Watch your Weight this Holiday Season!

holiday weight gain maria pontillo fitness expert

Whether you would like to admit it or not, the holiday season, especially in the United States, has been scientifically identified as a critical time period of weight gain for many Americans. Between holiday work parties, family gatherings, trick or treating, Thanksgiving Day festivities, leftovers and holiday baking get togethers, it is the reason millions of Americans find themselves a few pounds heavier in the new year. Instead of following the ‘New Years Resolution’ trend, I challenge you to be proactive about your health and fitness levels by remaining conscious over the holidays. Eating too many sweets combined with a decline in physical activity will only make it impossible to maintain or keep up with your personal fitness goals.

What’s really crazy is the studies that backs up this holiday weight gain theory! In the Effect of the Holiday Season on Weight Gain: A Narrative Review, several studies suggest that the holiday season, starting from the last week of November to the first or second week of January, could be critical to gaining weight. This study aims to review the literature to determine the effects of the holidays on body weight. In studies of adults, a significant weight gain was consistently observed during this period (0.4 to 0.9 kg, p < 0.05). Although this may not sound like much, the problem is when this pattern continues for 5 to 15 years. The next thing you know, you may find yourself 20 pounds overweight and overwhelmed with your declining fitness and health levels. Another study conducted by the Energy Metabolism Lab at the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University in Boston revealed similar results. With almost 200 participants, participants gained on average about .39 KG during the 6-week winter period from Thanksgiving to the New Year.

It is important that you recognize weight gain is an epidemic that doesn’t happen overnight! Stay informed on how it happens, and take action to prevent it! I know what you are thinking, but HOW? It’s simple: Devise a written plan that outlines your eating guidelines, exercise routines and ways to combat unhealthy lifestyle habits. Even if you don’t have time for the gym this holiday season, I have a few ideas that you can use to remain healthy and fit through the end of the year! By pushing the excuses aside and mapping out a detailed plan of tactics, you can beat the “sweet season”!

Check out the list of helpful tips below and try my FREE workout of the month: YOGA ABS that you can easily perform in the comfort of your own home, without any exercise equipment!

TIP #1: Workout the day before and the day after every major holiday — This will help boost your metabolism and level out the lounging and eating that is likely to occur on Thanksgiving or Christmas Day! For those of you who live in Broward county, and need a fun workout challenge, try my Beach Fitness class located beachside in Fort Lauderdale! Next class November 19, 2017!

TIP #2: If you are going to have a cheat meal (i.e. holiday sweets or Thanksgiving dinner), make sure the other two meals or snacks you at that day are health conscious. This means stay away from processed foods that contain high levels of sodium or sugar.

TIP #3: Don’t think about working out or eating better, just do it! Half of being fit is a psychological mind game and you can become a master at it. Stop listening to that little voice in your head and stick to your goals!

TIP #4: Make a list of what foods you are going to stay away from over the holiday season. By writing or typing this list out, you will make this disciplinary rule more real!

TIP #5: Have a support team to keep you accountable! This is super important — make sure to tell your family members and loved ones your goals and priorities for the holiday season. This way, they may consider offering healthier dishes at holiday dinners and will help monitor your eating and workout habits!

TIP #6: Workout at home! Again, push aside the excuses and achieve a high-intensity, total-body workout at home! You don’t need a gym membership or equipment to prevent holiday weight gain.

Try my 1,000 Rep Total Body Workout over the holidays! No equipment needed!


– 100 SQUATS







– 100 SIT UPS

– 100 STEP UPS (1-2 FT HIGH)

I frequently post customized high-intensity workout routines on my social media profiles in an effort to cater to those who commonly struggle to workout on their own. If you liked the 1,000 Rep Total Body Workout, you should try one of my customized Online Fitness classes! LIVE and recorded classes available!