The average person gains between 5 and 10 pounds over the holidays.

If you’ve ever had a conversation with me, you know I don’t put a lot of stock in the scale. I’m 5’5” and eat more than I ever have in my life. I’m also 155 pounds and I’m a smaller dress size than I was years ago at the same weight. Muscle doesn’t weigh more than fat, but it does take up less space and burns many more calories for you at rest than each pound of fat. This makes it possible to weigh the same, but be a smaller, fitter version of yourself.

Muscle is directly related to metabolism, but it also takes time to build, so the idea that the average person has put on 5-10 pounds of this good weight in a 6 week period is pretty unrealistic. This is easy to understand, especially considering the average person is training less given family and social commitments, and making a lot more unhealthy decisions in terms of their nutrition once the apple pies and other desserts start to roll out. It’s all completely understandable. But a 5-10 pound weight gain doesn’t happen as the result of overeating for one or two singular days; the problem is there are so many parties and excuses to overindulge during these 6 weeks. But I’m here to tell you that you deserve better. You can do better. That YOU are better than average. And this year you’re going to prove it far before New Year’s resolutions.

I’m not suggesting you give up all of the things you love this holiday season, in fact quite the opposite! I don’t want you to miss out on a family member’s favorite dish, but I am encouraging you to make other healthy decisions at the dinner table this season. I’m saying park farther away from the mall during your shopping session, make healthy meal choices each day and maybe even at the company party so you can have a “cheat” -hold the side of guilt- on the actual holiday with grandma. Watch your portions, pick the vegetables and the grilled options whenever possible, and make sure you’re still hitting your workouts.

If you’re following a Macro approach in particular, this should sound super familiar. It’s the idea that you can still have some “bad” or processed foods, but that as long as your budgets for Calories, Protein, Carbs and Fat all balance at the end of the day, you’re not jeopardizing your progress in the gym. It’s an organized approach to all things in moderation; you make healthy investments say 80-90% of the time so that you can afford to have things that would otherwise be off limits.

If you don’t know what that should look like, we have several options to help you, including a 3 week Kickstarter program– perfect for keeping you accountable and showing you how you really can have it both ways and still get results. Also- you can always order from our healthy bakery to help satisfy your cravings and stay on track, and if you have any questions about individual coaching options you can contact me directly via email at fitnestnc@gmail.com or through this site as well!

Wishing you all a happy healthy holiday season!!

Jessica Parsons, Owner FitNest, Living Fit Nutrition Specialist & Personal Trainer. She has coached several contestants for the Jay Cutler competition stage and various other fitness shows in MA. As a mom, Jessica specializes in bouncing back after baby, and being an athlete, functional training and sports specific conditioning as well. If you’re feeling lost in the gym or just need a program to stay motivated check out the training packages available for both home and gym!