Holiday Weight Gain: Exercises that Fight the Fat

Find out what it takes to burn off your favorite holiday items from the creators of Ultimate Bootcamp.

eggnogHoliday eggnog photo via Shutterstock

Every holiday season, we seem to be faced with the impending weight gain from holiday-related eating and drinking indulgences. We eat the same number of meals year-round, so why should the holidays be any different? One primary difference during the holidays is the presence of different food types, and that difference is what often results in weight gain. Here are some examples of holiday food items, and how we can tackle the caloric onslaught—one exercise at a time.


A glass of eggnog, a staple at every holiday party, can pack a hefty 343 calories in just one cup.

Burn it off: 50 Burpees

Move from an upright standing position to being down in a push-up position, as quickly and deftly as you can. Then step both feet inwards towards your hands, and return to a standing position. Increase the intensity by adding a push-up while on the ground, and springing back up to your feet in a jumping motion.

Red Wine

The warmth of red wine is perfect during the holidays. But one glass can be about 150 calories.

Burn it off: A series of step-ups

Standing in front of a step, bench, or the bottom stair in your house, step up and down, alternating which foot steps first. To increase the intensity, lift your knee all the way up to your chest as you step, and add in as much arm movement as possible. You can also add in a little ‘hop’ as you step.

Pecan Pie

This delicious pie can average about 500 calories per slice. You are better off choosing pumpkin pie to save almost 200 calories.

Burn it off: Cardio

This can be any cardio you like, as long as you stick at it for at least 40 minutes. Jogging, running, indoor cycling, swimming, or brisk walking in a hilly area. They all work. But, be honest with yourself. If you do it, and it’s easy, then you didn’t do it enough.

Honey-baked ham

A great source of protein, but about 320-350 in three slices.

Burn it off: Jump rope

Jumping rope is a great way to burn calories and tone your lower body. If you prefer, you can use an imaginary jump rope if you don’t have the real thing. Jump rope for at least three minutes. Alternate footwork methods like one foot at a time, two feet together, side to side, etc. Keep jumping for six seconds, rest for 30 seconds, and then repeat. Shoot for at least three rounds, and then challenge yourself to go for more every day.

Grande Starbucks White Chocolate Peppermint Mocha

All that lovely creamy warmth and flavor and goodness and joy…and 520 calories.

Burn it off: 60 minutes of bootcamp

Choose your three favorite exercises and then mix them in with cardio. You can do this bootcamp at home, at the gym, or at the local park, it’s up to you. Allow yourself five to eight minutes to warm up with light cardio, then stretch for three to five minutes. Do a set of your first exercise (try push-ups), and do 10 to 15 reps. Follow that with your second exercise (try squats or lunges), for a set of 15 to 20 reps. Then go right into your third exercise (try ab crunches). This set should be 20 to 25 reps. After all three exercises, go into a five minute set of your choice of cardio (try jumping jacks). Get yourself to the point where holding a conversation at the same time would be a struggle. Recover, hydrate, and repeat this entire set for 50 minutes. You can select a different cardio exercise each time.

What is your favorite holiday indulgence? What do you do to burn it off?