Staying on Track Through the Holidays

Staying on Track Through the Holidays

The holiday season can be a difficult time to stick with the training and nutrition plans you have worked hard to create and maintain. While it is very important to spend time with your family and enjoy all of the delicious holiday food that you love, it is also important to keep in mind, that when the holiday season passes the marathon you plan to run will be a few short months away. Finding a balance between spending time with family, training, eating the holiday foods you love, and sticking to your nutrition plan can be extremely difficult. That’s why we at Tunnel Marathons have put together a short list of tips and tricks for sticking with the plans you’ve made, while still getting to enjoy the holidays!


It is easy to over eat or drink, especially during the holidays. Make sure you are paying attention to the portion sizes on your plate. A good rule of thumb is to use the palm of your hand to measure the amount of meat you eat, and vegetables should be the largest portion on your plate. Instead of piling your plate a mile high with things that don’t tantalize your taste buds, pick only the foods that you really enjoy! If you love turkey and mashed potatoes it’s alright to have a little extra! Eating a little more than normal for one meal won’t ruin your whole program. The trouble starts when “one meal” happens all the time. Listen to your body and what it wants, eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full!


Sharing a cold pint or a bottle of wine with friends or family members at gatherings is a fun way to celebrate the season, but excessive drinking over a short period of time is one of the main reasons people pack on unwanted pounds. On average most adults consume about 100 calories a day from alcoholic beverages. While 100 calories may not seem like a lot, an excess of 100 calories everyday that are not metabolized, can add up to 10 pounds in weight gain over the course of a year. Since avoiding alcoholic beverages altogether might be hard during this season of merriment, try limiting yourself to 1-2 drinks, or alternating between an alcoholic beverage and a zero-calorie sparkler to help you avoid pouring on the pounds. Sparkling water keeps things festive, and, is a great way to avoid the hangover-zone the next day.


The average person eats a meal in 6 minutes. It takes 20 minutes for your stomach to register that you are full. A 6 minute meal does not allow your stomach enough time to communicate with your brain that you are full until it’s too late and you feel stuffed! Try setting your fork down between bites and only eat until you are full. It should take at least 20 minutes to finish a meal.


These are not just for carving! Pumpkins are a great source of fiber, beta-carotene, and Vitamin C, making it a winter season superfood! Fiber helps to make you feel full longer and feeds the bacteria in your gut resulting in an improved immune system. Beta-carotene turned into Vitamin A, supports vision and is used to re-build body tissues. Vitamin C boosts your immune system, helping to protect you from getting sick during the cold and flu season and protects against cancer cells.


Make sure to increase your fruit and vegetable consumption during the winter. Remember, when you are shopping at the store try to think ‘eat the rainbow’! Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables will increase the number of different vitamins and minerals you are getting in your diet.


Make sure to schedule time to train that works for you and your family! Plan ahead by creating a calendar or running log that contains the holiday activities you are doing and when you will fit your workouts in. If you are limited on time, get out there and get a workout in even if it is for a short amount of time; some training is better than none.

Training through the holidays can be a challenge but it is possible to get your workouts in, stick with your nutrition plan, and still enjoy your favorite parts of the holiday season!

~Sierra, The Tunnel Marathons Trainer