7 Surefire Strategies to Avoid the Dreaded Holiday Bulge

7 Surefire Strategies to Avoid the Dreaded Holiday Bulge

By Holly Rigsby, CPT

The holidays are a time to offer thanks, to spend time with loved ones and a time to EAT – turkey, stuffing, pumpkin pie, etc. Unfortunately, the holidays are the time of year when many people end up putting on the extra “holiday pounds” which is easy to do for the season continues for just about two months! But the holidays come once a year. What’s the point of refusing a piece of pecan pie, then feeling miserable? As my most successful strategies are about to reveal…’s absolutely OK to enjoy your favorite holiday treats and continue to make progress. Incorporate the following 7 strategies to fight back against the battle of the holiday bulge.

  1. Make Exercise A Priority

The first key to preventing weight gain is to increase your activity level. Besides burning extra holiday calories, exercise reduces stress, elevates your mood and gives you more energy. Sure it may seem difficult to fit in a workout when you are traveling, shopping, baking plus a ton of other holiday-related activities. That’s why it’s important to first make a commitment to your fitness goals and incorporate short burst exercise into your routine – all you need is 90 minutes a week!

  1. Have a Plan

If you are known for overindulging, you must have a plan in place. Visualize what and how much you will eat before you approach the festive meals and treats. You can also incorporate a backup plan that requires you to be more active for that particular day, or the following day, to keep your metabolism humming so you burn off those extra calories.

  1. Don’t Skip Meals

On the day of the holiday feast, be sure to eat regularly all day long. If you will be eating in the evening, start with a supportive breakfast – particularly something with protein and high fiber carbohydrates. Be sure to eat something light in the afternoon like a quality high protein snack. Protein will help you feel full longer so you’ll be less likely to binge. Once you arrive, go ahead and indulge in some of the delightfully delicious foods. Since you have eaten meals earlier in the day, you will find that you aren’t as tempted to go overboard and eat everything in sight. Whatever you do, do not starve yourself. Not only will you slow your metabolism down to a hearty fat storing rate, arriving ravenous will guarantee overindulgence.

  1. Portion Control is Key

Allow yourself to enjoy your favorite foods with the ones you love, but do so in moderation. Take time to survey the foods before you make your choices. Try a “serving-spoon” size of the foods you really want to eat and ½ the size of the foods you just want to try out. This way you can enjoy trying many different foods without overeating. Eat off a smaller plate and skip the seconds. Instead, save room for dessert. You don’t need to deprive yourself of the foods you love, otherwise your cravings will grow and you’ll be more likely to overindulge.

  1. Wear Form-Fitting Clothes

Want to really keep yourself honest and the same size during the holiday season? Wear your most form-fitting clothing. Another trick is to tie a string around your waist under your clothing to help keep you mindful of the actions you take during the holiday feast.

  1. Limit or Avoid Alcoholic Beverages.

The average alcoholic drink contains 200 calories per glass while an 8-ounce cup of eggnog with rum contains 450 calories. Not only does alcohol pack a lot of empty calories, but over-consumption lowers inhibitions and self-control…..not a good combination when you’re near a buffet of festive foods! If you decide to drink alcohol, stick to light beer or a champagne spritzer or for non-alcoholic alternatives try club soda with lime, tomato juice or diet soda with a lime.

  1. Practice the “Cheat Technique”

If you make supportive food choices 80-90 percent of the time, you have every right to let loose and ”cheat” the other 10-20 percent. This not only allows you something to look forward to so you stay on track, you’ll also enjoy the festivities without carrying them around on your waistline and into the New Year.

“Failing to plan is planning to fail.”
You have the choice to make fitness your priority. Thinking you’ll “get around to it” or that you are “waiting for right time” are simply excuses that take you nowhere. Make a plan, write it down, and stick to it. If you do over-do it, be forgiving of yourself and get back on track the following day.

Have a Fit and Healthy Holiday Season!
Holly Rigsby, CPT, MAT America’s #1 Fat Loss Expert for Busy Moms and the author of Holly has worked with over 300 Mom’s to help them lose the stubborn baby fat, get their pre-baby body back and reclaim their yummy-ness. Don’t miss her Free Report: Top 5 Busy Mom Metabolism Boosters.

Beat Fat With Breakfast

Beat Fat With Breakfast

By Holly Rigsby, CPT

Breakfast is easily the most overlooked solution when it comes to effective fat burning tips. Studies consistently show that people, who regularly eat breakfast, eat fewer calories throughout the day, have better nutritional habits, and weigh less than those who choose to skip breakfast.

When it comes to your fat loss, your goal is to make your body burn more calories. Your metabolism is like a burning fire, how can you make the fire burn stronger without putting something on it to burn? Our bodies are burning fat and calories 24 hours a day, however, calories are burned at the slowest rate while we are sleeping. Without something to jump-start it in the morning, your metabolism may remain in slow motion throughout the day and any extra calories – no matter how healthy – will be stored as fat.

The act of eating and digesting supportive foods frequently, increases your metabolism so you can burn more fat and calories all day long.

How to do it: Eat a supportive meal within an hour of waking. Feel like your always running late? No time to eat? The secret – get up 10-20 minutes earlier and keep it simple. Not only can you increase time spent with your family at the kitchen table, but making time to start your day off with a high protein, high fiber breakfast will boost your metabolism, your energy and your mood. Because breakfast provides you with the energy you need to get through your day, the more energy you have, the more active you’ll be and the more active you are, the more calories you burn.

