Dear Friend,My apologies for letting too much time pass since the last blog, but family commitments do come first. The Holiday Season is upon us with the first feast done and the second and third on the way.

Every year I face similar questions:

“How can I ensure the number on the scale doesn’t go up” or “how can I win the “Battle of the Bulge” before it defeats me?” My answer remains the same, prepare and stay real.

The Holiday Season is most certainly a tough time to lose or even maintain current weight, and your goal should not be deprivation as temptations loom everywhere.  Instead try to maintain your weight and your workout schedule AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE.  It is unrealistic to expect to work-out as much as one would during other times of the year. 

Holiday parties with friends and colleagues, traveling and shopping consumes the time usually dedicated to your normal work-out routine.  

However, exercise activities can still be integrated in many different ways.  

Avoiding the ever so coveted close parking spot at the mall, or using the stairs instead of the elevator, will burn a few extra calories which can definitely accumulate to a measurable difference on January 2.  

Family activities such as walks after holiday dinners or the traditional football game in the backyard are fun and are an excellent alternative to popping bonbons while sinking into a sofa and watching TV. 

Of course this is the season to be jolly and I love chocolates and all the other goodies abundantly and ubiquitously available.  

Just establish a Holiday Game Plan and stick to it!  Make sure you provide the healthy fall back option when invited to a pot luck party.

Arriving at the buffet fill your plate on the first round with healthy and low calorie food choices such as veggies and fruits.

The second round opt for some lean meat or fish dishes and go easy on the deserts by the 3rd round. Any good host/hostess ensures that your wine glass is full at all time, so make sure you leave a sip to discourage any refills until you are ready for more.  

Add a glass of water after each alcoholic beverage to further reduce the party calories.Another hot topic at the end of each year is the Personal Training question.

Can I afford Personal Training?  Will I realize a true benefit?  How do I choose the right Trainer?  A Personal Trainer can be a great ally in the prevention and reversal of holiday expansion.  He or She will hold you accountable to an agreed-upon work-out schedule. Pricing for trainers varies greatly depending on the area in which you live, the qualifications and experience of your trainer as well as travel time and expense.  As a Personal Fitness Trainer, I strongly believe in the benefit of enhanced quality of life, that fitness training provides whether through a PFT or on one’s own efforts.  

I have personally experienced the difference a good trainer can make in my own athletic endeavors.  I’ve also had the pleasure of influencing positive impacts of many of my clients’ health and wellness. For guidance on how to select a Personal Fitness Trainer, visit a blog I wrote in January of 2011 titled Happy New Year: How to choose a Fitness Trainer.Have a wonderful Holiday Season and a healthy, wealthy and joyful 2013!Hartmut