10 Slim-Down Tips To Get Fit By New Year's Eve



You've stuffed yourself for Thanksgiving, maxed out your plastic on Black Friday, and have maybe even gotten around to hanging some tinsel in between. But all of this coming and going and buying and prepping really only adds up to one thing: more eating. The problem is that we tend to bulk up during the holidays— the exact same time that we want to look most impressive and improved. But leave your worries (and the leftovers!) by the wayside; In order to eliminate the binge and maximize the balance, we've tapped expert nutritionist, Dr. Lipman, and hard-core personal trainer, Derek Peruo to help us wow all those returning exes, show up the nay-saying relatives, and stun that special someone from the office.

Following these 10 easy diet tips will give you a head start on your New Year's resolutions (and all the competitive gym rats that pledged to burn cals, too)! And look, with Christmas cookies, potato latkas, and all of those family recipes you finally managed to secure over the weekend, we don't blame you for snacking as much as you're shopping. We're not suggesting you ignore the fact that Mallomars are back in season or that hot cocoa is best served in December. We're just offering some easy additions to tweak your daily regimen and trim your waistline. Take it from us, some of these may be old hat, but we're trying them all for the first time, cuz if nothing else, those kettlebell curls will make us all feel a little better about reaching for that second glass of hot gin punch!

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Run hill sprints
"If your gym is closed, try sprinting. Find a good hill and run as fast as you can up it. When you reach the top, turn around and walk back down. Rest three to four minutes and repeat five or six times. If you do it correctly, you'll really feel your legs burn!" —DP

Skip the sugar... and artificial sweeteners

"Replacing sugar with artificial sweeteners is a diet disaster. Aspartame (in NutraSweet, Equal, diet soda, Crystal Light and some chewing gum) is a dangerous food additive that some studies have shown has toxic effects. And though Splenda claims to be made from sugar, it is made by chlorinating sugar. This means if you use Splenda, you are essentially dumping chlorine in your coffee. Recent studies have shown that aspartame may actually stimulate appetite and bring on a craving for carbohydrates." —Dr. L  

Get weighty
"Put all those extra Thanksgiving calories to good use by lifting some heavy weights. When you lift heavy, calories are used as fuel and are not stored as fat. The more often you lift, the more calories your body uses, and the easier it is to shed those extra pounds. Perform 10 to 15 reps each of pull-ups, squats, push-ups and reverse lunges without rest. After you complete all the repetitions, rest 1 minutes and repeat 3-4 times. If you're feeling adventurous, get yourself a 25 or 35 lbs. kettlebell from Perform Better and do some swings!"  —DP  

Dr. L agrees: Don't limit yourself to cardio
 "Strength training and building lean muscle mass is essential for weight control/loss and good health in general. Especially as you get older, strength training becomes more important. People often focus on cardio for losing weight, but strength training is also important for weight loss. As you build more lean muscle, your metabolism increases and you'll be able to lose weight." —Dr. L

Photos: Courtesy of Victoria's Secret, Equinox, Barry's Bootcamp

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Detox
 "My experience has been that when people do a detox, not only does it reset their appetites and help with weight loss, but it often decreases their sugar cravings. The window between Thanksgiving and Christmas is perfect for doing the 2-week Cleanse detox. In my experience, doing this Cleanse that I developed is the best thing to help you get rid of the turkey weight." —Dr. L

Eat cinnamon
"Cinnamon helps control blood sugar, making it harder for your body to store fat. A tablespoon or two per day is all you need. Add it to your morning coffee or a protein shake." —DP

Snack, munch, salmon
"Eat three meals and two snacks or five small meals a day. For many people, if they don’t eat regularly, their blood sugar levels drop, they feel hungry and are more likely to crave sweet sugary snacks. And remember, don’t be afraid to eat small amounts of good fats such as avocado, nuts, coconut oil. Eating good fats in moderation helps to keep you feeling satisfied. A good snack is an apple with a tablespoon of almond butter for healthy fats.  A good meal is salmon for healthy omega 3 fats with brown rice and vegetables." —Dr. L  

Learn about healthy fats
"After all the turkey stuffing and pumpkin pie, avoid eating pasta, breads, and fruits for a day or two. Eating too many carbs makes us fat by spiking blood sugar levels, so eating less sugars and starches and more eggs, fish, and healthy fats Ike olive oil and avocado goes a long way to prevent unwanted spikes in blood sugar, making it easier to stay thin. Read Mark Sisson's Primal Blueprint for an easy step-by-step guide to eliminating carbohydrates from your diet."  —DP

Create an electronic sundown.

"Getting good quality sleep is essential for weight loss. By 10 p.m., stop sitting in front of your computer or TV and switch off all other electronic devices. They are too stimulating to the brain and can interfere with your sleep. You can try taking 1-2 mg of melatonin at night to help with sleep." —Dr. L 
 

Drink more water
"Humans need to drink 2 to 4 liters of water each day, but most of use don't get anywhere near that much! The day after Thanksgiving, have a BPA-free water bottle like the ones from Nalgene with you at all times and sip from it often. Drinking water gives you a sense of being full so you don't eat too many leftovers. Plus, staying hydrated helps keep skin looking young and healthy. That's like getting a face lift for free!" —DP  

Photos: Courtesy of Dr. Lipman and Derek Peruo