Allyson Shumate is the owner of AllyFitness. Allyson was a Project Manager for over 20 years and knows firsthand how difficult it can be to manage a career, stressful job, civic responsibilities while trying to eat right and stay active. In an effort to inspire women to take control of their health and fitness, she earned her certification as a Personal Trainer and Health Coach in 2006 and began to pursue a career in fitness part time. Allyson became a full time member of the Hermitage Business Community in 2011 with the opening of her studio, AllyFitness. AllyFitness

Prior to opening AllyFitness, Allyson was the Grants and Funding Administrator for the TMA Group in Franklin, TN. She also served as the Project Manager for the Nashville Regional Transportation Authority Music City Star Commuter Rail Project which began transporting workers from Wilson County to downtown Nashville on September 18, 2006. Allyson is a certified Project Management Professional through the Project Management Institute and taught project management courses at Boston University. Allyson serves on the Advisory Council of the Fifty Forward and is the Program Chair for Leadership Donelson Hermitage.

AllyFitness is a small business that offers personal training, small group training, health coaching and corporate wellness services. Her facility is non-threatening with no machines and a very welcoming atmosphere.

Q: How do I get through the Holidays without gaining weight?

The average Thanksgiving / Holiday meal is 4000 calories! Add to that the leftovers, and you could see a bit of weight gain after this week of family festivities. Here are a couple of tips to lighten the BIG meal.

Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners are centered on one of the healthiest protein options out there, turkey. It is all the sides that kill us.

Tip #1 – In my family, we usually have 1 smoked turkey which is very healthy, and a fried turkey breast which is not so healthy, as well as a ham! I try to load up on the smoked turkey and have just a taste of the fried turkey and the ham.

Tip #2 – Make sure you have at least one healthy side. I generally prepare a big pan of roasted vegetables including sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, red potatoes and onions. These are very tasty and offer a lighter side to go with the dressing and all the other items. Try wilted spinach or greens also.

Tip #4 – Go for a walk or play an active game after the meal. Moving will help you not feel so full and uncomfortable.

Tip #6 – Let someone else take the leftovers home (except the healthy smoked turkey!). Enjoy the meal that day and then be done. Move on and get back into your routine.

Q: What is the best way to get through the Holiday season and parties and without killing my waistline?

Have a Game Plan!

• Always eat five times per day, breakfast, snack, lunch, snack and dinner. Keep those meals Clean! This will give you a fighting chance heading into this Holiday season.

• Before heading to parties, have a snack. Eat a high protein food like eggs or nuts and then you won’t be starved and tempted to eat party food.

• Make friends with the veggie tray! Nibble on celery and carrots. They are harmless.

• Don’t skip meals – that will just make you hungrier and set you up to overindulge.

• Drink your water! Lots of water.

• Get your sleep!

• Avoid the high calorie cocktails. Stick with white wines and clear liquors mixed with diet tonic or club soda.

• If you are going to indulge, make it count. Be sure it is something you really like. Don’t waste the calories on something you could easily pass on.

Q: With all the festivities of the Holidays as well as the shopping, wrapping and cooking, what is the best way to stick my to fitness routine?

If you need to cut back on your workouts, I would suggest cutting the duration. That means try to get in at least three 15 to 30 minute workouts per week, and make them count! Adding intensity to your workouts will make them more effective, so if you need to skip on or cut one short, you are not counteracting the effectiveness. You body responds to the challenge – not the time spent.

Focus on strength training and circuit workouts. This will boost your metabolism more than cardio and if done intensely enough, will increase calorie burning for up to 36 hours after.

Keep a food and exercise journal – this really helps people stay on track with your goals.

Keep smiling! It is time to share and be with loved ones. Make it a great holiday!

Q: What is Clean Eating?

All of AllyFitness programs focus is on eating wholesome foods. What does this mean? Getting rid of highly processed foods- if it comes in a bag, a can or a drive thru window, think twice before you throw away all these empty calories.

Eating clean is eating foods as close to their natural state as possible and avoiding processed or chemically changed foods. Processed and chemically changed foods are stripped of natural nutrients. Manufacturers then attempt to add nutrients back into these foods, but it’s not nearly the same amount as in their original forms. The effect: when we base our diets on processed foods, we become malnourished even when consuming plenty of calories.

More Helpful Tips from the AllyFitness Holiday Survival Guide

Write it down.
By journaling, you hold yourself accountable and can be more honest with yourself. No one is looking at your list so it is your tool to be more successful in this program.

Stock up on fruits and veggies.
You’ve heard it before but you really need to plan your meals and snacks around this. Stock up on easy grabs, such as apples, bananas or pears. Buy fresh or frozen veggies to roast, stir fry, steam or add to a vegetable soup or pasta. You’ll get less calories but more bulk (and more nutrition).

Bring it with you.
Avoid being tempted by junk food this holiday season by taking wholesome foods like cereal, fruit or yogurt with you.

Make Small Changes
Cut back on portions, use smaller sized plates and add alternative foods in small increments without getting overwhelmed about a new eating plan.

10 Strategies to Save your Waistline this Holiday Season!

1. Perform a High Intensity Exercise before the big meal!
Your body is most receptive to high calorie and carbohydrate meals within 30 minutes before and 3 hours after a high-intensity activity.

2. Do NOT fast in preparation for the Big Meal!
This will only lead to overeating, and overeating foods that are extremely high in sugar and fat!

3. Do NOT Gorge Yourself!
Eat until you are full, not uncomfortable.

4. Eat a High Fiber, Protein rich meal one hour before the BIG meal!
This will prevent overeating and make you feel full.

5. Eat Lean Protein and Fruit and Vegetables FIRST!
Just because it is the Holiday Meal doesn’t mean you can’t eat nutritional foods too!

6. Drink WATER!!!

7. Do NOT Eat Again until you are Hungry!
Enjoy the big meal of the Holiday and then be done with it! Send the leftovers home with family and get back to a normal eating pattern as soon possible.

8. Be Smart with Leftovers!
Use the turkey; it is a very healthy, lean protein. But use it wisely. Sandwiches on whole grain breads, turkey salad, turkey wraps!

9. Get your workouts in!
If you are struggling with time to fit your exercise in over the holidays, try one these ideas.
Reduce the duration – but really increase the intensity! Still struggling? Break it up into two or three sessions throughout the day.

10. Be sure to snack!
This keeps you from getting hungry and over eating! Make sure the snacks are veggies, fruits and lean proteins.