Tips to Prevent Holiday Weight Gain
December 18, 2013
By Marita Tillerás
Tips to Prevent Holiday Weight Gain
Too much goodness and too little exercise over the silly season is the perfect formula for creating a few new love handles.

Weight gain during the festive Christmas season seems to be a lot more common than at any other time of the year.

But by following these simple tips and tricks everyone should be able to have their cake and eat it too.

Determine when Christmas and the holiday season really started for you

Be honest. If you are already on week 4 of "it is okay, it is Christmas after all", you might want to tone it down a notch and try to incorporate a few routines. Plan when you are going to eat all this goodness based on the days you have events happening, and stay healthy the other days.

Make sure you eat real food before indulging in treats

I live by a 'no meal without dessert' rule, but the dessert does not have to be unhealthy. Fruit is always a good solution! By eating a complete meal (include protein, complex carbohydrates and good fat) followed by a naturally sweet dessert, the desire for unhealthy things will be tamed, and you won't eat as much as you would on an empty stomach.

Go for the healthy options first

Try to serve yourself larger servings of the healthier options on the table, and smaller servings of the less healthy options. You will still get a little bit of everything, and your body will thank you.

Serve fresh fruit and nuts instead of sweets

Swap the bowls of candy on the table with bowls of fresh fruit and nuts. People often tend to reach for what is nearby, and if the chocolate is all the way in the kitchen, but the grapes and roasted almonds are on the table in front of them, guess what will be eaten first?

Understand your limits

Of course you can try a little bit of everything, just be aware of the amounts. No one is forcing you to eat half a Pavlova at every family gathering, and you don't have to drink that entire bottle of wine just because everyone else is doing it. Limit the consumption to a small glass of wine and one slice of Pavlova. You won't miss out on the food fun, and no one will look funny at you for saying no, because you had a little taste instead. Win-win situation.

Be active

I don't know about you, but I function a lot better during the day if I get to move around. Reward yourself with a nice workout where you can take a break from the stress of Christmas (because let's be honest, Christmas can be stressful), and make sure it is a type of activity that you enjoy. Look forward to exercising, rather than dreading it.

Offer to do the dishes, play with the kids, go to the beach and swim, play a game of footy with family and friends, always choose the stairs, take the family for a stroll to the shops. Incidental activity helps you live longer. You might see a personal trainer once a week, but that only equals 2% of your weekly schedule, the rest is up to you.

And last, but not least, enjoy life!

You will not be worrying about the three extra fruit mince pies you ate for Christmas 2013, or the extra bottle of champagne you drank on New Years Eve 2013, when you are 80 years old and looking back at your life. Christmas only comes once a year, make memories and enjoy it.

Marita Tilleras is a Norwegian third year media student at La Trobe University, a personal trainer at Goodlife Preston and a passionate health blogger. She is a health and fitness fanatic, and can be found in the gym most days, unless it is beach weather. You can read Marita's blog at and contact her at
"By following these simple tips and tricks to prevent holiday weight gain, everyone should be able to have their cake and eat it too."