Beat the Holiday Bulge

I’ve noticed two very extreme attitudes towards food and fitness during the holidays. The attitude of “eat all the food” and the attitude of “do not put anything in front of me that could tempt me.” Some of us become so crazy busy that we ditch their workouts all together and some of us become so afraid of gaining weight during the holidays that they exercise themselves into a mess. I want to bring light to a new perspective on holiday indulging. It really doesn’t need to be an all or nothing thing. Some of you may have already realized this for yourselves and that’s awesome! If that’s you, help me show all of the non-believers how to stay fit while also enjoying lots of parties, delicious food, and your favorite holiday cocktails! I have put together my top tips on how to beat the holiday bulge!


1. Treat your belly like a bank account.

I know, it sounds sort of weird, but trust me. Deciding to have a warm cinnamon roll for breakfast on Christmas morning? Balance it out with a fresh green salad or light veggie soup for lunch. Know you’re going to have a couple cocktails at night? Keep your meals clean during the day. You can have it all! Just not all at once. By no means do I want you to starve yourself all day to be able to binge during a holiday feast. That within itself is extreme. You can end up eating yourself into a stupor and you probably won’t feel very good the next day.

2. If you over-do it, relax and recharge.

About that last statement I just made. If you do end up consuming way too much Figgy Pudding at an outing, don’t worry! Just take the next day or two to balance everything out and stick to clean, smaller, frequent meals filled with fibrous veggies, lean protein, complex carbohydrates, and go light on the healthy fats.

3. Drink a lot of water.

All day, every day, drink up! Water is going to help keep your system clean and metabolism running. Hydration is key to bouncing back quickly from a special dessert or a couple of drinks at a holiday party. Want to know exactly how much water you should be drinking? Grab a copy of your FREE 12 Days of Fitness Holiday Workout Challenge Starter Pack where I lay it all out for you.

4. Sleep at least 7-8 hours a night.

If you’ve signed up for the 12 Days of Fitness Holiday Workout Challenge and received your FREE Starter Pack, you know my thoughts on sleep. Sleep deprivation increases our cortisol levels. Cortisol is like the triple threat to your waistline (in a very bad way!). Not only does this stress-hormone increase your likelihood of holding onto belly fat, it also decreases your ability to feel satisfaction from food (hello late morning, afternoon, AND late-nigh munchies!), and increases our desire to reach for simple, refined carbohydrates. Sleep is necessary to be able to enjoy your favorite holiday indulgences and then be able to say no to seconds!

5. Sweat It Out.

Exercise is going to be the best way to keep the extra pounds, bloating, and fatigue away! I know the holidays can be a really stressful time of year so I’ve put together a series of 12 effective and efficient workouts leading up to the end of the holiday season for The 12 Days of Fitness Holiday Workout Challenge! Ladies, these workouts work! There’s no better way to stay motivated than the support of other women working out alongside you, simple, no-gym required workouts, and some super juicy prizes for those who participate! The challenge is completely free and it starts on Saturday (December 12th). Sign up now and you will receive a FREE Starter Pack which includes a 12 Day Calendar to help you plan your workouts, My Top 5 Tips for Challenge Success, Goal Planning Guide, and my two favorite healthy holiday recipes! Get all the details here!

12 Days of Fitness Holiday Workout Challenge


Comment below on your best tips for beating the holiday bulge and let me know you’ve signed up for the challenge! I can’t wait for you to see what I have in store for you! 😀


Health and happiness,



Hi and welcome to Life in Spandex! I'm Emily, a personal trainer who believes there should be no secrets standing in your way to getting fit. I am sharing my knowledge here on this blog in order to help you reach your goals. Fitness should be fun, eating healthy should taste good, and feeling your absolute best is the ultimate goal. Let's get fit together!
  1. Love the idea of your belly being a bank! Great post.

  2. I’m all about eating very high protein … Which keeps me INSANELY FULL! Oh yes! It’s the best… And it’s the best way to keep me from nibbling FOR SURE!

    1. Yes! Protein is my life ???

  3. I fully agree with you! There does not have to be one of two extremes – it is so unhealthy for your mind and body. I love the idea of treating your stomach as a bank account. Now if only all the food i ate could be cash haha

    1. hahaha seriously! I’d be floatin’ in cash 😉

  4. Wonderful tips! I know for me I feel less guilty if I plan ahead. I’m going to drink, make sure I’m drinking lots of water and try to get a lot of nutrients that day.

  5. my first comment got a 503 error, so I am trying again. Thanks so much for the reminders this morning.

    1. Yes this is a link I’m working out but your comment still posts 🙂

  6. It’s always nice to have a reminder of the things we know we should be doing, but we’re lazy.

    1. Haha noooo you just gotta find the motivation within yourself!! Think of all the things you do that aren’t lazy. Apply that same mindset to your health. Xo

  7. These are great tips! I’m working hard on losing weight and these reminders are just what I need to help!! Thanks again! I really like the “treat your belly like your bank account” that’s a really good analogy.

  8. I’m in!!

  9. Hi Em!
    I’m excited to do the 12 Days Challenge with you AND the other blog followers. What a positive way to celebrate this holiday time!!
    Who knows- we may end up even BETTER than we started!!

    Love you,
    Mom ???

    1. Thanks Mom!!! Yes let’s end 2015 even better than we started it xoxo

Leave a reply!