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{Guest Post} Got the nighttime or weekend binges? Here are 3 binge solutions to use TODAY.

I’m super excited to have a special guest poster today- Julie Stubblefield, founder of the Break The Binge program. Julie agreed to address a common issue among women, binge eating with her top 3 binge solutions. I get emails often from subscribers who state that *this* is their #1 struggle. I’m thankful to have Julie here to speak to this topic that she’s personally struggled with before losing and keeping off 70 pounds. (Woohoo!) She has been able to help hundreds of women change their bodies, relieve their minds, and heal their souls. Take it away, Julie……

Assorted Homemade Gourmet Glazed Donuts on a Background

Does this sound familiar at all? You follow a diet perfectly for a few days and just can’t hold out any longer; the chips or cookies are just too tempting. Or maybe you do really well with food choices until dinner and then you can’t stay out of the pantry for the rest of the night. Stress, extra work, and a busy schedule are often to blame, but there’s more to it than that!

Here are 3 ways to avoid the nighttime binge. (This applies to the weekends, too!)

Are you eating enough? – If you are looking to lose some pounds, then you have probably changed up what you are eating. Most people follow a calorie model, and it really bankrupts your ability to fight cravings that lead to binges. Why? Because the calorie model forces you to look at your allotment for the day and fit alllllll your foods into that number. So instead of focusing on the quality of our foods, we start looking simply at the numerical value they have in terms of calories. From 100-calorie packs to low-cal yogurt, we spend our day counting numbers instead of really seeing what’s going in our bodies. Which do you think would hold you over for longer? A 100-calorie pack of cookies or a small apple? Yep. The apple.

What to do – Dare to step away from counting every morsel. Focus, instead, on getting in protein and veggies first. They are dense in nutrients but light on calories naturally. When you work on getting those in first, by nature, you have less room in the belly for fats and carbs. Those aren’t ‘bad’ but should fall lower in the hierarchy of food importance if you are seeking fat loss.

Are you sleeping well? – One night of poor sleep can mess with your ability to make clear decisions about simple tasks (ever leave the milk out on the counter?). Several nights in a row or poor sleep inconsistently can really do a number on your urge to binge. Why is this? Well, your brain is mustering all it’s focus to do things like drive, work, multitask. These are important daily functions. When it comes time to make a decision about food, there is simply less resources to draw upon.

What to do – If sleep is a consistent problem, you will want to address it with your physician or nutrition coach. If it seems to be a sporadic issue, then there are a few things to help you make better food choices. Don’t rely on caffeine to get through the day (increases cravings like nothing else). Keep snacks on hand that support your goals so no thinking is involved. Know where you will eat out on days when you are simply too tired to think. Put it on autopilot and go where you know you will choose the best you can. If you have the munchies at night, simply go to bed. It helps you catch up on sleep and keeps you out of the pantry!

How do you mentally interact with food? – Is food a reward after surviving a stressful day? Is food what comforts you when you feel alone? Is food your ally when you feel like you are at war with the world? If you answered, “Yes” to any of these questions, you are most likely relying on food as an emotional crutch. You’ve may have even convinced yourself that there is no way you could handle x, y, or z without a dessert, a glass or three of wine, or a bag of chips. This can be tough because your natural, go-to response in these and similar scenarios is to grab foods that don’t suit your goals, and they don’t solve the issue at hand, either.

What to do – While it may seem automatic to grab your binge buddy, there is a small delay in your brain between being presented with a situation and making a decision. Capture that small delay and take a pause. It can be 30 seconds or a full minute. Think about what you are doing. What is the purpose of the food you are eating? Will it nourish? Or will it make your body feel poorly? Does that food choice actually solve or resolve any issue you are struggling with? Many times that simple pause is enough to make a different choice. If you still decide to eat foods that don’t serve your goals, then perhaps you can notice a trend over time. This isn’t a quick fix; it takes some time and patience, and often support to help you navigate these food relationships. You are worth it; don’t give up!

In summary, dealing with the nighttime or weekend binge comes from internal and external feedback. You may identify with one or all of the situations above. Or you may be able to slightly relate but know it’s still an issue. Just like we have our own genetic makeup, we have our own unique dance with food. The goal is to figure out your personal rhythm and then take the lead.

Who the heck is Julie Stubblefield?


After spending 15 years in the diet-cheat-diet cycle, Julie Stubblefield was finally able to shed and keep off her extra 70 pounds. She is on a mission to help other women understand that changing your body doesn’t have to be a hate- journey, while giving them a community of support and comfort.

Below is a top-level coaching service that I recommend. Coach Amanda will help you gain control over food to help you reach your goals!

FASTer Way to Fat Loss is a 6 Week Boot Camp that Utilizes Carb Cycling and Intermittent Fasting – HIGHLY effective program!

