Fitness Trail: Avoiding the dreaded holiday five to seven with 10 tips for a happier, healthier season

Jackie Wright
The Fitness Trail

Every year the average American gains five to seven pounds between Thanksgiving Day and New Year’s Day.

While a five-to-seven-pound weight gain does not sound like much, the problem that researchers in the health and fitness industry have discovered is that the weight gain does not tend to be lost post-holidays. Unfortunately, it is added to the weight gain during the next holiday season, and before we know it, five to seven pounds has turned into 15, 20, 25 and 30 pounds over a period of years.

Rather than succumbing to the weight gain this year, follow these 10 tips to help you to cruise through this holiday season and into 2022 happier and healthier. As always, prior to beginning any exercise program, please consult your physician.

Tip 1 — Stay on track with your exercise program. If you have not begun one, now is the time to do it. Don’t wait until 2022 because, in general, New Year’s resolutions do not work long term.

Tip 2 — Be active. Avoid sitting as it burns few calories and leads to more sedentary behavior. Move your body through space and time with purpose throughout the day.

Tip 3 — Weigh yourself once a week on the same day, at the same time of day, same clothes on or off, same scale prior to starting or following your exercise program. Record the information in a journal so you can track your body weight during the holiday season and throughout the year.

Tip 4 — Keep a food journal now and throughout the year as it will help to keep you on track.

Tip 5 — Enjoy your holiday traditions and rituals on the day of the event and only on the day of the event. So many people begin overindulging on Thanksgiving Day and do not stop until New Year’s Day, which is one of the major reasons that the five to seven pounds piles up throughout the body.

Tip 6 — Eat a healthy snack of 100-150kcal prior to attending holiday parties and events. You will feel satisfied when you arrive and generally make wiser choices throughout the party.

Tip 7 — Choose a small plate and those food items that you do not tend to enjoy throughout the year so that it will seem special. Once you have chosen your plate and food items, move away from that buffet table and avoid going back for seconds.

Tip 8 — Drink a glass of water prior to eating and drinking and between each holiday and alcoholic beverage. This will help to fill you up and stave off dehydration.

Tip 9 — Avoid nibbling while preparing food for holiday parties. Eat a healthy snack before you begin cooking so that you are satisfied and less likely to indulge.

Tip 10 — On the day of the special meal, enjoy it, but give away additional leftovers so that you and your family will have a meal or two out of the leftovers, but then the munching is over until next year.

We can enjoy a wonderful time of year and still make wise choices which may lead to a happier and healthier holiday season and 2022. Happy Holidays!

Jackie Wright is the owner and manager of Mountain Life Fitness in Granby. She may be reached at her website at, and her email at

Jackie Wright
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