Trainer Tips

Stay in shape through the holiday season with these strategies from TV’s “The Biggest Loser” trainers.

NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” has been helping contestants lose hundreds of pounds and get in the best shape of their lives for a decade. Pushing contestants to their limits every week are the trainers. This season, two new trainers join the show along with veteran trainer Bob Harper— Jessie Pavelka, a former competitive bodybuilder who has also worked as a trainer on Lifetime’s “DietTribe” and the British TV series “Obese: A Year to Save My Life,” and Jennifer Widerstrom, a former American Gladiator and long-time group fitness instructor and private trainer. Here are their tips for staying motivated and surviving the holidays without getting off-track.

Bob Harper

Don’t go to those holiday parties on an empty stomach. When you do, the chances increase that you will overindulge.

2 Allow yourself more calories one day a week, not every single night.

If you’re traveling, plan ahead. Bring healthy snacks with you to avoid buying fast food or candy at the airport.

4 Make a gym date with yourself. If you’re working out consistently before the holidays, there’s no reason to abandon it—put it on your calendar and stick to your appointments.

Jennifer Widerstrom 

Put in your workouts in the morning! No exceptions. This time of year, the later the day goes the less likely you are to get them in.

2 Holiday party season comes with eating out and having drinks 2–3 times more a week this time of year than you do any other. Since you know your nights aren’t going to be as nutritionally clean as usual, commit to your days being perfect. Lots of vegetables and lean proteins and watch the sugar and fats. You know you’re going to be splurging a little at these parties so you have to keep the days tight when you’re in control of all the variables.

Do not skip your weekend workout! I know it’s easy to get to the weekends and crash this time of year, especially with the elevated responsibility with family, friends, and end-of-year obligations. However, getting just one workout in on the weekend will invigorate you, energize you, and prevent you from losing the progress you worked so hard during the week to gain.

Water, water, water! During the winter, I always accidentally get dehydrated. Sometimes it’s because of a busy schedule and sometimes it’s because water becomes so much less appealing during the colder months. Set reminders in your phone to drink water, as well as try hot teas that’ll warm you up but also hydrate you. You’ll have better circulation, better digestion, feel amazing, and your skin will love you for it.

Jessie Pavelka

Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. The holidays are to enjoy, not mentally abuse yourself and those around you. Be present, be prepared, and be happy by taking all the “weight” of thoughts of putting on weight out of the equation.

Remember to move! Don’t completely shut off or throw away everything you’ve worked so hard to maintain or achieve. Movement holds us accountable and gives us freedom. Stay active and stay connected to your body and mind by moving.

Be aware of your triggers. We all have them, and they are all around us everyday, but especially during the holidays. Identify triggers and be strong.

Surround yourself with motivators. What will remind you to keep your health a top priority? It can be a picture, a note, a quote, or just a good long look in the mirror. Enjoy!

Ann Nix is the editor of Amazing Wellness.