Holiday fitness guide: 8 tips to stay in shape

Posted by Samantha Clayton, AFAA, ISSA

Holiday fitness guide: 8 tips to stay in shape‘Tis the season to stay in shape! With the approaching holiday season, it’s easy to let fitness fall to the bottom of your to-do list. Let me help you stay in shape by following my 8 best holiday fitness tips!

Do you fall out of all of your good habits over the holiday season? Or do find yourself skipping your workout and eating too many treats? If the answer is yes, today’s post is just for you! I’m going to give you some helpful tips to keep the holiday pounds and laziness at bay this holiday season.

It’s not easy to resist all the treats that the holiday season brings. Squeezing in your exercise routine over the next few weeks may feel more difficult than usual; especially as your time gets consumed with the hectic holiday schedule that’s common during this time of year. Dark mornings and cold evenings that many of you have to contend with over the next few months may also contribute to your struggle to find the fitness motivation that you need to keep up all of your hard work. With the right program in place and proper planning, I’m sure you can maintain your fitness levels and preserve your waistline this holiday season! Here are some holiday fitness tips to follow while still enjoying time with the family and the occasional sweet treat.

Holiday fitness tip 1: Schedule it all in advance

Rather than leaving your schedule up to chance, be proactive and set aside dedicated time to hit the gym. If you’re traveling, make sure your travel days are pre planned rest days, and consider signing up for local classes at your destination. When something is pre-planned, it’s much harder to just forget about it. Chances are, if you don’t have an activity planned, you’ll opt for cozying on the couch instead.

Holiday fitness tip 2: Get a holiday training partner

Even if you love to work out solo, consider buddying up over the next few weeks.  The holiday season is the perfect time to find a training partner and chances are that you’re not the only one at work or at home who’ll benefit from some friendly accountability over the coming few weeks. The percentage of people who quit working out over the holidays because of other commitments is high. I think that’s why the January guilt gym rush is such a busy one!

Holiday fitness tip 3: Take advantage of discounts

In the fitness world, the holiday season is traditionally a quiet time and this means lots of discounts can be found! At the gym, personal trainers often have attractive discount packages available and boutique studios often offer free classes. Take the time to look and see what free fitness activities are being offered near work or in your community. The holiday season is the perfect time to try out a new class and learn something new that may benefit you in the new year.

Holiday fitness tip 4: Cut down your workout time

I understand that the holiday season is a busy time, so instead of cutting out your workout altogether, consider decreasing your time commitment while increasing your intensity level. At the end of your session, you may feel a little more tired than usual but you would have saved time. Check out my article on HIIT training and see how you can make the most out of what time you do have available.

Holiday fitness tip 5: Do a pre-meal workout

The mental side of weight management is a great strategy to use over the holidays. I believe that if you strive to do a workout prior to going to a party, there’s a good chance you will watch what you eat at the buffet table. After a workout, the desire to eat foods that are high in calories and bad for you tends to diminish. However, if you go to a party with the attitude of ‘I will eat what I want because I will work out later,’ you must keep in mind that you can’t out train a high calorie diet! The amount of exercise you need to do in order to burn off just one cookie will make you think twice.

Holiday fitness tip 6: Keep it simple

If you can’t find the motivation to get into the gym or attend a fitness class during the holidays, or if you honestly just love to break free from your typical fitness schedule, make a decision to use walking as your go-to activity. If you do nothing and eat more, you will gain unwanted body weight. You must find some way to create balance. Find time at work to get in some walking minutes, power walk on your shopping trips and do some before bed exercises such as pushups, squats and crunches to keep your body as conditioned as possible. When you’re considering having some indulgent foods, be aware of the portion size that you’re consuming. Try to balance your other meals during the day to accommodate your splurge.

Holiday fitness tip 7: Socialize over activity

My personal holiday time consists of doing my favorite hike and enjoying a nice family bike ride. In December, I get exhausted and sore muscles from hitting the ski slopes for a week. I do appreciate that my personal idea of holiday fun is different than many peoples because being active is my life and what makes me happy. The idea of sitting around sounds like torture to me. Active events with family and friends is a fun way to stay in shape and socialize.