Affiliate Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Your program pricing does not go up, but if you register through my link I get a bit for referring you. Thanks for supporting my blog!
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8 Must-Do Steps for Achieving Your Best Body: Interview with Jill Coleman

I’m SOOOO excited to feature an interview with Jill Coleman from Jillfit.com. Jill has been a mentor of mine for the last few years, and I now consider her a friend as well. She has incredible knowledge and experience working with female clients in body change and mindset, so she is the perfect person to offer insights on achieving your best body! I asked Jill the following four questions and came away with “8 Must-Do” steps for achieving your best body in the coming year.

Interview with Jill Coleman

A little about Jill: Jill Coleman, MS is the co-founder of Metabolic Effect, Inc, and the owner of JillFit Physiques, a health and wellness brand, with a unique focus on mindset.


Jill’s 16-year journey in the health and fitness industry began when she got her very first job at a gym (just for the free membership!) at age 15.


Since then, it’s a been a whirlwind of education in exercise science and nutrition, fitness competitions, landing several national covers for fitness modeling and plenty of business growth. Jill’s work has been featured in SELF magazine, Family Circle, SHAPE, Women’s Health magazine, and others, and she’s currently a monthly columnist for Prevention magazine.


Jill lives in Winston-Salem, NC with her husband, Jade and is a huge advocate of rest-based living. Work hard, rest harder. She jet-sets all over the world for business and pleasure. Some of her favorite spots include the mountains of Asheville, NC, her hometown of Boston and plenty of trips to Los Angeles and NYC.


So yeah, you are in EXCELLENT hands with Jill when it comes to this topic! Here we goooooo! 🙂

8 Must-Do Steps for Achieving Your Best Body: Interview with Jill Coleman

Question #1 – I know you have vast experience working with female clients. For women just beginning their journey to a healthier and fit version of themselves, can you share your top 3 tips for getting started?

Jill Coleman: Aaaah! Such a great question! I think one of the biggest frustrations for those just getting started is the sheer amount of information they feel like they have to sift through to get an idea of what to do. It can be so overwhelming that they don’t do anything for fear of not doing “the right thing.” That’s understandable, but it’s also not helpful.

So my first recommendation is to choose one single coach/expert that you trust more than anyone else and start with their protocol or theory. Start with a single person’s advice and follow that through and see what happens. You can always learn and adjust later, but the key to get started is well, getting started 🙂

Must Do #1 – Choose one single coach, expert, or program to follow. Be consistent! This is your starting point.

The second step is increasing protein. I usually have all my female clients do this almost immediately, not because it’s some fool-proof fat loss magic, but because it does two things: 1) keeps us fuller for longer so that we don’t get as hungry LATER via balancing blood sugar and 2) it helps us maintain muscle, which is an important part of the fat loss process. The key when adjusting your nutrition or training is to maintain muscle while losing almost exclusively fat.

Must Do #2 – Increase your protein intake to grow or maintain muscle. (READ: toned look!)

And finally, the last piece of the puzzle for beginners is to choose exercise that you enjoy. Because if you love it, you will stick with it. I actually don’t care if it’s Zumba or what I did, which was begin with Step Aerobics in my living room because those things become gateways to other modes. You take aerobics classes, which arguably are not the *most* effective for fat loss and body change, but what they do is get you in the gym regularly and you’re more likely to then try a weight lifting class or mosey into the free-weight section of the gym. Your enjoyment is the gateway to greater health and fitness. Don’t worry about what’s “the best” thing to do. Worry about if you love what you’re doing or not.

Must Do #3 – Exercise in a way that you ENJOY!

(Note from Jill Jacobs: We discuss this must-do in my 14-day Motivation Makeover e-course. Click HERE to join the course.)

Question #2 – Many of your blog posts on Jillfit pertain to mindset tools. Tell us a little more about your personal mindset journey and how you came to be an expert on this topic.

Jill Coleman: Ha! I don’t consider myself an expert at all in mindset! What I consider myself is someone who has experienced a lot of ups and downs in my life (as has everyone) and the only difference is that I’ve stayed aware of them, and asked the question, “How can I use this to learn and get better?” Out of that question comes ideas, concepts, frameworks, etc, around mindset.

“Mindset” for me is simply how we *perceive* things in our lives — the fat loss journey, our relationships, other people, stuff that “happens to us,” the ups and downs. For me, I’ve come to realize that I want to choose a perception that serves me in every moment, which is why I choose to use tools like gratitude and giving myself and others the benefit of the doubt in situations. These tools help me stay in a more loving, open, positive frame of mind. Because the outcome is always the same — facts are facts. But the way in which I choose to perceptive that outcome (helping or hurting) is 100% up to me.

I spent many years choosing to be hurt and offended and “done wrong” by things that happened in my life, and I came to the realization that those responses were not serving me. They kept me small, scared, distracted, jealous, insecure and above all, STRESSED the hell out. And I don’t want to live like that. So I check myself, or rather my perception on a minute to minute basis every day. It’s a practice.

Must Do #4 – Check yourself and your perception. Do you have your mind in the right place?


