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No-Nonsense Rules to Live By During the Holidays

The holidays are an extremely challenging time for you if you are not in a consistent routine for your health and fitness. Here are some no nonsense solutions to help you to not only survive the holidays, but to thrive during them.

Keep a food journal. Write down everything you eat for the next few weeks. Watch how your diet changes. Check out for food and exercise journals in which you can track your food intake and exercise times.

Don’t eat out. Dining out makes it virtually impossible to lose weight. You must be extremely disciplined in your ordering and portion sizes. The fact that restaurants load up their food with salt, butter, fat, etc. all prohibit you from achieving your goals. If you travel frequently, bring snacks with you on the plane and cut back on your portions because the food will be richer when dining out.

Exercise everyday. Pardon the pun, but we are in “crunch” time. Your belly is expanding and your wallet is shrinking. Commit to exercising everyday for the next four weeks. 30 minutes minimum/ 45 minutes ideally. At least 2 times per week of resistance training (pushups, lunges, squats, situps, bicep curls, etc.)

Get a heart rate monitor. If you want to get serious, invest in a heart rate monitor and start to monitor your intensity and calories burned per workout. A good goal is for the ladies to burn a minimum of 400 calories per workout and guys at least 600 calories. A good heart rate monitor will allow you to see the calories burning. Additionally, your heart rate should be approximately 75% of your Maximum Heart Rate (MHR = 220 – AGE; 75% of that number). For example a 50 year old person should train at approximately 127 beats per minute assuming there are no medications or medical conditions that would affect heart rate. I recommend Polar Heart Rate monitors and you can get them at most local running stores, sporting good stores, or on-line.

Work out first thing in the A.M. If you keep saying you are going to workout and it’s not happening, get up 30 minutes earlier, and get your workout complete before you even face any distractions.

Hire a trainer. Even if you hire a skilled professional for the next 4-8 weeks to “jumpstart” your program, the motivation, knowledge, and support you get from a qualified personal trainer can do wonders with increasing your accountability and your results.

Get a massage. Massage therapy is not a luxury—it is a necessity. Make it part of your monthly plan and you will be thankful for the improved flexibility, relaxation, and balance in your life.

Lose 10 pounds. Well, I don’t know what number you want to lose, but set a goal, write it down on an index card, post it where you can see it and focus on it. If you put it right next to your computer screen at work, you may think twice before you eat the chocolate bar at your desk. Keep positively reinforcing yourself. Exercise, eat right, be active, and feel great. Short term goals will help keep you focused.

Weigh in. The scale doesn’t lie so hop up on that thing and see what it says. If your pants are fitting tighter, it’s probably not because your pants are shrinking- your waistline is probably expanding.

Park far away at the mall. Compete for the furthest spot in the shopping mall and walk the rest of the way and laugh at all the people with steam coming out of their ears.

Learn to say “NO”. You don’t have to be running around like a “chicken without a head” all the time. You do have a choice to how much you “put on your plate” every day. Nothing says you have to go to the mall 10 times in the next 3 weeks. Organize your schedule and build time in for you and your workouts.

Watch out for the Holiday Parties. Eat before going out and you will find more success in not over-indulging at the parties.

2-Drink Maximum. Because of all the holiday parties, implement a 2 drink maximum and you will find greater success in not consuming more calories than you need. Plus, you will still feel OK the next day.

Let this holiday season be a joyous one for you. When you are feeling great physically, your mental and emotional energy is so much better and you feel better about yourself. Stay focused on your physical conditioning and use these strategies to find great success over the next few weeks.

Todd Durkin is a 2 Time Personal Trainer of the Year and Founder of Fitness Quest 10 & Todd Durkin Enterprises in San Diego, CA. He trains people from all walks of life, but is best known for the work he does with over 25 NFL Superstars. He trains the likes of LaDainian Tomlinson, Drew Brees, Carson Palmer, Reggie Bush, Alex Smith, and Donnie Edwards amongst others. His expert staff of 30 trainers, coaches, and massage therapist/bodyworkers perform over 400 weekly sessions and help educate, motivate, and inspire the world to greater levels of health & fitness. Todd has 17 DVD’s on fitness & sports performance and has been featured in many national magazines and media outlets. His ezine newsletter “TD Times” is his way of connecting clients, trainers, coaches, colleagues, and friends from all over the world. He can best be reached via his websites,, or by using the contact form below: [easy-contact]

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