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Be Holiday Fit!

I'm excited to team up with Health and Fitness Coach FitItalianMama Anna Jacknitsky to help you out with your fitness and nutrition over the holidays, one of the toughest times of the year to stay on track.

Here is the blog that we put together for you. You can also find it at


I know this is a tough time of the year if you’re trying to keep an eye on your waistline. That’s why I’ve teamed up with personal trainer Brad Downs to help you throughout the Holidays.

I personally believe that if your nutrition is on point all year-around it’s ok to indulge a little during the Holidays. I for one refuse to cook healthy versions of Thanksgiving or Christmas meals. Trust me, it’s not one day that is going to make you or break you. But I also believe that we shouldn’t totally waste a year worth of hard work in a few weeks.

Don’t worry, Brad and I got your back! We’ll be sharing tips and tricks on how to take on Holiday parties, office pot-lucks, and small circuits to help you get in a little workout during this busy time of the year. We will also share these tips daily on our Facebook pages all the way up to Christmas day. So, check out and We want to make sure you can BeHolidayFit without stressing about it!

#1 BeHolidayFit Tip

It’s great to swear that you’re going to stay on track all month, but the truth is, the more you deny yourself the more likely you are to binge. Set realistic goals, fill up on protein and veggies first. Then only allow yourself one indulgence, such as a small piece of cake or a reasonable portion of sweet potato pie. This way you’ll be full from the healthier options but still be able to satisfy that sweet tooth.

#2 BeHolidayFit Tip

No skipping meals. Always eat normally on the day of a party. People who skip meals to save up calories tend to overeat everything in sight once they get there. Eating sensibly throughout the day will take the edge off the appetite and empower a bit of restraint. Start with a nourishing breakfast, have a light lunch, then a small snack or salad shortly before the event.

#3 BeHolidayFit Tip

When you arrive at the party, grab a sparkling water with a twist, and wait at least 30 minutes before eating. This will give you time to relax, get comfortable in your surroundings, and survey your food choices on the buffet before diving in. A buffet is an invitation to eat all you can, and unless you carefully scrutinize it and make wise choices, you're likely to overeat.

#4 BeHolidayFit Tip

Bring your own dish. Most parties and social gatherings around the holidays will involve food; there is just no escaping that. But you can have some control over the food choices. When invited to a party, let the host or hostess know that you’d love to help out by bringing a dish. Then do a veggie or fruit tray, this way you can be certain there is at least one item you can eat guilt free.

#5 BeHolidayFit Tip

Become a morning person, getting in your workout first thing in the morning is the best way to ensure that you stay on track. Between office lunches, family gatherings and parties with friends, you’re more likely to get home just in time for bed as opposed to in time for a workout.

#6 BeHolidayFit Tip

We all love a good cocktail, and heck after too many hours with certain family members, some of us down right need them, but most cocktails add up fast. Instead of overindulging in the sweet, exotic drinks, stick to the basics. Reach for light beer or clear liquors like Vodka mixed with Sugar Free Red Bull or Bacardi mixed with Diet Coke. These drinks will not only eliminate that post cocktail bloat, they will also add up to only about half the calories of other drinks.

#7 BeHolidayFit Tip

Get plenty of sleep. Hitting the party scene too hard can be very costly to your waistline. Even if your food and drink orders are in check, getting less than 7-8 hours of sleep can have many adverse effects. Not only does skipping out on shut eye increase cortisol levels, which in return increases belly fat, but going through the day on little sleep also increases cravings for sweet and salty foods. When you’re exhausted you’ll be far more likely to order out for pizza and far less likely to cram in a workout.

#8 BeHolidayFit Tip

Trim back the trimmings. To shave calories, go easy when adding cheese, cream sauces, gravy, butter, and whipped cream -- additions that don't add much to the meal, but can add plenty to your waistline. Trim calories wherever you can so you leave the party feeling satisfied, but not stuffed.

#9 BeHolidayFit Tip

If you don't love it, don't eat it. Scan the buffet for foods you truly treasure and skip the everyday dishes that are available all year long. And don't think it's your responsibility to sample everything on the buffet. Go ahead and indulge in your personal holiday favorites, then find a seat and, slowly and mindfully, savor every mouthful.

#10 BeHolidayFit Tip

Alternate alcohol with nonalcoholic beverages. Alcoholic drinks are loaded with calories -- especially holiday favorites like eggnog. Cut your alcohol calories in half by alternating water or seltzer between alcoholic beverages.

#11 BeHolidayFit Tip

Limit the variety. Put only two items on your plate when you go to the food table. Return as many times as you like, but only take two items each time. "Variety stimulates appetite, and if you limit your choices to just a few items and stick with these, it will be easier to control than eating a little bit of 20 different dishes.

#12 BeHolidayFit Tip

Plan all your workouts in advance you know your schedule is going to get hectic over the holidays. To stay on your training and nutrition regimen is definitely going to take some sound time management skills. Plan your schedule in advance. Anticipate what’s coming up. Write it down. Put it on your calendar. By doing so, you won’t be caught unprepared. Use a schedule book or monthly calendar and “make appointments” for ALL your workouts for the entire holiday season. If you try to “wing it” and squeeze in your workouts and meals whenever you have time left over, you’ll find that there never is any time left over.