Questions #3 – Let’s talk a little about aging, menopause, and fat loss. So many women feel they are fighting an uphill battle once menopause hits! Do nutrition and exercise needs change with age and /or with the hormonal changes that go along with menopause? If so, what changes or adaptations need to be made accordingly? Can “the change” really be fought successfully?

Jill Coleman: Great question! Women have a hard time of it. Because there are several things going on — actual physiology is changing AND the mental side of aging has a huge impact on our self-belief and self-efficacy. There’s a feeling of helplessness, which is completely understandable, and then the more helpless we feel, the less motivated we are to make any changes. It can become a negative feedback loop.

So, in terms of actual physiological changes, because estrogen and progesterone are falling off, you’ll experience changes in how your body looks and feels. Progesterone has a stress-protective effect in the body, so menopausal women will need to take extra care to watch their stress levels (both emotional/mental and physical), meaning things like leisure walking, sleep and eating frequently enough are important. Doing excessive amounts of moderate-intensity cardio can exacerbate the situation.

Must Do #5 – Pay attention to your stress levels. Take extra care to leisure walk and sleep to lower stress hormones. Avoid excessive moderate-intensity cardio which can raise stress hormones.


Also, menopausal women tend to need to go a little lower carb because higher estrogen states (like the first 2 weeks of the female menstrual cycle) allow for greater carb intake without the fat-storing effects. So with estrogen being lower in menopause, the offsetting is not as impactful.

Must Do #6 –  Eat the right amount of carbs for YOU and your body!


And finally, menopausal women (and really this begins early in life) should try to get and keep as much muscle on their frame as possible. Those coming into menopause with a greater amount of muscle will be able to stay fit, functional and at a higher metabolism than those without. So heavier weight training becomes important here too. You don’t have to go crazy with it, but at least 3 days a week for 30 minutes is key. And using a weight that is challenging.

Must Do #7 – Train with heavy weights at least 3 times per week for 30 minutes to build or maintain muscle.

In terms of the mental/emotional effects, this is completely individual, and as I’m not there yet, I can’t really speak to the mind of a woman going through menopause, but I would assume it’s like any other change in life — uncomfortable but also inevitable. So I would ask, how can I use my attitude and choose my mindset to create a mental environment where I feel empowered and grateful instead of helpless and insecure? Again, my tools are benefit of the doubt and gratitude. (Back to Must Do #4!)

Question #4 – Most people that know you, either in person or online, KNOW how much you love your indulgences like half and half in your coffee and drinking wine on the regular. How does a person begin to find that place of moderation and balance without packing on the additional pounds that we often associate with treats and cheats?

Jill Coleman: This is a process, and it doesn’t happen overnight. I call it “going from yo-yo dieter to automated eater,” and it’s a process in which you slowly move from expecting perfection with your eating to seeing that more moderate choices help you stay the course (and get better results over time) over the long haul.

And for me, the journey started when I finally got fed up with starting my “new diet” over every week for months on end because I had binged over the weekend. I call this the deprive-then-binge cycle and many women do it weekly. And so one week, I just didn’t “start over” on Monday — I simply tried to make choices that made me feel satisfied. I allowed myself to have protein bars and sugar-free chocolate or cheese on my salad and yes, cream in my coffee, even though these aren’t considered “ideal fat loss foods” — but I came to find out that going the ideal route turned into the binge-later route.

So I focused on taking the edge off earlier in the day/week so that I never reached a point of complete deprivation and thus, didn’t have to binge. I call these foods “preemptive cheats” because they are foods that are not considered ideal, but they are also not so bad that they’ll put fat on you. They are more neutral.

The key with these is that they help you *maintain* your weight (not necessarily lose) but they also increase your quality of life 🙂

Drinking a glass or two of wine each night doesn’t help me lose, but what it does do is keep me from overindulging in more and worse stuff later. And it makes me happy 🙂 Results are still important, but when doing things this way, you see that getting sustainable results is absolutely impossible without feeling satisfied every step of the way.

Must Do #8 – Employ “preemptive cheats” to avoid the deprive-binge cycle.


Head over to my facebook page or comment below with your biggest take-away! I hope you enjoyed this interview with Jill Coleman as much as I did!


xo – Jill



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How to Get Your Priorities Straight Once and For All

Meet my friend, Maryalice. 🙂


Maryalice Goldsmith, Founder of InsideOut Wellness

Maryalice, over the past couple of years, has become a great friend of mine. We me in Winston-Salem, NC at a photo shoot for fitness professionals that was hosted by our mutual business coach, Jill Coleman.  I was immediately drawn to Maryalice’s lively personality and energetic presence. Plus, she’s hilarious and makes me laugh out loud constantly when we are together-  and who doesn’t love laughter?!? It’s healing for the soul! We had a fun weekend getting to know each other and have been friends ever since!


Maryalice is a leader when it comes to working with clients to lower stress, set priorities in order, and pursue a fulfilled life! This is a journey she knows very well herself (as you will read below), so she’s the perfect person to offer her perspective on how to go about pursuing your own purpose. Maryalice a person who sets out to help others every single day!


