Holiday Guide: Trim Your Waist Before the Turkey

See these local fitness gurus for help and check out holiday feast advice from Go UnDiet author Gloria Tsang.

Staying fit around the holidays isn’t easy when you’re staring at a gigantic Thanksgiving meal, or avoiding holiday party weight gain.

Patch has the local businesses and activities to keep you trim before you start munching on turkey or enter a food coma.

Local fitness instructor and personal trainer suggests that fitness goals are easier and most likely to happen when you start working out before a New Years resolution. He advises that , and buffer. Rotunno will teach you to make use of the mountains or have you lifting weights in no time. 

Extreme Boot Camp in La Canada Flintridge enlists locals in fast-paced, quick-result exercise. Workouts combine both strength and cardio interval training for one hour each day in a supportive group atmosphere. Friendly, camouflaged instructors warn: expect a tough work out, but a Zen-like feeling afterwards.

Kristy Tyler’s Tyler Physical Therapy will leave you feeling limber and relaxed in Montrose. Tyler incorporates Pilates as a form of therapy and strength training. She’s not afraid to teach a four-year-old or an 84-year-old – and with her exercise equipment – no undue stress happens at her facility. 


Let’s not forget the plaguing diet decisions and how to make smart choices during the food crazy holidays.

Patch chatted with Gloria Tsang, founder of Healthcastle.com and author of the Go UnDiet, about how to serve classic holiday foods, what to eat and the sneaky calories in alcoholic drinks. Here are Tsang's food tips:

Potatoes: Try mashed potatoes without heavy cream or butter. Instead, use buttermilk and use half the butter than a traditional mashed potato dish. You can also try this with sweet potatoes. Calories saved: about 90.

Cakes and pies: Yes, you can still serve and eat dessert. Substitute unsweetened applesauce or pureed prunes. You’ll have half the sugar in a baking recipe. Egg whites or egg substitutes can also be added to the recipe. Try substituting unsweetened applesauce or pureed prunes for half the sugar in your baking recipes. If the eggs are used as an emulsifier, it’s best to use egg substitute (1/4 cup = 1 egg). Calories saved per 1/8 cake or pie piece: 96.

Whipped cream: Cutting whipped cream from a holiday meal seems a bit cruel – but this tasty topping is loaded with fat. Try making your own whipped cream using evaporated milk instead. It offers a similar taste and texture without the fat and guilt. Calories saved per 2 Tbsp serving: 60.

Turkey: It wouldn’t be a holiday meal without turkey. Turkey is an excellent source of protein and has the least amount of fat per serving among all meats – when you don’t eat the skin. Skip the skin and save 45 to 63 calories.

Celebratory alcohol: Instead of eggnog, sip champagne or sparkling wine. Calories saved per serving: 100.

Before the party starts, try eating a little something, Tsang said.

“Sometimes when we’re hungry we tend to not make the right decisions,” Tsang said. “Maybe nibble something two or three hours before that so you really enjoy the company of friends and family without focusing too much on the food.”

When you attend a party, it’s important to have a food game plan, she said.

 “Most people go to the parties and tend to fill up before the entrees come,” Tsang said. “What is your favorite food? Save it for that instead of trying to eat everything that comes to your sight.”

Alcohol can also factor weight gain during holidays, Tsang said.

“The alcohol part is very important,” she said. “Try not to drink on an empty stomach. The alcohol is quite high in calories, the hors d’oeuvres. Be very selective and have a strategy.”

As for appetizers, Tsang favors shrimp cocktails instead of puff pastries, that are often filled with butters, creamy fillings and are high in fat and calories. 

“It is really quite common that we actually gain weight from the festivities,” Tsang said. “We eat too much. We have to have a plan and be aware of it. Don’t feel guilty.”

What’s her overall advice? Be mindful.

“The problem is overeating, it’s not choosing the wrong type of food,” Tsang said. 

Nicole Charky November 18, 2011 at 10:54 PM
Has anyone tried these tips before? Where do you go to exercise during the holidays?


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