Holiday fitness tip 8: Tools just for you

To make sure that ‘not knowing what to do’ is not one of your excuses this winter, I created lots of resources that you can use for ideas to keep moving. I just got started with a new online fitness series. If you follow these fun weekly workouts, you’ll have a head start on accomplishing next years fitness goals! For occasional short workouts that you can do at home, my Fit Tips routines are just what you need. If you wish to put together your own perfect workout, learn how by reading my previous posts right here.

Keep me posted in the comments section of how you and your family are staying active over the holidays. Hope you enjoy the season!

Written by Samantha Clayton, AFAA, ISSA. Samantha is Director of Fitness Education at Herbalife



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Happy Hour Calorie Count: 6 Tips to Stay on Track

15 Dec 2014   Posted by Susan Bowerman, MS, RD, CSSD, FAND

Happy Hour Calorie Count: Cocktails and Snacks Can Add Up Fast

Happy hour can result in many more calories than most dieters assume. It doesn’t mean you need to skip it altogether… with a little calorie control, you can get through happy hour without blowing your diet. 

Happy hour is the dieter’s perfect storm. The combination of inexpensive cocktails and (often free) snack foods also brings a deluge of calories – before you’re even aware of how much damage you’ve actually done. While you enjoy unwinding with friends, the alcohol might start to loosen your determination to keep your calories in check. Then there’s the snacks, which are plentiful and readily available–and often salty enough to fire up your thirst (which is then quenched with another drink…).

How to Control Your Calories at Happy Hour

Happy hour is never just an hour.  Many bars and restaurants host longer events–extending the hours just long enough to entice you to stay for dinner. So, by the time you sit down for a meal, those happy hours cocktails and appetizers could already have set you back by 1000 calories or more.

It’s easy to lose track of how many calories you’re taking in at happy hour. That doesn’t mean you have to avoid socializing with friends, but it does help to have a strategy for handling happy hour. Here are some tips to help you.

· Snack before you go. With so much inexpensive, high calorie food that’s often served up at happy hour, the last thing you want to do is to arrive with an empty stomach. Have a high protein snack late in the afternoon to tide you over until dinner – some Greek style yogurt, an Herbalife(R) protein shake, a few slices of turkey with some whole grain crackers, or a bit of cottage cheese and fruit should do it.

· Choose appetizers wisely. The snacks and appetizers that are typically offered at happy hour tend to be greasy, salty and high calorie.  And, since the foods aren’t “plated up” like  a meal, it makes it more difficult keep track of how  much you’ve eaten and how many calories you’ve put away.  Get acquainted with the calorie counts of happy hour items (see the list below).  Look for lower calorie items – like some raw veggies and hummus dip, some edamame (green soybeans) or maybe a shrimp cocktail.  If you want to dig into the snacks, it’s best to ask your server for a small plate and portion out a few items for yourself.  When your plate is empty, you’re done!

· Know the calories in your drinks. If you are planning to drink alcohol, your lowest calorie choices are beer and wine.  A bottle of light beer or glass of wine has around 100 calories – far and away a better choice than many mixed drinks (see calorie chart below).  That’s because hard alcohol has over 100 calories per shot, and the mixers and add-ins (like sodas, fruit juices, syrups and cream) can drive the calories sky high.

· Establish a limit before you go. Establish a budget ahead of time.   Know the amount of calories you have to spend, and how you will spend them on your cocktails and appetizers.

· Alternate your drinks. Once you’ve had one alcoholic beverage, switch to something that’s calorie-free, like some sparkling water, iced tea or a diet soda with a twist.   Some people feel that having a drink in hand makes them appear more sociable – but that doesn’t mean that the drink has to have alcohol, or calories!

· Focus on the fun. If your happy hour is mainly focused on food and cocktails, it’s time to shift your attention to the quality time you’re having with your friends.  Being sociable doesn’t require that you have a cocktail in your hand or plateful of snacks in front of you.

Calories in Typical Happy Hour Food

Serving sizes and preparation techniques vary a lot from place to place, so it’s difficult to place an exact calorie count on the items you might find at happy hour. I used online information from several restaurant chains to come up with a range of calories – per order – for these typical happy hour treats.

