November 09, 2023 4 min read

You may not know this, but most people who gain weight during this time of year ... don't gain it because of the holidays themselves.

They gain it because of what they do before and after the holiday season.

Holiday weight gain actually starts in late September ... and doesn't really end until early March, long after the holidays are over.

And this is simply because most people give up on their fitness goals before any holidays even happen ... and then fall so far off track ... that it takes months to finally climb out of the hole. 

But there's a bright spot here too, because if you just stay consistent with a few simple things ... you can enjoy all the food, drinks, and holiday fun ... while continuing to make progress towards your goals.

So today, I'm going to share with you a couple easy tips to help you avoid holiday weight gain. 

1. Have a Plan

Don't just wing it ... because the chances are, you'll fall off track fast. Have a plan for food, have a plan for exercise ... and do your best to stick with that plan consistently leading up to any holiday celebrations you may have. 

If you're consistent ... you can enjoy those celebrations stress free, and you won't lose any progress towards your goals. 

2. Stay in Routine

Like I said earlier, holiday weight gain starts in late September ... and this is mainly because you let yourself fall out of routine. And we all know as time passes ... it only gets harder to get back into that routine.

The fix ... just don't let your routine slip. And then when those holiday celebrations come around ... one or two days off routine won't hurt your progress at all. And that will also make it a lot easier for you to jump back into your routine once the celebration is over.

3. Hit Your Daily Protein Goal

Protein is essential to any fitness plan. It helps you both burn fat & build muscle. It can also help balance your blood sugar ... and help control your appetite & cravings. That's a big help going into the holiday season. 

When you're more satisfied & have less cravings ... it's much easier for you to avoid all the heavier, high-calorie food that you see just about everywhere right now. And when you can avoid those "not-so-ideal" options leading up to your holiday celebrations ... indulging a bit on the actual holidays will be just fine.

So ... make sure you're eating enough protein on a daily basis. 

4. Drink Water

Right there with protein ... water is excellent at helping control your appetite. In fact, you might think you're hungry ... when you're actually thirsty.

So, if you're out holiday shopping or even heading to a holiday celebration ... make sure you're hydrated. It will help control your appetite & keep you from over-indulging. 

Plus, drinking enough water is essential to seeing the best fitness results ... no matter what time of year it is. 

5. Limit Alcohol

I know, I know ... this is a tough one, especially during the holidays. There's almost as many drinks around as there is food. And I'm not saying don't have a drink ... I'm just saying don't go crazy.

Whether that means at an actual holiday event or leading up to a holiday celebration ... do your best to limit the drinks. These calories add up fast ... and if you're not mindful, you'll be thrown off track fast.

My recommendation ... save your drinks for the actual holidays themselves. That way, you're minimizing the damage they can do. 

6. Use Supplementation

Sometimes you just can't avoid the temptations, no matter what you do. That's when supplements can be a massive help. There’re products designed specifically to help you crush cravings & suppress your appetite. These can be a life-saver during the holiday season.

These very same products can also help you burn fat ... not gain it, like most people do right now. 

Maybe you even struggle with tip #3 ... and something as simple as a protein shake maybe all the help you need.

There’re even products that can help you better break down the food you eat & use it for energy ... and these tools can come in very handy during your actual holiday celebrations. They can even help reduce the holiday dinner bloat! 

7. Sleep Well, Don't Stress, and Enjoy Yourself

I'm grouping these together because they're related. We all know what happens when you sleep poorly ... your appetite jumps up tremendously. Studies also show that when you're lacking sleep, you're not reaching for the healthiest of options either. So, make sure you focus on getting some quality sleep ... it will make it a lot easier to make the right decisions when it comes to food.

And I get it ... the holidays can be stressful. Stress can lead to poor sleep, bad food choices, weight gain ... and a ton of other issues. It's much easier said than done ... but just try not to stress too much. This is a great time of year, and stressing just isn't worth it.

Above all else though, enjoy yourself. If you follow these tips leading into the holidays ... I promise you'll be fine. You won't lose any progress, and you'll have a wonderful holiday season.

And if you need a game plan or have any questions about what you can do to stay on track right now ... just swing by your local Supplement Superstores location. We'll be more than happy to make sure you're set up for success!

*This post was written by Andrew Lynn, who has a B.S. in Nutrition & Dietetics. He's also a N.A.S.M. Certified Personal Trainer and N.A.S.M. Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist.