Holiday Survival Workouts

Let’s face it: Getting in the best shape of your life is likely not a priority during the holidays. Everywhere we turn, there are tempting foods and drinks, from treats at office parties to our own traditional family favorites. When you add in a busy, stressful schedule filled with shopping and get-togethers that make it tough to squeeze in exercise, you have a recipe for disaster as far as our scales are concerned. The good news is that you really can get through the holidays without gaining weight. It will take some effort, but you will thank yourself a thousand times when January 1 rolls around and you have no regrets!

This article gives you 5 quick and easy-to-follow workouts that take about 20 minutes to complete and burn fat hours after you’ve finished the final exercise. Each workout has a video that I recorded that shows you how to do each exercise. If you ever have any questions, you can contact me using my information at the beginning of the guide (really, you can!).

What makes these workouts different from those you might find in a magazine or online? Simple: These are designed for the busiest time of the year. We know you don’t want to waste your holidays spending endless hours in a gym. That’s why each of these effective workouts can be done at home with minimal equipment!

But Wait, There’s More!

As a bonus, I’m including 14 of my favorite holiday recipes that are seriously delicious and don’t hurt your waistline. I guarantee you’ll love these, so give them a try and let me know what you think—I bet you’ll be surprised that they taste so good while being healthy!

What You Need

Below are 5 workouts that you can do anywhere, anytime. All the workouts are designed to take 15-20 minutes and will burn fat long after the workout has ended.

We recommend buying a set of resistance bands to complete the workout program. This will improve your results by revving up your metabolism.

How to Do It

Each week, complete 2 workouts with 1-2 days of rest between workouts. For most people, making time for each workout is harder than completing it. For this reason, we recommend doing each workout first thing in the morning. For better results, complete 3 workouts each week.

Each workout has a different set of exercises for you to complete as well as a different focus to keep variety high and encourage maximal results. Follow the directions and watch the accompanying video before beginning a given workout. During each workout, adjust the intensity as needed.

Remember, each workout is only 20 minutes, so keep the intensity high!

15-Minute Metabolism Booster

Perform as many rounds of the following as possible in 15 minutes. Rest as needed. The target is to complete 5-6 rounds in this timeframe. If you complete more than that, make the exercises harder.

A1 Jump Squat (hold 2 sec at bottom) - 8 reps

A2 Push Up (increase difficulty by lowering for 3 sec) - 8 reps

A3 Lateral Lunge - 8 reps each leg

A4 Bodyweight Core Row - 8 reps each Arm

A5 Burpees - 10 reps


Holiday Complex

Complete the following exercises in a circuit fashion without putting the dumbbells down. This is called a complex. Choose your weight based on the movement that limits you the most.

Complete 3-5 sets of this complex with 60 sec rest between complexes. This workout is ideal for a pair of dumbbells or a resistance band.

A1 DB Deadlift - 6 reps

A2 DB Hammer Curl - 6 reps

A3 DB Front Loaded Reverse Lunge - 6 reps

A4 DB Bent Over Row - 6 reps

Resistance Band Power

Perform each exercise for 60 sec and rest for 15 sec before moving on to the next exercise. At the end of the circuit, rest for 60 sec and then repeat for 3 total rounds.

A1 Band Front Squat

A2 Band Plank Holds

A3 Band Split Squat Right

A4 Band Split Squat Left

A5 Band Row

A6 Band Sprints

Superset Super Workout

Perform each exercise pairing using a 15 sec on / 15 sec off format. You will complete 4 rounds of each exercise for 8 total rounds per pairing. After finishing all 8 rounds of a pairing, rest 60 sec before moving to the next pair.

A1 BW Skier Swing

A2 Push Up

B1 BW Squat

B2 DB High Pull

C1 Supine Hip Extensions

C2 Hollow Body Holds Progressions


This is the do-anywhere workout! “EMOM” means “Every Minute On the Minute.” Perform the exercise(s) listed for the specified number of reps at the top of every minute. When you have finished that number of repetitions, rest until the next minute begins, then perform the specified number of repetitions again.

Use a timer, clock, or watch to track your time.

Choice 1

  • Perform 10 burpees every minute for 10 total minutes.

Choice 2

  • Perform 10 squats and 5 push-ups every minute for 10 total minutes


BONUS: Healthy Holiday Recipes

Delicious Substitutes for Traditional Favorites

Bacon and Chive Sweet Potato Biscuits

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Yields: 12 servings


  • 1 large sweet potato or yam (equivalent to 2 cups mashed)
  • 3 Tbsp. Coconut Flour
  • 3 eggs, whisked
  • 6-8 strips of bacon, diced
  • Leftover rendered fat from bacon
  • 3-4 Tbsp. chives, thinly diced
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • Himalayan sea salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 415 F.
  2. Poke holes in your sweet potato with a fork.
  3. Place in oven and bake for 30-40 minutes or until soft.
  4. Once the sweet potato is done baking, turn over down to 375 F.
  5. When your sweet potato is almost done cooking, place your diced bacon into a skillet and brown until crispy. Then place your cooked, crispy bacon on a plate covered with a paper towel to soak up the excess fat. The fat that is left behind in the pan, you will use in your biscuits.
  6. When your sweet potato is done, peel and place in a bowl and mash with a fork.
  7. Then add in your eggs and mix well. Add bacon fat and mix.
  8. Add in your dry ingredients: coconut flour, baking powder, garlic powder, and salt and pepper.
  9. Finally add your diced cooked bacon and chives. Mix thoroughly.
  10. Now line a baking sheet with parchment paper and use a large spoon to drop your biscuits on the sheet, shaping them as needed. Try to make them all equal in size so they cook the same.
  11. Place in oven and bake for 22-27 minutes.
  12. Let rest.
  13. Top with some melted grass fed butter or ghee.
  14. Notes: if you don’t use bacon/bacon fat, add ¼ cup coconut oil, melted.

Original recipe from PaleoOMG

Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes


  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 1-2 Russet potatoes
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. white pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. chives
  • 1 container plain Greek yogurt (about 1 cup)


  1. Wash and peel potatoes. Cover potatoes with water in a large saucepan. Bring water to boil and then turn down to medium heat and cook for 10-15 minutes. Cook long enough that you can put a fork through them.
  2. Put 2-3 inches of water in the bottom of your steamer pan. Bring water to a boil and then turn down to medium to high heat. Wash and then cut cauliflower in 2-3 inch pieces. Steam for 10-12 minutes.
  3. Combine potatoes and cauliflower and mash. If you have a food processor, you can get a smoother consistency.
  4. Add butter, salt, white pepper, chives, and Greek yogurt. Mix thoroughly.

Christmas Cranberry Granola

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Yields: (24) ¼ c. Servings


  • 1 cup each, Coconut Flakes, Walnuts, Pecans, Hazelnuts, Almonds, Pepitas
  • ¼ cup Chia Seeds
  • ¼ cup Coconut Oil
  • ½ cup Unsweetened Applesauce
  • 2 tsp. Cinnamon
  • ¾ tsp. Himalayan Sea Salt
  • ¼ tsp. Stevia Extract Powder
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla
  • 1 Recipe Sugar-Free Dried Cranberries (see next page for recipe & directions)


  1. In a large bowl, mix together nuts & seeds.
  2. In a separate small bowl, mix together coconut oil, unsweetened applesauce, cinnamon, Himalayan sea salt, stevia, and vanilla extract.
  3. Add the sauce to the nuts & seeds and thoroughly mix.
  4. Line a large baking pan with parchment paper and evenly spread out granola.
  5. Bake at 250 F for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring in 15 minute intervals.
  6. Rough chop cranberries and mix with granola once cooled.
  7. Store in a sealed Mason jar or container.

Sugar-Free Dried Cranberries

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 8 hours

Yields: 6 servings


  • 12 ounces Cranberries
  • ½ cup Water
  • Sugar-Free Sweetener

Sweetening Options (choose 1)

  • ½ tsp. Stevia Extract Powder
  • ¼ tsp. Stevia Extract Powder + 4 Tbsp. NOW Xylitol, Non-GMO
  • ¼ tsp. Stevia Extract Powder + 6 Tbsp. NOW Erythritol Granular


  1. In a saucepan add ½ cup water + sugar-free sweetening option.
  2. To the sweetened water add 12 ounces of cranberries.
  3. Stir cranberries around to coat and turn heat to medium-high.
  4. Cook cranberries for about 10 minutes until they have all popped. Use the back of a spoon to pop the cranberries that are stubborn.
  5. Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes.
  6. Line a sheet pan with doubled up paper towels and then lay a sheet of parchment paper over top.
  7. Spread cranberries out and dry in oven at 170 for 7-8 hours.
  8. After 4 hours take cranberries out of the oven and using spatula transfer them to a new sheet of parchment paper, spreading them out some.
  9. Return to oven for another 3-4 hours.
  10. The cranberries are done when they are no longer wet; you choose how chewy you want them. The longer you go the chewier they are.
  11. Let cool, separate and store in a sealed container.

Original Recipe by Healthy Living How To

Ginger Spice Cookies

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yields: 25 (2 ½ inch) cookies


  • 2 cups coconut flour
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 3 Tbsp. unsweetened shredded coconut
  • ½ tsp. Stevia Extract Powder
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. grated nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup melted coconut oil
  • ½ cup sugar-free vanilla syrup (DaVinci and Torani make good ones)
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 Tbsp. grated lemon zest
  • 1 tsp. pure almond extract
  • Unsweetened almond milk (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 325 F, grease a baking sheet or line sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Stir together the coconut flour, walnuts, shredded coconut, sweetener, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, nutmeg, and baking soda in a large bowl.
  3. Whisk together the sour cream or coconut milk, oil, vanilla syrup, eggs, lemon zest, and almond extract in a 4 cup measuring cup.
  4. Add the egg mixture to the coconut flour mixture and stir just until incorporated. (If the mixture is too thick to stir easily, add the unsweetened almond milk, 1 Tbsp. at a time until the consistency of cake batter.)
  5. Drop 1-inch mounds onto the baking sheet and flatten. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on racks.

Original Recipe from Wheat Belly

Green Beans with Almonds


  • 1 lb. green beans
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 Tbsp. ghee


  1. Wash the greens beans and trim ends.
  2. Boil 2 cups of water in steamer pan.
  3. Steam green beans for 12-15 minutes or until tender.
  4. Mix cooked green beans, almonds, and ghee.

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie Recipe


  • Ice
  • ½ cup unsweetened, vanilla almond milk
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • ½ banana
  • 1 scoop Prograde Vanilla Protein
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice – to taste


  1. Combine all ingredients and blend. Enjoy!

Original Recipe by Fit Yummy Mummy

Carnival Squash


  • 2 Carnival squash
  • 4 tsp. Ghee or Organic Butter
  • Himalayan Sea Salt


  1. Cut squash in half.
  2. With a spoon, scoop out seeds.
  3. Add 1 tsp. of ghee or butter to each squash half.
  4. Sprinkle with sea salt.
  5. Roast; cut side up, on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper at 400 F for 50-60 minutes.
  6. Cool and then eat from the squash bowl or scoop out contents.

Delicata Squash


  • 1-2 Delicata squash
  • 1-2 tsp. ghee or Organic butter per squash half
  • Himalayan sea salt


  1. Wash the squash and cut in half lengthwise.
  2. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon.
  3. Lay the squash halves cut side down in a glass-baking dish.
  4. Bake at 400 F for 25 minutes or until you can easily put a fork through it.
  5. Once cooled scoop squash out and mix with ghee or butter and sprinkle with salt.

Pumpkin Pie with Nut Crust

Yields: 6-8 Servings

Nut Crust

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes


  • 1 cup Almond Flour/Meal
  • ½ cup Bob’s Red Mill Hazelnut Meal/Flour
  • ¼ cup Extra Light Olive Oil or Coconut Oil
  • Pinch of Himalayan Sea Salt


  1. With a fork, mix oil with nut flour and salt until you have a “crumble-like” texture.
  2. With fingers, pat curst into bottom and halfway up the sides of a 9-inch pie plate.
  3. Bake at 350 F for 15 minutes or until lightly brown.
  4. Much be completely cool before filling.

Pumpkin Pie

Prep Time: 3 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes


  • 15 oz. Can Farmer’s Market Organic Pumpkin
  • 5 oz. Can Native Forest Organic Coconut Milk
  • ¾ tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. Ground Nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp. Ground Ginger
  • ¼ tsp. Ground Cloves
  • ½ tsp. Himalayan Sea Salt
  • 1/8 tsp. Stevia Extract Powder
  • 2 Large Organic Eggs
  • 1 Nut Crust


  1. Mix pumpkin, coconut milk, spices and stevia together.
  2. Add eggs and mix slowly just until thoroughly mixed.
  3. Pour pie filling into nut crust.
  4. Bake at 425 F for 15 minutes, then reduce temperature to 350 F for an additional 35 minutes.
  5. Thoroughly cool and chill before serving.

Original Recipe by Healthy Living How To

Raw Cookie Dough Bites

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Yields: 15 bites


  • 2 cups blanched almond flour
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. sea salt
  • ¼ cup coconut oil (solid but soft)
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • 2 Tbsp. almond butter
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • mini dark chocolate chips
  • stevia to taste, if additional sweetener is needed


  1. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.
  2. Combine the oil, honey, almond butter, and vanilla in a separate, smaller bowl.
  3. Pour wet mixture into the dry mixture and combine well. Your own two hands do the best job of getting it all combined. If you find the mixture is too dry and crumbly, add a tablespoon of water at a time until you reach cookie dough consistency.
  4. Taste, and add stevia if you prefer the dough sweeter.
  5. Mix in the desired amount of chocolate chips and roll into 1 to 1 ½ inch balls.
  6. Store in the refrigerator. They should keep for several days, although they tend to dry out the longer they are stored.

Notes: The more you work the dough, the more the coconut oil will melt, resulting in the balls getting greasy. Return the dough to the freezer to re-harden if this bothers you. This recipe doubles well. You can even make these in a food processor. Just process the dry ingredients and add the wet ones once you’ve mixed them together.

Sausage & Apple Stuffing

Bread Cubes


  • ¼ cup Bob’s Red Mill Hazelnut Meal/Flour
  • ¼ cup Bob’s Red Mill Almond Meal/Flour
  • ¼ cup Bob’s Red Mill Flaxseed Meal
  • 1 tsp. Rumford Baking Powder
  • 2 pinches Himalayan Sea Salt
  • 2 Large Organic Eggs


  1. In a small bowl, scramble eggs with a whisk.
  2. In a separate bowl mix dry ingredients.
  3. Add eggs to dry ingredients and mix.
  4. Pour into a mini-loaf pan sprayed with non-stick spray.
  5. Bake at 350 F for 22 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.
  7. Slice bread into 9 slices and then each slice into 12 cubes.
  8. Return to oven for 15 minutes to dry and crisp.


Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Yields: 4-6 servings


  • 1 lb. Fresh Ground Pork Sausage (Mild)
  • 4 Stalks Organic Celery, Chopped
  • ¼ cup Organic Onion, Chopped
  • ½ Medium Organic Fuji Apple, Chopped
  • 1 Recipe of Bread Cubes
  • 2 tsp. Poultry Seasoning
  • 1 tsp. Himalayan sea salt
  • 4 Tbsp. Unsalted Organic Butter, Melted
  • 2 Large Organic Eggs
  • 1/3 cup Organic Chicken Broth


  1. Brown pork sausage with celery and onion. Drain.
  2. In mixing bowl, add bread cubes, sausage, apple, poultry seasoning and salt.
  3. Whisk together eggs, butter and broth then pour over stuffing. Gently mix.
  4. Bake stuffing in covered casserole dish at 350 F for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 10 minutes.

Original Recipe from Healthy Living How To

Spinach & Crab Dip

Prep/Total Time: 25 min.

Yields: 16 servings


  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, cubed
  • 1-cup (8 ounces) plain yogurt
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup Earth Balance Olive Oil mayo
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • ¼ tsp. Himalayan sea salt
  • 1 can (6 ounces) lump crabmeat, drained
  • Assorted vegetables and Mary’s Gone Crackers


  1. In a large saucepan over low heat, combine the first nine ingredients. Cook and stir until cream cheese is melted. Stir in crab; heat through.
  2. Transfer to a serving bowl; serve with vegetables and crackers. Refrigerate leftovers.

Original Recipe by Taste of Home, Healthy Cooking

Roasted Vegetable "Chips"

Potato chips are a popular salty snack and a classic favorite of many, but a typical serving of potato chips runs around 250 calories, 20 grams of fat and only 1 gram of dietary fiber. This dish combines the benefits of high-fiber vegetables while satisfying a salty, crispy craving at the same time. For only 40 calories, 0.5 grams of fat and more than 2 grams of waist-slimming fiber, you can still enjoy a salty and tasty snack without excess calories. Serve this dish in bowls during a family get together or party to give your guests a guilt-free, tasty snack to enjoy.

Yields: 6 servings


  • Cooking spray
  • 2 medium zucchini, sliced crosswise into 1/8-inch thick slices
  • 2 medium yellow summer squash, sliced crosswise in 1/8-inch thick slices
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and sliced diagonally into 1/8-inch thick slices
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon oregano, or to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 200 F. Coat 2 large baking sheets with cooking spray.
  2. Place zucchini and squash in a single layer on one baking sheet.
  3. Place carrots on other sheet in a single layer.
  4. Coat vegetables with cooking spray and season tops of vegetables with salt and oregano.
  5. Roast for 1 hour, then rotate trays. Roast until vegetables are crisp and dry, about 30 to 60 minutes more.

There you have it!holiday image cover

Everything you need to help you fight the dreaded holiday weight gain we fear every year.


If you want your own Holiday Survival Guide complete with recipes, workout and exercise demo videos CLICK HERE to get yours for FREE!

Blog, Nutrition, RecipesB.J. Bliffert