Bethenny Frankel, star of Bravo TV’s Bethenny Ever After and author of the bestselling Naturally Thin, knows more than a little about the challenge of staying healthy during the hectic and food-focused holidays. The self-described “healthy foodie,” who is a trained chef and cookbook author, has branched out beyond her Real Housewives of New York fame to establish herself as a healthy living expert, releasing fitness DVDs including her latest, Bethenny’s Skinnygirl Workout (available at Target.com). We caught up with the über-busy Bethenny to get her advice on avoiding holiday weight gain.
Spry: Why do you think that people have such trouble managing their weight over the holidays?
Bethenny: People are so scared to gain weight that they vow to avoid temptation, which is unrealistic. The goal shouldn’t be to lose weight, but to maintain. Instead of depriving yourself, decide what holiday treats you can have. Every day, choose a different indulgence in a reasonable portion and allow yourself to enjoy it.
Spry: How can women manage the stress of the holidays without gaining weight?
Bethenny: My only strict rule is no binging. You will have cake, you will have stuffing, but you don’t have to beat yourself up by continuously eating from an emotional place. Taste a bit and move on.
Spry: Do you have any advice for communicating with well-meaning friends and family who may try to push you to eat more than you’d like?
Bethenny: Nod politely and play your own game. This is your journey. Don’t make big weight-loss announcements or talk about being “bad” today or “good” tomorrow. Food is not your best friend or your enemy. You can handle this.
Spry: Do you have any tips for women who are trying to keep up their fitness routines when it gets cold outside?
Bethenny: I have a baby, so when she goes down, I do my yoga DVD [Body by Bethenny] for 40 minutes. Choose whatever workout you like and find a DVD that works for you. Even 20 minutes of exercise a few times a week will calm and balance you so you can make better food choices. And if you can’t work out, don’t overeat to punish yourself. Remain calm. You will exercise again when you have the time.
Spry: Do you have any tips for navigating holiday parties?
Bethenny: Pick your battles—decide what hors d’oeuvres are worth the investment and have small tastes. Don’t starve yourself beforehand, because you will later binge. Your diet is like a bank account,
so choose where you want to invest. If you’re having appetizers, no dessert; if you have a big meal ahead, have small portions of the things you really want. You are in control—not the calendar.
Check out Bethenny’s Skinnygirl Workout below.