Stay on track during the holiday season

Posted11/24/2018 7:30 AM

The holiday season is upon us.

For many, it's a wonderful time of year spent with family and friends. The days between Thanksgiving and New Year's seem to be filled with countless gatherings that are often centered on food and drinks.


It's also the time of year when there seems to be a carefree attitude with keeping up on proper nutrition and exercise.

Most people end up gaining weight as the year wraps up and many will struggle to take it back off.

Rather than finding yourself in a bad situation come January, let's identify some common misconceptions that could stand in the way of you staying on track during the holiday season.

It's normal to gain weight during the holidays so I won't worry about it.

Well, obviously with that attitude weight gain is inevitable.

The good news is, we have plenty of clients who will continue to lose weight this time of year. The main reason for their success is that they have time-sensitive goals that are more important to them than that extra helping of dessert.

Never forget your priorities.

I'll just wait until the New Year to get my health on track.

Procrastination is never a good thing, but to think that a New Year's Resolution is going to change everything might not be the best game plan.

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Starting over in January is tough, and many resolutions are not sensible enough to maintain.

Your best option is to enjoy yourself over the holidays, but not to the point of sabotaging your future health. Now is the time to make change.

I can eat whatever I want as long as I just do more cardio to burn off those extra calories.

If you're still following the calories in/calories out philosophy, your views on nutrition may be falling short.

Our bodies utilize critical nutrients from the food we eat, not just the calories. Doing an hour on the treadmill will not simply offset the sugary dessert and extra drinks you had the night before.

It's impossible to host a holiday party with healthy food.

Sure, healthy recipes can be tricky, but it's amazing how delicious wholesome foods can be if prepared correctly.

Dishes like turkey, roast beef, sweet potatoes, and baked vegetables can taste amazing and offer a preferable nutrient to caloric ratio.

Try desserts that have fruit as the main ingredient, such as baked apples with a bit of cinnamon and a sprinkle of granola.

Healthy dishes should be the foundation of your party menu.


If I don't try every dish at the party, I might offend the host.

We hear this one all the time!

Yes, you may get "picked on" a little bit if you skip the cheesy potato casserole or pecan pie, but is that really so bad?

Rather than thinking you might be perceived as the outcast, take the lead and set a good example. No one will think badly of you.

So rather than giving in this time of year to temptations and finding yourself regretting it in January, set yourself up for success right now. You'll be proud of yourself in the long run.

For more exercise and nutrition tips, visit for links to our blog and social media resources.

• Joshua Steckler is the owner of Push Fitness, a personal training studio located in Schaumburg specializing in weight loss, muscle toning, and nutrition. Contact him at

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