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Should You Pause Your Weight-Loss Efforts Over the Holidays?

The holidays are both enjoyable and chaotic -- there’s plenty of opportunities to relax and spend time with family, friends, and loved ones. At the same time, it can feel like you’re constantly on the go with not much time for yourself. As a result, many of us struggle to stay on track with our diet, exercise program, and transformation challenge.


With all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, should you just take a break from losing weight (or any of your other fitness goals)?


Let’s discuss.


Benefits of Continuing Weight Loss Over the Holidays


Maintain Momentum


Inconsistency (i.e. starting and stopping) is one of the main reasons individuals struggle to succeed with their weight loss journey as well as maintain their results once they complete their transformation challenge.


By keeping to your routine (as much as possible) during the holidays, you don’t lose all the momentum and positive energy you’ve accumulated thus far during your weight loss journey.


Quicker Results!


Continuing with your diet and exercise regimen during the holidays means that you’ll reach your goal faster. Slight deviations from your diet over the holidays are to be expected, which will create slight delays in achieving your end result. Completely abandoning your diet and exercise can considerably delay your results by not only stalling weight loss, but you may also gain weight.


Build Confidence & Iron Will


The holidays are the most challenging time to be consistent with your nutrition and training. By sticking to your plan, you’ll prove to yourself (and all the naysayers) that it is possible to eat healthy, work out, and lose weight in spite of the holiday happenings.


This will build mental fortitude, character, determination, and motivation for your future fitness endeavors whenever “life happens.”


Tips to Lose Weight Over the Holidays


Focus on Protein


Protein should be the center of your meal plan, especially during the holidays. It supports muscle repair, enhances feelings of fullness, and boosts metabolism (compared to carbs or fats). Moreover, by eating protein first, you’re sure to hit your protein goals for the day and take up room in your stomach that would otherwise be filled with even more carbs and fats than you normally would. If you need help making sure that you’re eating enough protein each day, track your food with the 1UP Fitness app.


Don’t Go to a Party Hungry


Building off of the previous point, make sure to eat some protein before going to a party, which are notorious for being overrun with delicious sweets, low-fiber carbohydrates, and high-calorie beverages. Eating protein before heading out will help to fill you up (ensuring you don’t gorge at the party and ruin your diet for the day/week), and it will help you recover properly for your workout the next day.


One of the easiest ways to have some delicious, and nutritious, protein during the holidays is to mix up a protein shake or smoothie using 1UP Whey Protein or 1UP Vegan Protein.

Keep Calm

You don’t have to deprive yourself completely during the holidays. This is a time to be joyful, thankful, and full of relaxation. As such, feel free to enjoy some of your favorite food, dessert, or libation. Just keep it in moderation. An indulgence (or two) won’t wreck your momentum or results, especially if you’re sticking to your diet and exercise plan during the holidays.


Downsides of Continuing Weight Loss Over the Holidays


Feeling Left Out


Depending on how strict you are with your diet, you may feel like you’re “missing out” on some fun. However, as we just mentioned, you don’t have to completely avoid holiday treats -- you just have to enjoy them in moderation.


Dealing with Temptation


You’ll be tempted (if not pressured) to overindulge and gorge during the holidays. Some of us are more comfortable being polite yet firm in our refusals to overdo it during the holidays, but those of us that are more acquiescing will feel burdened to keep eating and drinking to make others happy.


Remember that if your family and friends truly care about you, then they will be OK with you stopping when you want to or flat out saying “no, thank you.”


Maintaining is 100% OK


There’s nothing wrong with simply pushing the “pause” button on your weight loss goals and simply maintaining your current body weight during the holidays. Maintaining results is significantly easier during the holidays than trying to lose weight. Plus, the vast majority of adults gain weight, so maintaining the status quo is a major win. This also allows you to enjoy a bit more “holiday cheer” during the season, provided you still eat right and exercise (most of the time).


Tips to Maintain Weight Loss During the Holidays


Be Mindful at Mealtime


As we’ve mentioned a few times already, when you eat, you can enjoy whatever food or drink you want to…just be mindful of portion size. There’s nothing inherently “fat gaining” about cake, cookies, pies, etc. It’s the number of calories you consume during the day that ultimately determines whether you lose, gain, or maintain weight.


With that in mind, every time you take a bite (or sip) focus on what you’re consuming. All calories count towards your daily intake. So, if you’re going to have an extra helping of grandma’s famous sweet potato casserole or chocolate cake, make sure to eat a bit less throughout the day and/or get in some additional cardio.


And, if you need help keeping your appetite in check during get-togethers, try a serving a 1UP Appetite Suppressant, which contains natural ingredients that support reduced cravings, increased fullness, and mood.


Stay Active


Staying active throughout the holiday season is paramount to maintaining your results over the break. This can occur in many different forms, such as getting extra steps in during the day, doing an extra cardio session, or going on a walk with the family after mealtime. However you choose to stay active, just make sure you’re staying movin’ and groovin’ this holiday season. You’ll stave off fat gain, boost endorphins, and potentially even burn off a few extra pounds in the process!


Don’t Abandon Healthy Eating


When it’s time to party and/or gather with family and friends, enjoy! The rest of the time, keep eating your typical healthy meals. This will help ensure that you’re getting enough protein, fruits, vegetables, fiber, and other superfoods to support health and body composition.


Plus, eating healthy foods (most of the time) will make it that much easier to resume your weight loss journey and transformation challenge during New Year’s when many individuals struggle to transition from gorging to nutritious, calorie-appropriate eating plans.




Losing weight, maintaining results, and even building muscle during the holiday season is completely possible and accomplished by countless individuals each and every year. Use the tips discussed above to decide how to navigate the holidays and get the results you want this year (and every year)!


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