Your *Surprising* Healthy Holiday Success Strategy (3 steps)

Want to have your cake and eat it too this holiday season? Fortunately, you can without packing on pounds or reversing your normal healthy real food routine.

That’s right. I’m a realist about holidays. I don’t expect my clients to be perfect and refuse every last morsel of coconut cake, pumpkin pie, and dressing (unless there is an autoimmune condition). Holidays are about family, relationships, connection, gratitude, giving, and remembrance, not misery and frustration for your willpower! THIS season is the reason why you live healthy, right? So you can enjoy your family and friends and be there for them?

Vibrant health about consistency, not perfection. (click here to tweet this)

Let’s cut through the clutter and map out your holiday success strategy now, so it’s in place by Thanksgiving (or your next holiday) and you have the freedom to enjoy yourself without anxiety or guilt. Plus, it’s only 3 steps, so not a lot of moving parts and things to remember.

The main point here is to have a solid effective healthy living plan in place so that your body is more forgiving when you splurge in one area, in this case, at meals. 

Step #1 – Eat 3:1

If you want to taste every dessert and dish without packing on the pounds, plan 3 low carb days to 1 splurge day. Low carb means ~100 g of carbohydrate per day or less. This is actually quite simple to do and won’t cut into your enjoyment of life at all.

If your party is Friday evening, eat low carb Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday until the party. Then enjoy yourself without guilt. (Note: I do not advocate stuffing yourself silly. Make wise choices!) The same applies if your party was Friday morning (though afternoon and evening parties will be much better for your health as a whole, fyi).

The low carb days will deplete your body of stored glycogen (the body’s storage form of sugar), rev up your metabolism into fat burning mode, and may improve insulin sensitivity. All of this is favorable for a splurge day, which you’ve planned and prepared for in advance.

Following the Jump-Start Formula is an easy way to eat low carb. Simply eat high quality protein, fats, and low carb veggies at every meal. An example of this would be 3-4 eggs cooked in butter over med-low heat with onions for breakfast, a hamburger patty with kale sautéed in coconut oil for lunch, and a chicken breast with roasted veggies doused in olive oil with a splash of balsamic vinegar at dinner. Eat as much as you want until you are full. It’s important that we don’t restrict calories, only carbohydrates.

STOP right now and take out your calendar. Look at your parties and go ahead and plan accordingly.

If there are more than 3 days between parties, the more low carb days you can do in between, the better. Plus, troubleshooting, it will be vitally important to begin your day with a great protein and fat breakfast the morning after. Yes, it will be like recovering from a hangover, so being aware of that going in will be key!

But hey, you’re the one who wants to have your cake and eat it too, right?! I’m just here to share how you can do it successfully.

Triggering your body with the next right thing – protein + fat – ASAP the next day will shock your body back into fat burning mode with few side effects.


Step #2 – Schedule 3 strength/HIIT workouts a week, minimum

Fitness doesn’t have to be everlasting to be effective. Forget aerobics and workout dvds during the holidays. You need intense strength-building workouts (i.e., heavy weightlifting) and high intensity interval training (HIIT). Not only will these workouts be shorter than aerobics or P90X, they’ll actually build muscle and burn fat, unlike the purely aerobic counterpart.

If you can do 8 or more repetitions of your weightlifting exercise, you need to go heavier. I recommend full body weightlifting exercises like squats, bench presses, pull-ups, rows, deadlifts, and lunges or their bodyweight version with a focus on technique and slow repetitions.

You’ve all heard that more muscle burns more calories and this is true. But to get more muscle you have to put more stress on your muscles, through heavier weights. If you’re scared of this, hire a trainer for a month to teach you the exercises safely or take a buddy with you to the gym. Problem solved.

Going heavier will also naturally decrease workout time because you’ll fatigue faster. Boom! More time in your day!

Three strength building workouts a week with HIIT is ideal, but at minimum can be exchanged with HIIT if you’re short on time.  HIIT is basically you working at 100% as long as possible, but not over 10 minutes. HIIT also depletes your body of stored glycogen and improves insulin sensitivity, so you’re ready for dinner!

Examples of simple HIIT workouts are:

  • 100 burpees (modified or full) as fast as possible (no more than 10 minutes)
  • 6-10 30-60 second sprints with a full minute of rest in between
  • 10 KB swings – 10 burpees, 10 KB swings – 9 burpees, 10 KB swings – 8 burpees… until you get to one as fast as possible (no more than 10 minutes)
If the above says ‘no more than 10 minutes’, set a stopwatch to 10 minutes and go. If you finish first, great! Record your time. If the timer goes off before you finish, stop there and record how much you completed. Do more next time!
If you don’t know where to start for your workouts, download my free one-month Full Body Blast workout here. I designed it for this exact purpose – to build strength and burn fat in less time. Perfect for the holidays.

Step #3 – On Point Lifestyle

To have your cake and eat it too… successfully… there are tradeoffs. Your lifestyle – sleep, stress, relationships, etc. – need to be on point as much as possible so that your body can handle the excess load of sugars, omega-6 fats, gluten, etc.
Sleeping 7-9 hours every night is super important for immunity. Eating high doses of sugar, veggie oils, and irritating grains taxes your body in a big way, so we need our immune system fully on board to handle the load. Sleep is vital to this. Schedule it. Now.
Practicing de-stressing activities as much as possible is also vital. I don’t mean meditating 30 minutes a day, but 1-5 minutes of quiet and deep breathing can do wonders for anxiety and stress. Try me. Even if you have 60 seconds throughout the day, you’ll be surprised at the results.
Savoring your relationships. This season is a time of joy with those we love, but we often get bogged down in the stuff – the presents, the party prep, the things we haven’t done it. Take a deep breath! What’s it all for? To enjoy the moment, right?! BE present with your kids and savor those moments… that’s all you have and aren’t guaranteed tomorrow.
Having your cake and eating it too this holiday season is about strategy, not dieting or misery. You simply need your strategy in place beforehand and, thankfully, it’s only three steps: Eat 3:1, Workout 3x a week, and practice an On Point Lifestyle. Implementing this strategy will prep your body for splurging without gaining weight, stressing you out more, or causing guilt. You’ll find that when you have the rest of your lifestyle on point, your body is able to handle the occasional splurge without ill effects. 


Gerilyn helps people all over the world improve their lives, transform their bodies, and expand their vitality through real food nutrition, fitness, and healthy living so that they can live their purpose and BE a blessing! Her experience in nutrition, strength & conditioning, personal growth, love of cooking, and passion for transformation make her uniquely suited for this mission. She has a knack for creating contagious healthy experiences and providing the needed support and accountability that turn diets into lifestyles and dreams into realities.

Learn Gerilyn’s Signature Jump-Start Formula – free. It’s a simple nutrition formula to infuse you with more energy, more freedom, and more vitality! Click here to access it now! 


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