How to Have Fun This Winter Without Gaining Weight!

Oh, the winter. It's a season of cold weather and your favorite warm coat, nights in with hot cocoa and Christmas movies, afternoons spent baking and cozying up with your newest chick lit novel. It's a season of love, of whimsy, of gift-giving and thanks-giving. But for many of us, it's also a season of about 5, 10, or 15 extra pounds slowly accumulated from November to mid-March that suddenly hits us when it's almost frat formal season and we have to wear a bikini, like, ASAP. 

Today, I am here to help you find a way to navigate the winter season without gaining any extra weight. There are a million fun things to do during the winter that won't contribute to your gaining an extra pant size! And I will also provide you with some tips and tricks for keeping the weight off that aren't necessary fun... but they definitely don't suck, either. So drop that container of chocolate truffles and get reading! 

1) Decorate your dorm with Christmas decorations! 

There's nothing more exciting than getting into the Christmas spirit, and that can be done simply by playing some Christmas music and hanging up some pretty white lights from your dorm room ceiling. This will get you moving for at least a little while and there is no food involved! 

2) Play outside! 

If it snows, I'm going to be the happiest camper ever, because that means I'll get to frolic outside in the snow! But even if it doesn't, you can still get outside to toss a football with your boyfriend/crush, take a walk with your friends in Centennial, or go window-shopping in Hillsboro for some cute new clothes! After all, there's no better incentive than a cute new pair of jeans to keep you from chowing down during finals week! 

3) Go see a fun Christmas show! 

My friends and I are going to see the Rockettes this weekend, and I could not be more excited. I've always wanted to see their show, and to be able to see it in Nashville is a treat! Plus, after the show, we're going to take some time to walk around and look at all the pretty Christmas lights, which will be beautiful and might even burn some calories! 

4) Take time to chill with your loved ones. 

Whether it's your boyfriend, your best friends, or your family, the holidays are all about reconnecting with the people you care about the most. So spend some time with your favorite people, whoever they might be. Go to Starbucks for coffee, take a walk with them, or even take them shopping with you for Christmas presents! You both will benefit from time spent together.

5) Give back. 

I love to volunteer at my local humane society when I go home over break- it makes me feel like I'm doing something good for the community AND it gets me out of the house and away from my mom's amazing banana bread! Find your favorite charity and think of a way to give back over the break- you'll need to find something to do with all of your newfound free time! 

6) Make some time for quick workouts

During finals and even during Christmas break (holiday parties and hosting can take up a lot of time, I know!), finding time to work out is not always a top priority. But I urge you to take at least some time each day to be active- hot yoga, a fun barre class, Barry's, a big walk with your friends, or even a Nike Training Club ab workout are all good ideas. On days when I'm in a really tight time crunch, I do my favorite 15-minute interval workout. I warm up for 3 minutes, then do intervals of jogging for one minute and sprinting for the next. I keep doing those intervals until 15 minutes have passed and I'm sweating like I just ran a marathon! 

7) Remember to treat yourself! 

Bake your favorite Christmas cookie recipe, get a peppermint mocha from Starbucks, or host a fun holiday party- just don't do all of those things in one day! It's okay to treat yourself during the Christmas season, especially when you're working out and having fun! Just remember to only treat yourself to things you REALLY love- don't eat a cookie at a buffet just because it's there, save your treat for a homemade cookie later! 

8) Enjoy the holiday! 


Don’t spend so much time stressing over finals and cooking Christmas dinner that you forget why you’re celebrating in the first place. The holiday season is one of my favorite times of the year, and there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be great for everyone! It’s a time of love and cheer, family and friends, fun and charity. So remember that over break and make sure to enjoy yourself!!! 

Stacey Oswald, originally from South Florida, came to Vanderbilt as a member of the class of 2015 and got involved with HerCampus her freshman year. She became assistant editor that year and is now the Campus Correspondent for Vanderbilt HC as a sophomore. Stacey is currently a columnist for Ask Miss A- Nashville and the life section of The Hustler. She's also very involved in her sorority, Kappa Delta, as well as Invisible Children. Outside of school and her extracurriculars, Stacey finds happiness in many sources, the most crucial being exercise and the sun. She loves to attend exercise classes and is an avid runner; she recently completed the Country Music Half Marathon. She also loves Vitamin D, especially when on the beach- though of course, she only soaks up the sun after applying SPF. A few of the things Stacey couldn't live without? Good food (especially from Sweet Cece's, Bricktops, and Samurai Sushi), great books (The Hypnotist's Love Story is a recent favorite), her family back in Florida, her wonderful boyfriend, and all of the great friends she's made at Vanderbilt.

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