I was chatting with Maryalice recently, and she mentioned that she had a “Finding Your Purpose” program she’d been using with her own clients. This was an exciting revelation since I’m often asked by busy women about how to stay motivated and how to keep health and fitness a priority.   I asked Maryalice if she’d make an appearance on my blog to share some ideas about how she navigated this journey and offer you some tips on getting started with setting priorities in line with your goals and purpose!


Enjoy this journey with Maryalice… 🙂

Hey everyone, I am thrilled to be here on Jill’s blog and even more excited to share a bit about my journey. So thank you for being here!

A few years ago I had one of those revelations, you know the kind that people talk about that changes their whole life…puts things into perspective – that kind. But, unlike many people who have those ‘A-HA’ moments, mine was more of an ‘A-HA’ journey.

I think many of you can relate to those times in your life when you are driving along and you think ‘There must be something more ~ this can’t be it!’ I have to tell you while having these thoughts there was no way I wanted to share it with anyone. I actually felt a bit guilty as I had a pretty awesome life. I was married to my high school sweetheart for 16-years, we had 3-awesome boys, and at the time a beautiful fur-baby (our Yellow-Lab – Abby, now we have 2!). Life was good and there was no way I should be feeling sorry for myself and looking for more. But, in all honestly, I was.

I had this ‘Ho-Hum’ feeling. Every day seemed the same and in one word I was bored. It sounds ridiculous now, but at that time it was what it was. I was a stay-at-home mom, a dream of my husband and mine and I loved being a mom for my boys, there is no greater blessing. I think that is why I was even more dumbfounded. Here I had anything I could have ever wanted and still wasn’t satisfied, I wasn’t 100% happy. This was a struggle because I was ashamed.

Then the journey began…












One day a friend of mine introduced me to this book called the Rhythm of Life by Matthew Kelly. I hadn’t read a book in I don’t know how long so I was excited to have a book that came highly recommended. I began to read this book and I was having those ‘A-HA’ moments non-stop! There was so much he was speaking about that was resonating.

  • Lacking focus
  • Feeling bored with life
  • Lacking energy – depression and frustration
  • The yearning for something more.

He spoke about how many of us struggle with lack of direction and focus…(Hello – I can so relate!) how we allow ourselves to get caught up in the chaos of life without taking the time to touch base with our soul. We let stress, anxiety, and frustration to build up and we block ourselves from true happiness.

I decided that I was not going to take these ‘A-HA’ moments and do nothing with them – I was going to start my process ~ my journey inward. I began to meditate every morning – I would wake before the entire house and I would sit in complete stillness. This was REALLY hard to get used to, but once I did, it became a highlight of my day. I would then journal and express what was on my heart and mind.

4-Key elements we all need to focus on…

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There were 4-key elements I would address at the end of my journal entry – how was I going to address my spiritual, intellectual, emotional, and physical needs of that day? I would dedicate part of my day to address these 4-area’s because in that I was honoring my soul. When we honor our soul ~ when we give our soul a voice we are then able to be the very best version of ourselves, we are able to thrive.

This journey was an amazing experience. It made me realize that I wasn’t lacking in anything except the connection to myself. I had lost myself. I was undefined – lacking focus, energy, and my purpose. I had entrenched myself in my role of a wife and a mother, which is a great thing, but as the kids got older and needed me less I became more and more lost.

It takes more than an ‘A-HA’ moment to reveal your true purpose!

Self-discovery of any kind takes time and commitment. The more I practiced stillness the better I got at it. The more I addressed my physical, spiritual, emotional, and intellectual needs the more I discovered who I was, what I loved, who inspired me, and who I inspired. I began to live my life with purpose and everything changed – Everything!

I remember waiting for my youngest son to come home after school one day, he was 8-years old at the time. I saw the bus come through the neighborhood, so I jumped up to meet him outside. He came running up the hill to our house and I said: “Hey buddy, how was your day!?” He looked up at me with a quizzical stare and simply said: “Why are you so happy!?

Now someone might have taken offense to this, but for me, it was so affirming. I was not happy the way I was living. I wasn’t miserable either but there is a difference between a person who is grateful and aware and one who is always in search of something more. When you look at someone who is lost and confused versus someone who is confidently clear about his or her life – there is a HUGE difference. This was a profound moment for me. I knew I had revealed my purpose through my practice and the work I had put in. Even more importantly, I knew just how important it was to live with purpose and how it can have a profound impact on one’s life and the people in it.

It doesn’t take a miracle, just respecting your process…

There is no miracle here, by any means. Like I said, there was no one ‘A-HA’ moment that changed my life forever, there is a process and a journey that led me back to me. This process has given me clarity, direction, inspiration, and passion for living my best life yet. If it weren’t for this process I wouldn’t be typing this right now. It allowed me to take risks to design the life of my dreams from the inside out!

I am a believer that when you discover or learn something it is our obligation to share it with as many people as we possibly can. In fact, I have discovered that one of my main reasons I am on this earth is to help others – to bring people to a better understanding of themselves. Doesn’t necessarily matter how I do that, but I know that when I am doing it, I get fired up in a really good way! I am living with purpose. Are you living with purpose?

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There is no need to rush your process. This is your journey and should be respected as such.

People who live with purpose are more focused, grateful, happy, and successful. Their success comes from, not so much in what they are doing but more from the fact that no matter what it is they do, they do it well. They are fulfilled and they embrace life 100%. Their priorities are in order and they go to great lengths to address them daily. They know themselves to the core and they live their life based on their values and morals. They are ‘doers’, risk takers, and they live a passionate life. We all deserve that!

If you have any questions you can reach me here: info@insideout-wellness.net

In Health & Fitness,

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New to Kettlebell Swings? Read This First!

Just over 6 years ago, I decided it was time to venture into fitness after my childbearing days had come to a close. (Why I waited until then is a completely different blog post!) My first attempt to “get fit” was to pick up running. I didn’t know the extensive benefits of strength training for women, and I certainly had never heard of kettlebells, so running it was.


As soon as the weather cooled off, I jumped on the chance to try an indoor program- not for the benefits of said program, but to get away from running, especially running in the COLD! No thank you!


I purchased and went through P90X a few times that fall and winter. I saw results that running didn’t offer me and was prompted me to research more and more about strength training.


That’s how I discovered kettlebells!


This one simple tool can make you stronger, faster, and leaner, in LESS TIME than any other piece of fitness equipment. I don’t know about you, but I love ANY thing that is time efficient PLUS superior! #SCORE


The very foundation of a great kettlebell program is the Russian kettlebell swing. I get a lot of questions from readers and facebook followers about how to swing, what weight to swing, and what are the benefits to the swing.


Kettlebell swings are known as the “mother of all kettlebell exercises” and for good reason. They give birth to many of the other kettlebells exercises. In other words, the kettlebell swing is a foundational exercise AND has some major fitness and fat loss benefits!


Here are a few of the benefits of the kettlebell swing. If you incorporate swings in your workout regimen, you will:


  • Get stronger
  • Get faster (hello better 5k time!)
  • Become more powerful
  • Perform better in other sports with increased endurance
  • Get Leaner
  • Develop the infamous “kettlebooty” and who doesn’t want that?!!
With all of these benefits, I know you’re really wanting to add kettlebell swings to your life! The problem is that many people perform the swing incorrectly. This diminishes the benefits and increases the risk of injury. *sad face*


Because I don’t want that to happen to any of you, I asked my friend and colleague, Kristy Agan, who is a Level II RKC Instructor to lay out exactly how to progress into being able to perform the swing. She was kind enough to include some video demonstrations as well as a couple of bonus workouts for you to try! Take it away, Kristy…
Kristy Agan, RKCII

Kristy Agan, RKC Level II Instructor

Swing Tutorial for Beginners

By Kristy Agan

Kettlebell swings are a fundamental exercise when training with kettlebells. It is a very effective and explosive movement that burns fat and develops power. But before you can safely perform a swing, you must first learn how to correctly do a hip hinge, and from there, a deadlift.

Hip Hinge

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart
  • Push your hips back and allow your torso to move forward
  • Lengthen your spine and open up your chest
  • Your shins should remain as close to vertical as possible


  • Stand over the kettlebell
  • Perform a hip hinge until your hands are touching the bell (Refer back to the steps for performing a Hip Hinge)
  • Before you lift the bell, pull shoulders back/down and engage your lats (do not round your shoulders)
  • Brace your abs
  • As you lift the bell, think about pressing your weight into the floor and keep the weight on your heels
  • Stand up tall and squeeze your glutes
  • Repeat hip hinge pattern until bell is back on the floor

Russian Kettlebell Swings – Demo of the hinge and deadlift

Next: Transition to the Kettlebell Swing


  • Step back from the bell
  • Stand with feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart
  • Perform a hip hinge until your hands are touching the bell
  • Tilt the bell towards you
  • Before you hike the bell, pull your shoulders back/down and engage your lats (do not round your shoulders)
  • Brace your abs
  • Hike the bell between your legs. Your arms should come in contact with your ribcage and your forearms should come in contact with your upper thighs.
  • Return the bell softly back to the floor in front of you




  • Hike the bell between your legs
  • Stand up explosively, snap your hips and squeeze your glutes
  • The bell should float up into the air after your hips snap forward
  • Then hold your hips forward and maintain tight glutes until your arms come in contact with your ribcage as the bell begins to drop.
  • Then push your hips back quickly out of the way allowing the bell to go between your legs. (see video below of kettlebell swings)

Russian Kettlebell Swings – Demo of the hike and swing

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For more information and fitness tips from Kristy Agan, subscribe at www.kristyagan.com and receive a FREE copy of her Healthy Living Guide.