#13 BeHolidayFit Tip

Watch your portions. The easiest way to remember how to control portions is to make sure the majority of your plate is loaded up with veggies. You don’t have to deny yourself a bread roll or a slice of pie here and there… just makes sure vegetables are the main part of your meal. That way, you will fill up on healthy, nutritious, and low-calorie foods before it’s time to splurge on the indulgent stuff.

#14 BeHolidayFit Tip

Exercise is often disguised in fun activities we love doing with friends and family. In fact, anything that gets you breathing and gets your heart rate up will help to burn calories during the holidays (and burn off that pumpkin pie, too). Ice skating, sledding, and snowball fights all count as exercise! According to Daily Makeover, ice-skating actually burns 420 calories per hour. Or, if you live somewhere that’s warm enough to exercise outdoors, grab your family for a game of flag football—it burns 450 calories per hour. Who said you had to go to a gym to log in your workout?

#15 BeHolidayFit Tip

Use the 80/20 Rule. It’s nearly impossible to avoid unhealthy foods during the holidays. Luckily, you don’t have to! The 80/20 rule is an easy way to practice moderation in your diet. Eat healthy foods 80 percent of the time, and allow yourself to indulge 20 percent of the time. If you plan on attending a festive holiday spread over the weekend, vow to eat clean, healthy food throughout the week. You’ll stay on track with your diet, and you won’t have to feel guilty about indulging with friends.

#16 BeHolidayFit Tip

Plan Your Workouts. Mark your workout schedule on the calendar and stick to it! You’re much more likely to hit the gym if you know beforehand which days you will be going. Be sure to mark off the days as you complete them so you can look back and see your progress. This will help you stay driven on days when you don’t feel motivated.

#17 BeHolidayFit Tip

Eat and chew slowly. Eating slowly may not be easy when appetizer options are endless, but it pays off to pace yourself. The quicker we eat, the less time the body has to register fullness. So slow down and take a second to savor each bite of baked brie or scoop of spiced nuts.

#18 BeHolidayFit Tip

Just say no. Though your relatives may encourage overeating by shoving seconds onto a cleaned plate, it’s OK to respectfully decline. “I’m full” or “I’m taking a break” should be enough for friends and family members to back off (and give you time to decide if you’d really like more).

#19 BeHolidayFit Tip

Move it and lose it. A simple phrase for losing weight is to move more and eat less. The secret here is that moving doesn’t just mean hitting the track or going to the gym. Make a conscious decision to get more steps into the day by taking the stairs or parking the car far away from the grocery store entrance. Before curling up around the fire, round up family members for a hike or snowshoeing session.

#20 BeHolidayFit Tip

Cave in to cravings. Finally, a suggestion we can all get behind. It’s smart to acknowledge a few cravings instead of pushing them away completely. Caving to a craving—as long as it’s in moderation—can curb the desire to go at it like a kid in a candy store.

#21 BeHolidayFit Tip

Holiday schedule too busy for a workout? Try this quick bodyweight circuit that you can do anywhere in only 15 minutes. Do 30 seconds of each exercise with no rest in between, rest for 1 minute and repeat 2 more times: Squat, Plank, Flutter Kick, Push-Up, Superman, Glute Bridge, Mountain Climbers, Crunches. The circuit will target the major muscle groups while raising your heart rate.

#22 BeHolidayFit Tip

There is a lot of great television programming during the holidays, but that doesn’t mean you should lounge on the couch all night. Try a 3 minute circuit during each commercial break and you can burn calories while watching your shows. Try doing this circuit during each commercial break for a total of 10 times: (30 seconds each) Jump Squats, Push-Ups, Side Lunges, Running High Knees, Russian Twists, Jump Lunges. This aerobic circuit will give you a great workout and elevate the heart rate in only 3 minute intervals.

#23 BeHolidayFit Tip

Is the holiday season causing you to be riddled with stress? Working out increases your endorphin levels and clears your head. Make time to fit in some exercise everyday in order to keep your mind right and on track. Try to get outside for a run or brisk walk, do a circuit workout or training session at home, hit the gym, or do a fun activity with family or friends outside. Consistent exercise can keep your stress levels down during this busy time of year.

#24 BeHolidayFit Tip

Exercise is more fun with friends! This is a great time of year to rally the troops to get together for a fun activity. Take a walk together after the holiday party dinner, take turns trying new yoga moves in the living room, or make plans while you are all together to do something outside that weekend. Snowshoeing, sledding, skiing, and many more activities are all great and burn calories while having fun.

#25 BeHolidayFit Tip

Want to stoke your metabolism and burn calories quickly during your busy holiday season? Try this HIIT (HIgh Intensity Interval Training) workout that will burn calories in a short amount of time. Superset one intense exercise with one exercise at a lower intensity to get a great interval workout. Do the first exercises for 30 seconds max effort, then the second exercise for 30 seconds to calm the heart rate, repeat 5 time. Jumping Jacks/Walk in Place, Jump Lunges/Windmill Toe Touches, Burpees/Alternating High Reaches, Running High Knees/Bird Dog. Short and sweet!

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