a good option. Additionally, be aware that alcohol tends to increase appetite and lower inhibition, meaning you are more likely to overeat and choose less nutritious foods.
  • Don’t treat the holidays as an “all or nothing” situation. The “all or nothing” idea encourages an unhealthy relationship with food. It can also leave one feeling lethargic, sick or moody. I say, allow for a moderate amount of less healthful foods at all events. All foods fit into a healthy diet and lifestyle; moderation and balance are key.
  • Do drink water. Whether it’s between drinks or 10 minutes before you head back to the kitchen for a second round of food, staying hydrated can help keep you feeling satiated and full and lower the inhibition-lowering effects of alcohol.

The holidays are already a stressful time of year, but staying on track with your fitness goals can make it even more stressful. It's no surprise that weight gain, and even weight loss, are common for some people during the holidays: you're not as focused, there are more unhealthy temptations, and your schedule tends to be all over the place.

The holidays aren't about restricting yourself to the point where you can't enjoy anything. While you don't want to mess up your progress, you shouldn't be afraid to indulge in some sweet treats or a festive cocktail.

Here are some PRO-TIPS to stay on track during the holidays:


Mark in your calendar all the social events you plan on attending and build your workout schedule around them. You'll have a better chance at staying consistent if you've planned out your days as much as possible. Make sure to schedule time for both cardio and strength training.


If you know that you are travelling, have a workout plan that is quick and easy to follow. Don’t forget that we have many videos on the GFIT APP that you can easily follow. 


Meal prep is always important if you want to achieve your fitness goals, but the recipes don’t have to be complicated to be delicious. There are plenty of ways to quickly prep multiple meals to save you time and money. 


Drinking water will keep you fuller between the meals and you will not be tempted to snack as much.


There is a lot of running around and socializing over the holidays. This can wear you out pretty quick so expecting yourself to do an hour long workout is often unrealistic when you have little to no stamina. Set smaller goals to avoid burnout. Shorten the length of your workouts to 30 min by doing circuit training, HIIT or even supersets to save some time.

At the end of the day, following a workout schedule or sticking to your normal diet shouldn't take away from creating lifelong memories. Even if you fall off your fitness plan for a bit, you can always get back on. However, these tips will still set you up for success and help you go into the new year ready to conquer newer, more challenging goals.


Book a call with our Wellness Coordinator to learn more