Chicken wings with ranch dressing:  800 – 1200 calories 

Egg Rolls:

4 egg rolls = 750 – 1200 calories

Fried Calamari with cocktail sauce:

1 average order = 750 – 900 calories

Fried Mozzarella Sticks with marinara sauce:

8 sticks with sauce = 800 – 1100 calories

Fried zucchini:

8 – 12 pieces = 400 – 600 calories

Onion Rings:

5- 6 onion rings = 1000 – 1200 calories

Sliders (mini hamburgers):

2 sliders = 600 – 1000 calories 

Soft Pretzel Sticks with Cheese Sauce:

1-2 pretzels with sauce = 750 – 1200 calories

Spinach Dip with tortilla or pita chips:

1/2 cup (120 ml) dip with 3 chips = 800 – 1400 calories

Calories in Beer, Wine and Hard Liquor

Beer:  12 ounces (240ml) = 150 calories

Light Beer:  12 ounces (240ml) = 110 calories

Dark Beer:  12 ounces (240ml) = 170 calories

Wine (red, white):  6 ounces (180ml) = 120 calories

Hard Liquor – 80 proof:  1 shot (1.5 ounces, 45 ml) = 100 calories

Hard Liquor – 100 proof: 1 shot (1.5  ounces, 45 ml) = 125 calories

Calories in Mixers

Cranberry juice:  8 ounces (240ml) = 160 calories

Cream:  2 Tablespoons (30ml) = 75 calories

Coffee, club soda, plain seltzer, diet soda:  any amount = 0 calories

Orange juice:  8 ounces (240ml) = 120 calories

Soda (cola, ginger ale, tonic, etc.):  8 ounces (240 ml) = 100 calories

Tomato juice:  8 ounces (240ml) = 60 calories

Calories in Mixed Drinks

Not all bars and restaurants pour the same size cocktail or use the exact same ingredients, but these calorie values represent typical drinks.

Bloody Mary:  10 ounces (300ml)  = 180 calories

Cosmopolitan:  4 ounces (120ml) = 215 calories

Gin and tonic:  8 ounces (240ml)  = 215 calories

Long Island Iced Tea:  8 ounces (240ml) = 800 calories

Mai tai:  8 ounces (240ml)  = 600 calories

Manhattan:  3 ounces (90ml) = 200 calories

Margarita:  8 ounces (240ml) = 700 calories

Martini:  3 ounces (90ml)  = 180 calories

Mojito:  6 ounces (180ml) = 160 calories

Mudslide:  12 oz (360ml) = 820 calories

Pina Colada:  6 ounces (180ml) = 600 calories

White Russian:  5 ounces (150 ml) = 425 calories


Susan Bowerman is Director of Nutrition Training at Herbalife. Susan is a Registered Dietitian and a Board-Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics.

Susan Bowerman


I help people around the world with two of the most important things in life:
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SASA’S BEAUTY TIPPS: The Do’s and Don’ts of Holiday Makeup

17 Dec 2014 – Posted by Jacquie Carter, beauty expert

The Do’s and Don’ts of Holiday MakeupThe best thing about the holiday season is the fabulous festivities! They’re great opportunities to kick your look up a notch. Spice it up this season with glamorous holiday makeup!  

Finding the perfect outfit, shoes, accessories, hairstyle or even the coolest ugly sweater is all part of the fun of holiday parties.  The most fun is experimenting with new holiday makeup looks. I have two approaches when it comes to holiday makeup: naughty or nice!  The “naughty” look is perfect for a party with a bunch of friends. The “nice” look works great for your traditional office party. Either way, ‘tis the season to have fun with your makeup!

Holiday glam comes with some do’s and don’ts. You should strive to be on-trend but not over-the-top. Let me break it down with some simple holiday makeup tips.  As a non-conformist, however, I must confess: anything goes at an ugly sweater party!

Do: Dress up your eyes with some fun metallic and shimmery shadows.

Nothing screams holidays like a bit of shimmer. Try shades of green and other jewel tones like rich plums or wintery blues.  Metallics like gold, silver or bronze are perfect and right on trend. Why not add a bit of holiday shimmer to your face? A little on the eyes and cheeks can be the perfect holiday look.

Don’t: Go for a big glitter fest.

There’s definitely a time and a place for glitter makeup. The holiday season is a great time to add a little bit (and I’ll emphasize little) of glitter; but too often, I’ve seen glitter makeup gone wrong! Unless you’re a seasoned at applying glitter makeup, it can easily turn from adding a bit of sparkle to your eyes to looking like stage makeup. I’ll also add that glitter makeup isn’t for all age groups. I’m not ready to give up glitter altogether just yet, but let’s leave heavy focus on glitter for the kids. If you must indulge in glitter makeup, try to keep your glitter isolated. If after applying your most glittery eye shadow, you notice that it sprinkled all over your face, just reach for a piece of scotch tape. It works fabulously at picking up our little glitter spills.