You can also follow Kristy on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook!readerschoice


More about Kristy:  After the birth of her first child at the age of 27 Kristy realized her desire to pursue fitness as a career and not just a part-time gig. Kristy began her career as a  group fitness instructor certified through AFAA . Through training clients with multiple tools, Kristy quickly discovered her passion….kettlebells. Kristy self- taught her way into the kettlebell world where she eventually earned her HKC, RKC, and RKCII. Kristy is also a certified personal trainer through the American Council of Exercise (ACE) and TRX qualified. This wife and mother of two kids maintains a large following of faithful clients in Rome, GA where she trains at Pro Performance with Tim Vicchrilli and Mike Sarver. A big congrats to Kristy is in order! She was recently awarded the Readers Choice Award from Rome News Tribune as Best Personal Trainer for 2014.


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14 Female Fit Pros Spill Their Secrets for Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain

How awesome would it be to comfortably wear that little black dress hanging in your closet on New Year’s Eve? How would it feel to slip into your jeans on January 1st and find that they still button just as they do now!?!


Read on to find out the secrets of these lovely female fitness professionals who are graciously sharing how they avoid holiday weight gain. Soak in their tips and put them into practice TODAY! Be sure to download all the yummy, fat-loss friendly recipes that are linked as well.


Without further ado, meet all the gals… xo-Jill

Kate Horney

Kate Horney

 Postpartum Fat Loss Expert from BeyondFit Mom

This season of Christmas cookies is tough for me. Reindeer mix (have you tried that? White chocolate, m&m’s, pretzels, etc), 7 layer bars and fudge… oh heaven help me!! (I have a major sweet tooth)

Thankfully, after years of living the fat loss lifestyle, I have come to find some great tips for navigating the holidays, keeping my waistline in check, AND still enjoying myself …

Here are two of my favs:

1) Go Guilt Free. If you overeat at one meal, no big deal. Ditch the guilt and simply go light on your next meal. Fill up on fiber and protein and you’ll be just fine. It takes 500 calories per day (or 3,500 calories per week) above your normal/maintenance consumption to gain one pound. It is impossible to gain weight from ONE piece of pie!

2) Pitch In. Bring your own healthy dish to a holiday gathering or offer to help with parties, meals, etc. and share some of your favorite fat loss friendly versions of traditional holiday favorites. Who knows, you may be able to inspire friends and family to get on board and join you in your healthy lifestyle! And even if you don’t, at least you know you’ll have a few dishes that you can enjoy freely.

Here is a link to Kate’s very FAV fat loss friendly holiday dessert; the crustless pumpkin pie! Be sure to check out Kate’s Fat Loss Friend(lier) Treats Pinterest board HERE as well!



Kristy Agan from KristyAgan.com

Wife, Mother of 2, and Trainer at Pro Performance in Rome, GA

I avoid the extra holiday pounds by looking by marking important dates on my calendar like parties, etc. My birthday, as well as Christmas and New Years, all fall within weeks of each other and they all bring along with them treats that I love. So I make those days something to look forward too by eating clean between those special dates. And by eating “clean”, I mean that I avoid eating out as much as possible, avoid processed foods, and I try to prepare the majority of my meals at home using whole foods. Lots of lean proteins and veggies. And of course, I make sure to avoid “drinking” my calories. Holidays also come with social events where “fun” beverages can KILL a fat-loss plan. Whether it’s a glass of wine, tea, pumpkin spiced latte, egg nog……you get the idea…..I have to make sure that I want my “cheats” to be what I REALLY want. And I love a good dessert on occasion so I try to avoid the high calorie drinks whenever possible.

Probably one of my favorite ways to get around a sweet tooth and not go overboard is to eat dark chocolate covered strawberries. They are easy to make and I get best of both worlds!! I find that if I prepare a dessert (cookies, cakes, etc) I end up being the one eating the majority of it so I avoid that pitfall by not baking when I can.

Maryalice Goldsmith

Maryalice Goldsmith
Owner of InsideOut Wellness

Surviving the Holidays without damaging the waistline requires balance, awareness, and choices. So what is one to do? For me, it is all about the mindset. For years, it was about the food, especially the dessert ~ I used to LOVE all those holiday cookies. Today in my healthy lifestyle I choose to put my energy on the people I am with. I allow the love I feel, the laughter I enjoy, and the stories told from years past to fulfill me. This takes awareness. Food is for fuel and it brings us to the table and yes it tastes really good but today in my life, choosing not to have things that leave me feeling bloated and uncomfortable and just simply enjoying those I love truly works for me. This holiday season, sit back and take in all the blessings you have, this is incredible fuel for the mind, body, & soul! If after that you still want a cookie then I say enjoy every bite 🙂 Depriving leads to over indulgence ~ find your healthy balance. Happy Holidays!”

