Here we go again into the holidays with all their fun, folly, food and family. But what about the other “F” word? Fitness! Here is a game plan that will help you keep the pounds off, jump start your New Year’s resolution and survive the holidays in style… all while staying strong and sexy.

1. Plan it Out and Write it Down

When we put pen to paper it has more power and we are 42% more likely to achieve our goals … don’t wait until New Years to start your resolutions, be like Nike and JUST DO IT!

2. Have your Cake and Eat it too

Live your life by taking a ‘moderation not depravation’ attitude. There will be holiday delights all around.  Go ahead and have a bite of cake, just not the whole cake, and then walk away.

3. Don’t Party Hungry

If you’re going out to dinner or a party, don’t go hungry.  Plan your day so you have small meals, starting with breakfast. Make your last meal before going out a protein shake or a veggie and fruit smoothie. You’ll arrive feeling energized, not starving, so you won’t binge.

4. Follow the 80% Rule

Eat until you are 80% full, then stop. It takes about 20-30 minutes for your stomach to tell your head that it is full.

5. Stand Out

Stand on the other side of the room, away from the food table, so you aren’t tempted to nibble. Let your personality and conversation stand out, not the size of your plate of food.

6. Drink A Lot of Water

Drink at least 8-10 large glasses of water during the day and plan to leave the holiday bar with your reputation intact and mid-section tight. Make your first “drink” water with a splash of cranberry juice in a martini glass. The glass will fit right in with the crowd and you’ll end up having one less empty-calorie alcoholic drink that night. The body needs water to run, like a fine-tuned machine.

7. Move it or Lose it

It may seem at this time of the year that there is just no way to work out. However, this is the time of you to work out even more! It will help keep the pounds off, the stress levels down and dealing with the family drama so much easier.  Put a smile on your face and love in your heart, knowing you took care of the mind, body and spirit.  Your workouts don’t have to be done in a single time frame. Decide what you are willing to do during the holidays. If it is 30 minutes a day and you can’t find a solid 30 minutes, then break it down.  Do two 15-minute workouts or three 10-minute workouts. Studies show breaking the workouts down has the same effects as a full-on, solid time frame. I find sometimes this is even better, as I am more focused for a short period of time.  Focus on a HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) style workout, as you get greater results in less time. 27 minutes of a HIIT-style workout can have greater benefits than a 60-minute steady state cardio workout. Get in, get out, get on with the holidays.

8. Don’t Stress the Mall Stuff

Stress is a leading cause of illness, fights and wrinkles. Plan what you need to get done; a little planning goes a long way. Create a game plan for your shopping, whether at the mall or on-line. Make an appointment in your calendar to get it done. Focus on one task at a time, and before you know it your list will go from naughty to feeling nice.

9. Get your Z’s

One of the best things we can do for our bodies and stress levels is to get the rest we need. A good night’s sleep will help keep the pounds off and your motivation up. It’s during rest/sleep when your body recovers from your workouts and the stresses of the day. Rest up and you will feel better, look better and have more fun.

10. Drink your veggies

When you don’t have time to eat a salad, make a power greens smoothie. I make mine by throwing ice in my Nutribullet, two handfuls of spinach, Burn and Build Body Vanilla protein powder, chia seeds, almond milk, a banana and blend away. Experiment and find what tastes best for you. You’ll will get your nutrients, fiber and energy in an easy, portable and tasty drink.

Creating a personalized Healthy Holiday Game Plan can take your festive season from “Oh well” to “Oh hell yeah!!”
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Dirk Schultz