Health & Beauty

‘The Biggest Loser’ Trainers Offer Healthy Tips for Surviving the Holidays

The holidays can be such a struggle when it comes to watching your weight, but have no fear, “The Biggest Loser” trainers are here! sat down with Bob Harper, Dolvett Quince, Jennifer Widerstrom and Jessie Pavelka to find out tips and tricks to avoid temptations, high-calorie-burning workouts to squeeze into any hectic schedule, and healthy recipes to incorporate into holiday meals!

As a bonus (just to make us all feel better), we also asked if they had any holiday weaknesses, and sure enough they are human too. Read on to find out what they just can’t say no to:

Bob Harper

How to Avoid Temptation: Grab the little plate at the buffet and “you get to put anything you want on it and then you’re done.” He also recommends being the last in line, because fresh food looks much more appetizing than serving dishes that have already been picked over.

Quick Calorie Burning Workout: “Challenge yourself to do as many burpees as you can in seven minutes… you are going to be in a pool of sweat, you will have gotten your heart rate up, you will be fat burning after the seven minutes are done.”

Healthy Recipe Replacement: “I always think of the starchy foods, like staying away from those mashed potatoes and do a mashed cauliflower instead. That is a way to really reduce those complex carbs.”

Holiday Weaknesses: “When it comes to the savory things like Swedish meatballs or those little pigs in a blanket… I am literally like, ‘Get me out of here!’ I want to eat every single one of them.”

Dolvett Quince

How to Avoid Temptations: “Don’t avoid [the treats]… just pace yourself. Reward yourself. Don’t do it every single day. If you find yourself having pancakes that morning, stay away from fudge that night. You’ve already had your sweet for the day. Earn it.”

Quick Calorie-Burning Workout: It’s all about combination movements. “I will do a jumping, lunge, twist for example so I will work on my glutes, my quads, my hamstrings and my torso all in one movement… I will do 30 reps of that, 15 per leg.”

Healthy Recipe Replacement: Replace whipped cream or ice cream with Greek yogurt. “Get your favorite yogurt, and put your favorite protein powder in it, stir that in there and you get protein on top of your protein, and flavor, put some fruit in it, but don’t add the fruit until after you put it in the freezer.”

Holiday Weaknesses: “I have a sweet tooth, so I really, really like peppermint brittle. Oh my God. It is so good! That and fudge. Forget about it. I’m human people, I’m human!”

Jennifer Widerstrom

How to Avoid Temptation: First off, don’t venture into the holiday madness on an empty stomach. Bring healthy snacks like Lara Bars or nuts to avoid making bad choices. Secondly, eat before hitting the holiday parties. “I don’t care if it is catered. Eat something before you go, because if you go starving, you are going to fill up on more than you would have otherwise.” Calorie-Burning Workout: Check out her latest workouts in Shape magazine. Each round takes seven minutes!

Recipe Replacement: The trick is combining a savory favorite with something green. “Take a sweet potato and cube it up and just pan bake it. You don’t need anything but a twist of salt and a little olive oil and put it in with your kale salad or your Brussels sprout salad.” Consider adding craisins, currants or almonds.

Holiday Weaknesses: “If I’m having a glass of wine or a beer throughout the week, that’s where those calories sneak in for me.”

Jessie Pavelka 

How to Avoid Temptations: “Follow the 80/20 rule. Eat 80 percent of the things that are good throughout the day and then 20 percent that are bad… the next day wake up and start moving and exercising again. Have a healthy breakfast. Don’t let that guilt from making one bad decision carry over into the next day… or the next year.”

Quick Calorie Burning Workout: “Dr. Tabata training is four minutes of high intensity interval training, however, it is very challenging. If you are in your 50s or 60s I wouldn’t recommend it, but it takes the body to an anaerobic state so that you get a lot of fresh blood into the capillaries, the small vessels, and your body releases all those good hormones.”

Healthy Recipe Replacement: Jake recommends cooking with coconut oil, coconut butter or ghee instead of olive oil, because the latter has a lower smoking point! “It is less resilient to heat so it turns into a transfat.”

Holiday Weaknesses: His mom’s “What the Hell Cake,” grandma’s Czech kolache pastries and beer.