12/18/2013 01:00 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Best Tips for Holiday Fitness


Ah, December. The month where most women in America beat themselves up for eating way too much, but then continue overeat without really enjoying it. It's a vicious cycle, isn't it? It's the month where we just love to get down on ourselves and systematically sabotage our health.

Here's an idea. Stop.

There's a way to celebrate the holidays without spending it in a sugar coma, laying on the floor, struggling to breathe, but still enjoying the food of the season with sense.

New York-based Performance Coach, Billy De La Rosa helps his clients deal with this delicate balance all season long.

"You should absolutely eat your favorite special foods," Billy says. "But try to keep your holiday eating to the actual holidays. You can also help yourself out by preparing smart holiday foods."

Billy suggests the following Five Best Foods to Eat During the Holidays:

1. Turkey is a lean, mean, high protein source -- more than chicken, beef, and pork. It is also low in calories, fat, sodium and cholesterol compared to other meats.

2. Roasted sweet potatoes are a fat-free and can keep you full for hours. Just 3.5 ounces of sweet potatoes provides 15 percent of the daily potassium allowance.

3. Paleo pumpkin muffins are low-calorie, gluten- and dairy-free and make for a great snack or breakfast treat. Pumpkin seeds could even enhance our moods as it contains the amino acid tryptophan, which plays a part in the production of serotonin.

4. Brussels sprouts provide cholesterol lowering benefits, as well as vitamin B3, which promotes a healthy digestive tract.

5. Cranberries are known as a super antioxidant that can be eaten year round. According to the Associated Press, National Institutes of Health research has show that "drinking cranberry juice can block urinary infections by binding to bacteria so they can't adhere to cell walls."

Of course this is not always possible when you're going to Christmas parties and have no control over the menu. So! If you absolutely can't resist some of the more calorie dense holiday options, eat in moderation and work out to counteract the effects! Just know what is going into your body and how much work it will take to burn the unwanted extra calories. And have fun with your exercises by switching them up so it doesn't seem like a punishment!

For example:

1 Cup Egg Nog = 350 Calories
Burn that off with five rounds of the following at moderate intensity:
• A 7-minute run
• 20 / 15 Walking Lunges
• 20/15 Hand Release Push-ups
• 20/15 Air Squats

1 Cup of Mashed Potatoes with Butter and Milk = 237 Calories
Counteract those calories with five rounds of Moderate to High intensity cardiovascular exercises:
• 3 Minutes of Jump Rope
• 4 Minutes on the Rowing Machine

A Piece of Pecan Pie = 500 Calories
Make like that pie splurge never happened with descending reps of the following 4 exercises (starting at 20 and going down to 1):
• Burpees
• Walking Lunges
• Sit-ups
• Jump Rope

The holidays are supposed to be fun. So stop beating yourself up. Celebrate smart and take care of business!