Denise Sanger

Denise Sanger

We survived Thanksgiving! Yay, time to get back on track. Wait. Are those Christmas cookies? That’s right! We may have made it through Halloween and Thanksgiving but we still have Christmas and New Year’s on the calendar. How can we possibly stay on track and avoid gaining weight during the holidays?

Unfortunately, holiday weight gain happens to the best of us. But it doesn’t have to. Following are a few simple tips that can help you breeze through the holidays at the same weight you started. Ready? Let’s begin:

1. Stay active with family and friends. There are so many fun activities to choose from at this time of the year. My friends and I just completed a 5K at Country Strong Gym to help the Suwannee Sheriff’s Posse provide for those less fortunate during the holidays. This coming week is Jingle Bell Jog 5K which coincides with the Christmas Tree lighting in downtown Live Oak followed by Christmas on the Square. Events that will keep us moving while having a great time.

2. Stay on track with your meals. Many of us think that if we “save” calories by skipping a meal, we’ll be OK. What actually happens though is we tend to overindulge when we do sit down to eat. It’s better if we stick to our regular meal routines.

3. Drink the water our bodies need. During the cooler months, it’s not as easy to stay on track with keeping our bodies hydrated. Make a conscious effort to drink half your body weight in water every single day. What I have found works best for me is to either use a larger water jug or to know how much water is in my bottle and how many times I need to refill it to reach my goal.

4. Snack smartly. Not all snacks are created equal so make smart choices. Reach for more fruits and nuts and less cookies and cakes. Save the sweets for a special dessert so you don’t feel deprived.

5. Watch your portion sizes. It is VERY easy to over do portion sizes especially when it comes to our favorite foods we only eat once a year. So that you eat all your favorites without overindulging, stick to a single or half portion of each one. This way you’ll still enjoy all your favorites without feeling stuffed like that turkey you just ate.

6. Be present when you eat. During the holidays, we rush, rush, rush from one thing to another often shoveling food in our mouths when we get the time. No matter how busy you are, make it a priority to sit down and eat your meals.

7. Make sure you eat protein with every meal. Holiday meals tend to be carb heavy so we need to make sure we are including protein with each one as it will help us to feel full. Good sources of protein include meat, poultry, fish, and some plant foods like beans and quinoa.

8. Limit liquid calories. Yes you know exactly what calories I’m talking about. We should never “drink” our calories whether they are the adult variety to sugary sodas or the holiday virgin eggnog. When you’re trying hard to stay on track, it’s best to limit your intake of high-calorie beverages

It may seem extra hard to stay on track during the holidays, but when you are getting plenty of exercise and following the eight tips above, it makes it a little easier to avoid gaining weight. And always remember the holidays are about memories, not things. Enjoy!

To your health,


Denise Sanger is an over 50 health/lifestyle blogger and speaker. Known for motivation, inspiration & loving the BEACH. Certified fitness instructor, Silver Sneakers Instructor, Zumba, STRONG by Zumba instructor, gentle flow yoga, teaches morning classes at Country Strong Gym. Denise may be reached at, 386-292-6105 or

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