In Health & Fitness ~ Maryalice xo

Check out Maryalice’s “holiday recipe” for enjoying the holiday season. 🙂

Abby Fratzke

  Abbie Fratzke

Owner of Absolutely Strong

I don’t cheat; I plan. Rather than over-estimating my willpower to swear off Christmas cookies for the season, I make a plan to enjoy the holidays and stay fit based on: when my parties/events are, what I truly want to indulge in–rather than eating errrrythang in sight–and how can I support myself before, during and after an indulgence. For example, I know my family always celebrates on Christmas Day at my uncle’s farm so then I won’t indulge on Christmas Eve too–I prepare to enjoy the following day by eating, training and sleeping as usual. Then on Christmas I know I want to indulge in eating my Grandma’s pie and lefse so during meals I load my plate with veg and protein rather than anything unhealthy/tempting so I can enjoy dessert. The following day I work out and/or fast to rid myself of any bloat–because let’s be honest one day of indulgence might cause some water retention, but it won’t ruin your smokin bod! So if you want a glass of champagne on New Years Eve then drink and be merry, but prepare before, pick your indulgence, enjoy and then return to your regular habits.

Inkeri Young

 Inkeri Young

Founder of Ink Young Life

During the holiday season, I keep my eating pretty much just like it is usually. I will enjoy foods that are not typically part of my meals IF they are something that I really want. Store bought cookies, pies and regularly available treats etc. do not appeal to me. As far as holiday treats; I don’t like egg nog and I am not a huge fan of pumpkin pie (even I LOOOOVE pumpkin prepared in other ways), but give me some Finnish chocolate that my mom mails us and yes, I will enjoy some 🙂

I always bring something to the parties that I know will be yummy to share and will not make me feel “blah” the next day. Examples of the type of things I might bring are almond and/or coconut flour baked goods, salads and vegetable or cheese & meat platters. And I always drink a ton of water!

When we attend parties with our children, we’ll decide ahead of time how many treats we’ll enjoy and the boys know to look for their protein, veggies and fruit from the offerings to get some of the better choices along with their treats.

think that maintaining fat loss is a great goal for the holiday season. It’s also important to remember that even the food is a big part of the holidays, we don’t need to involve all the activities around it. I love finding non-food and active ways to connect with the family and friends, such as hikes and bowling.

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 Rae Anne Mullins

Owner/Trainer at RAM Fitness for Women

The “old ” me used to fill up on every morsel of food I could get my hands on because “ it’ s the Holidays! ” Well, I no longer look at the Holidays as an excuse to eat. Now I actually challenge myself to lose fat during this time of year. Planning ahead is key to facing the holiday eating frenzy. I take a protein-based dish to every party I go to so that I know there will be at least one thing I can eat that is fat loss friendly. I drink a lot of water and always limit myself to just one alcoholic drink. I find that the conversation is much better when I don’ t drink too much. I love desserts so I have come up healthier versions of holiday classics such as pumpkin pie, cake, and nutty apple crisp. I believe the thing that helps me the most during the holidays is finding time to relax. The stress of getting everything done and making everyone happy is my biggest challenge. I combat the stress with plenty of sleep every night and I enjoy taking a hot bath with a big cup of decaffeinated green tea.

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Sabrina Sarabella

 Clinical Nutritionist and Fitness Expert at Sabrina Sarabella Fitness and Nutrition

Since I am very social I have a ton of holiday parties to go to over the holidays that eating and drinking can sometimes get out of control if I was to let it. Since my weekends can get very busy during the holidays I commit to getting my workouts in M-F, I also keep my diet clean all week long. On Friday and Saturday nights, I allow myself to indulge in dessert or a glass or two of wine but like to focus around spending time with family and friends and not the food involved in the gatherings. I allow myself to enjoy my indulgence but get back to eating clean the rest of the time.

Lisa Gee

(not pictured)

Blogs about all things health and fitness for moms at Workout Mommy

I maintain my weight by only allowing myself to eat the things that are REALLY worth it. Before I have a bite of something indulgent, I always think “is this worth it?”. It’s easy for me to resist things I’m not thrilled with (like mashed potatoes or stuffing) because they just aren’t my “it” food. Brownies, however, get me every single time and I just factor that into my plan. I allow myself to eat one (ok, 3!) and then I know the next day it is back on plan with lots of veggies, lean proteins, and water! It’s okay to splurge every now and then but just make sure it is something that is worth every single bite!


Lori Musselman

 Owner/Trainer at MusselFit

Oh the holiday parties … so much food! In the past, I would’ve indulged in a little bit of everything. Then I gave myself permission to be a food snob. Yes, a food snob! While it is a time to celebrate, I’ve learned to ask two big questions before I swallow a bite of food that doesn’t fall in line with my health and fitness philosophy:

1. Do I really L-O-V-E what I ’m about to put in my mouth? If the answer is yes, I eat it and feel no remorse. I love pumpkin and cheesecake; even pumpkin cheesecake, so if that is available, I’ m going to allow myself a small piece at a party.

2. Does what I ’m chewing taste good enough to put in my body? Let’s take Buckeyes for example. Chocolate and peanut, what is not to love? Well, my taste buds don ’t care for the powdered sugar taste… so I no longer eat those.

