Celebrity trainer tips to avoid the holiday pounds

·Host of The Thread

The pleasures of the holiday season are many but the pain can be equally powerful come January when we realize the damage we’ve done. This year wouldn’t it be nice to not have regrets for a change? We asked celebrity fitness and nutrition experts-- the pros who keep Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and Jennifer Aniston in line--to give us their tips for getting through the holidays without those extra 10 pounds. Are you in?

BOBBY STROM, celebrity trainer who has worked with Jessica Biel and Britney Spears and whipped Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively into shape for “Green Lantern”

"Give yourself one meal a week. Christmas dinner is only one meal, not a three day long event. For that one meal, say, 'I’m going to have some candied yams and pumpkin pie and potatoes.' That’s it. Doesn’t mean you eat like crap for the whole day. Before you eat something think, 'If it’s not worth it, don’t waste it.' If someone says, 'You have to try this cake it’s awesome!' Ok, maybe it’s worth the calories. But picking at a bowl of pretzels—that’s not worth the work you’ll have to do to take it off."

GUNNAR PETERSON, celebrity trainer who keeps Kim Kardashian and Sofia Vergara in good form, and helped Jennifer Lopez train for a triathlon after having twins

"Get a training partner for these six weeks who will help motivate you to get up and out of bed. And get it done early. Set your alarm for an hour earlier—or even 30 minutes. You’ll make better choices for the rest of the day. And at night, you’ll be less likely to stay out too late because you’ll have to get up early. Mindset is also incredibly important. You have to mentally set the table. You will not gain weight. You’ve got to know it to make better choices. Draw a line in the sand."

HARLEY PASTERNAK, host of ABC’s “The Revolution” who has trained Lady Gaga, Megan Fox, Katy Perry and Rihanna

"When you go to a holiday party, I want you to park your car three blocks away. And walk those three blocks each direction. If you end up at a buffet, don’t make one trip and pile everything on your plate. Go up and take one thing. I always start with vegetables. Then go back for meats. Satiety lags behind ingestion so if you eat slower, you’ll feel fuller and then by the time you go back, you’ll choose less. After the meal, go on what the Italians call a passeggiata--  a walk around the neighborhood."


MANDY INGBER, LA-based yoga instructor who leads Jennifer Aniston and Helen Hunt through their poses

"My indulgence trick is to eat treats that are only homemade. That eliminates a lot of the holiday sweets that are packaged. Also, speak to yourself in a positive way and reinforce what you are doing well. Don't focus on the cookie you ate last night. Focus on the fact that you did 30 minutes of cardio today. Write a list of what you are doing well like visiting relatives or leaving the party early so you could wake up and meditate."

BERNARDO COPPOLA, LA-based trainer and former pro rugby player who works with Matthew Morrison and the cast of “Glee”

"Enjoy yourself, but the next day get back on track with your nutrition. It’s all psychological. You’ve got to put boundaries in your head. You can’t do leftovers. You can’t say, 'It’s been four days and I’m still eating it' if you want to not add pounds. Add more cardio than usual to your workout so you burn more calories. When you’re weight lifting, after you do three sets of an exercise, before you move on to the next one, add 30 seconds to a minute of jumping jacks or mountain climbers."

ANDREA ORBECK, fitness and wellness guru who works with Heidi Klum and many Victoria’s Secret angels

"Learn to modify menus. Instead of cream cheese or sour cream, use plain yogurt and Stevia instead of sugar because it doesn’t create the same insulin response. When a recipe calls for butter, cut 1/3 of butter with applesauce instead. Stay away from canned options and instead of white flour use whole wheat sources so at least you’re getting fiber. Multi-task. While you’re standing at the sink doing dishes, use the counter to do a set of squats. Do 50 crunches every morning before you start your crazy day."


DAVID KIRSCH, NYC-based wellness guru who works Anne Hathaway and Liv Tyler out

"During this time people often start to starve themselves, which is actually the worst thing you can do. Make sure to eat five small meals a day. One can be a protein shake. Leave a few hard-boiled eggs on your kitchen counter to snack on. You want to keep the engine going. You don’t want your metabolism to slow down so you store calories. Also, you’re not going to be as smart about your choices when you’re ravenously hungry. Staying optimally fueled through out the day is key. If you overindulge, make sure you hydrate the next day and hit the gym regardless of how you feel."


NICHELLE HINES, the CRO “chief ride officer” at LA spinning gym Cycle House where Alexa Chung, Nicole Kidman and Charlize Theron like to break a sweat

"I tell clients, put post-its on your bathroom mirror or on your front door or on the mirror on the visor in the car, that say, 'If you’re not hungry don’t eat' and 'respect your temple.' It’s a constant reminder to breathe and make a conscious decision about what you put in your mouth. So many of these things happen without even thinking. Also, so often you think you’re hungry but you’re not—you’re just thirsty. It’s incredibly important to hydrate."

SUE MOLNAR, Soul Cycle Master Instructor where Kelly Ripa, Jessica Alba, and Chelsea Clinton ride

"Think preventatively. Instead of chowing down and then trying to go to the gym to work it off, go to the gym before you eat so you’ve already raised your metabolism. If you exercise for an hour it’s not just about that hour, you’re still burning more calories throughout the day. If you can get to the point where you're doing a really vigorous hour of exercise in the morning during the holidays, your reward is that you just get to eat what you want and not feel guilty."


FRED DEVITO, executive vice president of mind body fitness programs at Exhale, a favorite spot of Cameron Diaz and Brooke Burke

"Never arrive to the holiday meal famished. Nobody can make good choices when they are starved. Have a small protein-rich snack before you go, such as an apple with nut butter or hummus and crudité. During the meal, pick one or two of your favorite splurge items and enjoy them in moderation. Fill up the rest of your plate with lean protein and veggies. Skip liquid calories. Liquids don't fill us up the way solid foods do so the calories add up, but don't offer satiety. Stick to water, herbal tea or make a holiday spritzer, adding a splash of cranberry juice to seltzer." 


HILARIA THOMAS, instructor at NYC studio Yoga Vida (and girlfriend of Alec Baldwin)

"Every single day do a little bit of yoga. Sun salutations, boat pose, forward bend, back bend, twists to each side to stretch out your belly, then finish in shavasana. You’ll be more in touch with your body and your senses so that when you put something in your mouth you'll have less of a chance of over-eating because you’re listening to your body and respecting your body. Your body does not want to be stuffed. It’s traumatizing. The connection will help you avoid 'mindless eating' while you’re sitting with people who emotionally stress you out."

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