If you are not hungry first thing in the morning, try starting your day with a big glass of water or freshly brewed green tea. Proceed with your morning routine and plan to allow yourself about 10-15 minutes before you walk out the door to eat your breakfast.

If you like to exercise first thing in the morning, eat 30 to 45 minutes before your workout.

Try one of the following options:

1. Eat a light snack – yogurt or a piece of fruit. Eat your regular breakfast 30-45 minutes after your workout.

2. Eat half of your regular breakfast before the workout and the other half about 30-45 minutes after your workout.

3. Drink a meal replacement shake – quick and easy to make and for your body too digest.

Watch out for “Protein/Breakfast Bars”. Many of these items seem appealing for they are quick and easy; however the majority of these bars are loaded with sugar and fat. Check the nutrition facts.

Here are some breakfast fat loss favorites: Cereal is a MUST. It’s convenient, easy to prepare, easy to eat and full of nutrients – No…”Whole Grain Lucky Charm” does not fall into this category. Be sure to choose your cereals based on the information on the food label.

The top choices should have:

• 5 grams of Fiber or more
• 8 grams of Sugar or LESS
• Sugar not listed among the first 3 ingredients.

For all other breakfast options, be sure to include a protein, complex carbohydrate, and fresh or frozen fruit. These are some of my favorites:

• Oatmeal with natural peanut butter, cinnamon and a side of fresh berries.
• Kashi Go Lean Crunch with skim milk and a banana.
• Scrambled egg whites topped with salsa and shredded cheese wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla.
• Meal Replacement Shake with a piece of fruit.

So if you’re interested in fat loss, make sure you don’t forget – breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

About the Author

Holly Rigsby is a nationally recognized women’s fitness coach, certified personal trainer (CPT) and the author of the internationally popular e-book – Fit Yummy Mummy – Burn Your Baby Fat & Get Your Body Back. Go to to get your FREE copy of her special report: “The Five Ways To Boost Your Metabolism.”

The Magic Potion For Fat Loss

The Magic Potion For Fat Loss

By Holly Rigsby, CPT

If there were ever a magic potion for fat loss – it would be water. Our bodies are comprised of about 70% water. We lose about a liter (34 ounces) of water per day under normal circumstances and when the temperature in our body rises, as during exercise, we lose higher amounts of water through sweat. It only makes sense that we need to continually replenish this supply for water is necessary for nearly every function in our body. Water regulates our temperature, supports and protects our organs, helps with digestion, transports nutrients to our muscles and helps move along waste by products.

Water is, in essence, the key to fat metabolism. Here’s why: one of you liver’s primary functions is to metabolize stored fat to be burned for energy. If you are dehydrated, the kidneys cannot function properly and the liver begins to take over – as a result of working overtime, the liver metabolizes LESS fat so MORE fat remains in your body.

Sometimes we mistake mild states of dehydration for hunger. If we don’t get enough fluids, our bodies give us indications that are similar to hunger pains. When this occurs, we start eating because we misunderstood what are bodies were telling us. Unnecessary calorie consumption can lead to excessive fat!

Water is a natural appetite suppressant. Drinking lots of water throughout the day helps to keep you feeling full. If your stomach feels full – you are less likely to overeat!

A constant supply of water is vital before, during and after a workout. Dehydration leads to a lack of energy, muscle fatigue and cramping. Even small amounts of water loss can hinder exercise performance.

Remember that alcohol and caffeine are diuretics, making you lose even more water, so be sure to compensate for the additional loss.

How to do it: You can replace the water lost during a typical day by drinking a minimum of 6-8 8 oz. glasses of water a day. Begin by drinking your first big glass of water right when you wake up. Drink a full glass of water with each meal. Keep water with you at all times.

To prevent dehydration, make sure you’re drinking adequate amounts of water before, during and after a workout. As a rule of thumb, drink 8-12 ounces of water at least an hour before beginning to exercise, 8 oz during exercise and 8 oz when finished. If you are hungry about an hour after eating, try drinking a glass or two of water- you maybe misreading thirst for hunger. If you are still hungry after 15-20 minutes then proceed with a supportive snack to tide you over until your next meal.

Here’s a ‘success strategy’ to get you started: Make drinking water more fun by adding a slice of lemon or lime. Drink water out of a frosted mug or colorful glass. Grab-n-go flavor packets add variety to water between meals. Keep a bottle of water in the car at all times. At work, pack an allotted number of bottled water and set a goal to finish the pack by the end of the day.

For those who tend to prefer carbonated beverages to plain water try sparkling water. Not only is it crisp and refreshing, it satisfies the need for carbonation. Just make sure you choose a sparkling water that does not contain sugar or fruit juice to avoid additional calories.

So if your goal is fat loss, combine a total body strength training program, supportive nutrition and some interval training with your magic fat loss potion and you’re destined for success!

About the Author

Holly Rigsby is a nationally recognized women’s fitness coach, certified personal trainer (CPT) and the author of the internationally popular e-book – Fit Yummy Mummy – Burn Your Baby Fat & Get Your Body Back. Go to to get your FREE copy of her special report: “The Five Ways To Boost Your Metabolism.”