Check out Lori’s Easy CrockPot Chicken BBQ for an easy, delicious, filling option to take to a holiday gathering. 🙂

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 Darcy Knoblich

Health and Wellness Coach at DarcyKnoblich.com

Borrowing from an Eastern medicine philosophy, winter is the time to conserve our energy and practice restorative activities. Unfortunately, the holidays can feel like the exact opposite of this! To stay balanced and keep my butt in my skinny jeans (and out of sweat pants with forgiving-but necessary-waistbands) I focus on self-care activities: daily leisure walks, maintaining a regular sleep schedule, and prioritizing consistent meals high in fibrous vegetables and protein. Soups and stews are my favorite! When I take care of myself, I don’t feel depleted. I have the energy to attend all of the holiday parties and eat a few bites of pie without it triggering me to eat the ENTIRE dessert table… subsequently keeping me in my skinny jeans well into the New Year!

Amanda Brown

Amanda Brown

Owner and Coach at Beautiful U Fitness University

Hi, everyone, this is Amanda Brown from B.U.F.U. With the holidays coming, there are lots of tempting situations so I have a three-part survival plan that I use during this time to avoid the holiday weight gain.

1) I focus on eating veggies first and protein second, then fats and avoid sugar/starch during the week.

2) When at a party, I only indulge in my favorites desserts. I do not just eat sweets because they are they. I strategically survey the desserts and only pick a favorite or two (like homemade pumpkin pie with homemade whip cream) and I ALWAYS use a small plate. Then I savor every bite by eating it slowly. On the nights I do indulge with sweets, I don’ t eat fats – only protein and veggies.

3) I don’ t starve myself before a big family dinner, I eat normally during the day, and I bring healthy substitutes to some of my favorites, like mashed potatoes. Plus, I always bring an extra veggie dish I made because my family doesn’t always cook the way I do. Then I focus on maintaining where I am versus trying to lose fat. Lastly, I do a couple extra fat burning workouts.

Happy Holidays 🙂

Erica MacArthur

Erica MacArthur

Founder of Curvy Healthy Girl

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday! My whole family gets together and we have a wonderful meal. Yes, it can be challenging to stay away from some of the goodies presented, so I try to just indulge in a couple bites of things that I normally wouldn’t have like cheesecake. Filling my dinner plate with mostly protein and veggies and a couple bites of starch, then my next meal is right back on track. The trick that I have learned in the past couple of years to not packing on the pounds for me is to make sure I get a hard and heavy weights workout that morning and after dinner take a nice walk. Exercising that day is mentally soothing to me and makes me happier about indulging a little bit. 🙂

Julie Stubblefield

Julie Stubblefield

Founder of Fit Mom Revolution

When I was 70 pounds heavier, the holiday season was a complete free-for-all when it came to food. The end result was not only added weight, but I also felt poorly during the entire season. I didn’t sleep well, I felt bloated, and my clothes were less than flattering. The added stress of the holiday season just contributed to how I felt as well. Since changing how I care for my body, I am much more mindful around food. Instead of having a full-on cheat meal each week, I allow myself little indulgences (2 or 3) throughout the week. If I’m baking cookies with my kids, I’ll allow myself to eat one. If we go to a special event, I select one food item that really appeals to me and eat one serving of it. This allows me to participate in all the family and holiday traditions without feeling deprived and keeps me from bingeing. Another key component to managing my mindfulness around food is sleep. When I’m tired, I don’t make the best food choices. And if I’m surrounded by less than ideal choices constantly during the holidays, being tired (or exhausted) makes it even harder to resist. I make sure I get at least 7 hours of sleep nightly, and aim for 8 or more when I can. Holidays are busy, but making sleep a priority helps me to fend off the less than ideal foods and also feel better as I’m navigating the crazy schedule. Now that I’ve changed how I handle food during the holiday season, I feel much better, my clothes look better, and I’m in a better frame of mind to spend time with my family…which is what the holidays are really about!

Check out Julie’s YUMMY Pumpkin Protein Treat. (I can’t wait to try it myself! ~Jill)


The 14th and final tip comes from me. 🙂 One of MY favorite ways to avoid overeating at a holiday gathering is to have a quick and convenient protein smoothie before I go. It leaves me satisfied rather than famished which helps me make much better choices. I want YOU to have my favorite protein smoothie recipes!  SIGN UP at the very bottom of this post to receive my “Lean Lifestyle Guide for Busy Moms” as well as my TOP 9 quick, easy, and convenient protein smoothie recipes!


Are you ready to take the holiday season HEAD ON? If you need support this year, if you want to learn how to navigate parties, if you want to have strategies in place that set you up for success, and if you want  accountability available through working with me, apply for my One-on-One Training and Nutrition Coaching Program today. You will get the support and tools you need to THRIVE through the holidays without the bloat and seemingly inevitable weight gain!


I hope you enjoyed these fit pro secrets for avoiding holiday weight gain. Don’t forget to sign up for your free gifts below! Happy Holidays! ~Jill