Sherri McMillan

Rethinking Holiday Weight Gain

Most people gain weight during the holidays and it’s understandable. We are typically consuming more indulging, caloric-rich foods and drinks. We may be stressed with so much to get done. We may not be moving as much because it’s colder and darker. It’s not uncommon for people to put on 10 pounds during the holiday season.

The good news is if it went on quick, it can also come off quick.

We also don’t want to beat ourselves up over this weight gain (or any weight gain). It doesn’t make you a bad person because you gained a few pounds. In fact, for many people, it can provide the motivation they need to get back at it and reprioritize their health. Many people need that two-week holiday break where they can enjoy life, celebrate, indulge and sleep and rest more than usual. It’s not a bad thing, especially during a global pandemic.

Weight gain simply means you’ve consumed more calories than you’ve expended and it’s easy to swing the pendulum in the opposite direction. It’s why so many people sign up for various types of health and fitness programs in January. Most just need a re-set; a return to clean eating and structured movement.


Here’s some tips that you can do for 21-days to reverse the formula into weight reduction: (calories out greater than calories in)

Increase water intake – it’s one of the simplest and most effective action steps you can take. Focus on drinking 80 ounces of water per day and your weight will shift

Consume a salad or vegetable dish with at least 2 meals per day. Increasing your fiber intake helps to shift you into weight loss mode.

Go Dry – Reduce or eliminate your alcohol intake for 21 days and the weight will start to come off.

Move every day – It doesn’t matter what you do, but do something active everyday that makes you sweat. Mix it up and be sure to incorporate cardio activity, muscle conditioning and flexibility/stretching. Walking is the simplest activity to start if you’re not doing anything right now and is so good for your physical and mental health.

Breathe – Part of losing weight is releasing it and letting go of stress. Take 60 seconds everyday to focus on slow deep breaths. Think positive thoughts and release negative energy, tension, anxiety and stress. During those 60 seconds, make a mental list of everything you are grateful for. Learn from your 2020 experiences to create a better and stronger 2021!

If you gained weight during the holidays, don’t worry about it, most do. Just start taking the above action steps to refocus on your health and fitness and you’ll start feeling amazing. If you need a more structured program, we are starting a 21-day New Years Re-set program on January 11th that will provide you with extra support and guidance.

Yours in health & fitness,
Sherri McMillan

Note: As an avid Columbian reader, you can redeem a complimentary initial in person or virtual personal training appointment to help get you started. Email us for more details.

Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan, holds a master's degree in exercise physiology and has been inspiring the world to adopt a fitness lifestyle for more than 30 years. She has received numerous industry awards including 2010 CanFitPro International Presenter of the Year, 2006 IDEA Fitness Director of the Year, 1998 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year, 1998 CanFitPro Fitness Presenter of the Year and 2005/2006 ACE Fitness Educator of the Year - Runner up. She is a fitness trainer, fitness columnist for various magazines and newspapers, author of five books and manuals including "Go For Fit - the Winning Way to Fat Loss" and "Fit over Forty" and the featured presenter in various fitness DVDs. She has presented hundreds of workshops to thousands of fitness leaders throughout Canada, Australia, Mexico, Jamaica, New Zealand, Germany, England, Spain, South America, Asia and the U.S. She is the owner of Northwest Personal Training in downtown Vancouver and Salmon Creek, hosts races at WHY Racing Events, participates in various community fundraisers and can be found running, biking, or hiking around the community. Find more information at nwpersonaltraining.com.

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