Surviving Thanksgiving and Christmas – Eating, Exercise and In-Laws

Fast approaching is FATTEN season.  Bulking Season.  The Holidays.  Stress Eating Time.  We are going to give you a few tips on surviving Thanksgiving and Christmas in eating a little healthier, getting some exercise in, making better alcohol choices and coping with the in-laws and out-laws.

Make the Best Food Choices

Problem:  The doorbell rings and in come the Griswolds!  If your family is anything like mine, they YOLO (You Only Live Once) hard when out of town on vacations.   It doesn’t matter what your diet is, they are coming in hot with donuts, kolaches, pies and cakes.  You are probably thinking “Well, it’s just a little pie or it’s just a little cake”.  Its true…life is about balance.  Just don’t let a “quest for balance” turn into 10 to 15 pounds of holiday weight gain from a series of unfortunate decisions.  Let’s see if we can help.

Solution:   When it’s time to eat, be sure you have a couple of strategies in your pocket.

  • Drink a big glass of water before you eat. This is going to make you full quicker and will limit the volume available.
  • Use a smaller plate. This sounds like common sense but it really does work!  If you are starving after you clean off that plate, wait 20 minutes.  If you are still starving, then go back!
  • Limit grazing. You aren’t a cow.  You don’t need to continually eat all day every day.  The food is EVERYWHERE.  Don’t worry you will get some.  Eat 3-4 good solid meals a day.
  • DON’T SKIP BREAKFAST! I am the worst about this.  I skip breakfast to save up my “calorie points” for the big show.  Then I am so hungry, I overeat and hate myself A LOT.
  • Try to fill your tiny plate with mostly veggies and protein. Then healthy fats such as nuts, avocado, as well as other nut butters.  Limit the carbs…that means desserts and sugary sides.  Have a couple of bites but try to avoid full pieces of each pie/cake.
  • Watch out for stress eating. Your mother-in-law won’t stop insinuating that the house could be cleaner… Judy.  Next thing you know, you find yourself cruising past the chocolate bowl every 5 minutes.  Be aware of this and move to the next section…Exercise.

Get the Workout

Problem:  Time is limited over the holidays.  Gym hours are cut.  You feel guilty escaping the house full of guests to get a workout.  Or you just plain hang up the shoes and fitness for the holidays.

Solution:  Be sure to get out and get a sweat on every day.  This doesn’t have to be at the gym.  It just needs to be every day.

  • Start early! You can’t get guilted by family if they are still asleep.
  • Include the family or whoever wants to participate! Bring them in for a workout at CrossFit Hippo!
  • Go for a walk after each meal. It can be 20 mins but just get moving.
  • Get a pack of our WOD Cards (available in the pro-shop and our online store) and shuffle up the cards and pick a workout! Try not to repeat or let another person pick!  Make it fun!  You can also play a mean game of Texas Hold’em and start a huge family brawl!
  • Do Yoga at home. If you are like me and not a yogi, use the stretches from our stretch circle we do every day.  This will give you some good stretching and increase mindfulness.
  • Last but not least. GET IN THE GYM!  Every possible WOD is a chance to get rid of stress and push back those holiday pounds!

Better Holiday Alcohol Choices

Problem:   Stress can often bring on a little increase in alcohol consumption.  More often than not, holiday adult beverages are full of sugar.  For example, eggnog and spiced ciders.

Solution:   When you feel the dragon brewing and you’re getting irritated that Uncle Billy won’t take his damn boots off the couch, first try to hit that exercise as mentioned before.  If you must drink, try the following:

  • Avoid sugary drinks. Your body is going to ignore the other calories and use that sugar first.
  • If you are going to take shots, do straight liquors and preferably without gluten, i.e. vodka, tequila.
  • A favorite drink of mine is Titos (vodka), soda, lime, and Strike Force energy of your choice. In order of my preference, they have Grape, Orange, Lemon and Original (that tastes like Redbull).  These don’t have the sugar to cause a crash but they do have the caffeine and the flavor you are looking for.  These are $1 per pack and available in our pro shop.
  • Avoid Beer! The carbs and gluten are going to make you feel terrible the next day.  You can also bank on some serious water retention as you dehydrate.

Good Luck and remember we are always here to help you be successful.  Email us at if would like further support or you have questions.

© CrossFit Hippo - Changing Lives Through Functional Fitness