Do: Try a new makeup look—especially if it’s something that you normally wouldn’t wear.

If you usually don’t play up your eyes, now’s the perfect time to try it. Think about brighter colors or even false eyelashes. Work your brows by adding a bit of color to better frame your eyes. If you never wear red lipstick, now’s your chance. Although I must warn you, red lips can be a bit tricky. Take your time to find the best shade of red that will compliment your skin tone. Or better yet, leave it up to the professionals. Pop into your local department store cosmetic counter to try a few shades and to get some great advice. Holidays are festive so why not give your face a new festive look?

Don’t: Get too crazy with your new holiday look.

You want to stay confident in your appearance.  The last thing you want to do is arrive at a party feeling uncomfortable or insecure with your new look. Definitely experiment beforehand. Focus on one aspect of your makeup like just your eyes or your lips. Think out of the box, but don’t go overboard.  You’ll definitely have more fun if you aren’t worried about how you look.

Do: Consider what you’re wearing.

Take a good look at your outfit. Are you wearing a shimmering silver dress? If so, you may want to avoid wearing gold eye shadow that completely clashes. Instead, a charcoal smokey eye would match your dress and differentiate from the dress color just enough. You’ll look more polished and not so miss-matched as a result. If you’re carrying a contrasting color purse or wearing a cool color of shoes or jewelry, look for the color connection.

Don’t: Go all matchy-matchy!

The thing you want to avoid is being one color from head to toe. Look for colors that will compliment your look, not match it perfectly. I’ve seen a lot of ugly Christmas sweaters over the years and trust me, a green reindeer sweater does NOT look good with green eye shadow and green eye liner, topped with green glitter. Mix it up a bit.

Do: Have a heavier hand then you normally would.

Even if you don’t want a new look, double or even triple what you normally do to be extra glamorous. If you’re not accustomed to wearing foundation, now is the time. It’ll give your skin a beautiful, even toned look that lasts throughout even the longest holiday parties. Apply a bit more blush then you normally would. Blush is that one product that can vanish throughout the day, especially in the colder climates where your skin can look a bit washed out. Be sure to give your lashes an extra coat of mascara or even a pair of falsies. If you want to deepen the shade of your eye shadow, wet your brush.  The shadow will adhere better and the color will be more visible. Build your makeup gradually so you can add to your look slowly. It’s much easier to build up then to try and remove what you’ve already applied. Remember to blend, blend and blend again. I can’t say it enough, do an experimental practice run a few days before your event.

Don’t: Go overboard and cake on your makeup.

Yes, too much of a good thing can be disastrous. And, boy oh boy, does hold true when it comes to makeup. Yes, try wearing a foundation or a little more blush than you normally would, but be careful not to apply too much. I always do the picture test before leaving the house for a party. Take a picture of yourself in low light, with flash and see how it comes out. If there’s no color or dimension to your face, you’ve put too much foundation. Remember you can glam up your eyes for one party and your lips for another.  A pair of bright red lips is the perfect accessory for your face so don’t over accessorize by having your eyes compete for attention. You don’t have to overdo it, play up one feature and downplay another.

And my very last DO: Have FUN!

There’s nothing more beautiful or radiant than a gorgeous smile or an infectious laugh. Focus on your friends and family and simply have a blast.  ‘Tis the season to appreciate the year that just passed and anxiously anticipate the year to come. Envelope yourself in the holiday spirit. (As well as a fabulous new holiday fragrance.)


I’d love to hear your top do’s and don’ts when it comes to holiday makeup. Share your top tips in the comments section below. Have a fabulous time at your holiday parties!

Written by beauty expert, Jacquie Carter. Jacquie is Director of Outer Nutrition at Herbalife. Discover the HerbalifeSKIN line here.

Jacquie Carter al Italian Summit Bologna Feb 2013


I help people around the world with two of the most important things in life:
Welcome to forward my details to anyone you know
who needs more health, energy, weight management, sports nutrition
and a happier, more successful life!
Solutions for Weight Management, SPORTS Nutrition and Beauty
Empowering You To Change
Call +12143290702