It's that time of year. We're inside more and eating more, which means we'll weigh more by the end of the year.
"You need to realize the five to 10 pounds you put on now is just five or 10 more pounds you have to lose in the spring or summer," says Brandyn Ambrosy, a personal trainer at Life Time Fitness in Urbandale.
The average American will gain more than a pound from Halloween to Christmas - some will gain up to 10!
"It's really easy not to see those gains," says Ambrosy. "It happens so incrementally."
In addition to eating more high-calorie foods, like stews and sweets, Ambrosy says we're also less likely to exercise because of the lack of sunlight.
"You wake up in the morning, it's 5:00 a.m., it's super dark out. You get home from work at 5, or 6 p.m. It's starting to get dark out."
He says the easiest way to overcome fourth quarter weight gain is to join a group fitness class or a challenge.
"Put yourself in the situation where you have some social accountability."
Two of Ambrosy's clients have won Lifetime's national 90-day transformation challenge. Two more clients are finalists in Lifetime's current challenge.
"I love the challenge that each person creates. You can’t train any person the exact same. So, there’s always a certain amount of tinkering you have to do with each individual client so they see the progress they need to see."
When it comes to workouts, Ambrosy likes to keep it simple. Cardio consists of walking or running.
For strength training, Ambrosy suggests a low number of repetitions with heavy weights.
"Train like an athlete if you want to look like an athlete," says Ambrosy.
Bottom line - end of the year weight gain isn't inevitable. You can maintain, even drop weight.
Ambrosy says a good place to start might be Lifetime's next 60-day challenge, called "Get Fit by the First."
"Instead of gaining all that weight and making your January resolution to lose all the weight, we try to get you to that point first so that it makes everything easier in the new year."