Halle Berry’s Trainer Peter Lee Thomas Shares His Top Tips For Avoiding Christmas Weight Gain

Celebrity trainer Peter Lee Thomas tells HL EXCLUSIVELY how you can still indulge in treats over the holidays without gaining weight. Plus, he shares a key workout you can do at home!

One of the best parts of the holiday season is the delicious food — cookies, heavy dinners, and festive feasts. While some may think that indulging over the holidays could totally derail your fitness goals, that’s not necessarily the case, says celebrity trainer Peter Lee Thomas. Peter, who works with celebrities like Halle Berry, revealed in an EXCLUSIVE interview with HollywoodLife that you can have your cake and eat it too — literally — this holiday season. It’s all about the “balance.”

“Having all of the decadent seasonal foods is great, and  I personally like to balance that out with fitness,” Peter explained. “If I know I’m going to indulge with family and friends and have a good time with all the fixins’, I usually have a calorie-torching workout that’s awaiting me at some point in that same day or early the day after.  Sometimes I jump on my road bike and crank out a few miles. This way, I never feel like I’m beating myself up with seasonal dietary restrictions.”

Peter Lee Thomas
Peter Lee Thomas works with celebrity clients like Diddy, Halle Berry, and Demi Lovato (Courtesy of Riker Bros.)

That’s exactly the advice he gives his fit celebrity clients, like Halle. “Enjoy yourself, but also nourish your body and mental health by gifting yourself good workouts and some healthy foods throughout the holidays,” Peter says. You can even make it a bonding opportunity, he added. “Asking your family to join you on your walks or workouts is also a great way to connect with them.” So, repeat viewings of Home Alone and Elf aren’t the only way to connect!

Along with plenty of exercise, Peter recommends intermittent fasting on the days where you know you’re going to indulge in treats. “With intermittent fasting, you only eat during a specific time frame (like 2:00pm to 10:00pm or perhaps 12:00pm to 8:00pm),” he explained. “In the past I have done that during the holidays. If you know you’re going to load up on some serious caloric-dense foods, gift your body a few solid hours of fasting. I feel great during these periods of intermittent fasts.”

According to a 2019 study from the New England Journal of Medicine, “evidence is accumulating that eating in a 6-hour period and fasting for 18 hours can trigger a metabolic switch from glucose-based to ketone-based energy, with increased stress resistance, increased longevity, and a decreased incidence of diseases, including cancer and obesity.” Peter explained it further in our EXCLUSIVE interview: “When you fast, your insulin levels are lower, which inhibits fat storage. And studies suggest that your growth hormone sharply increases during the fasting period.

“This speeds up healing of the body and muscle repair, and it helps to boost the metabolism, build muscle, burn fat, and lessen inflammation.” He added that, contrary to popular belief, fasting safely does not slow down metabolism. “Longterm calorie restriction, going for days without food, may slow the metabolism. but studies have shown that intermittent fasting does not slow the metabolic rate. In fact, some studies have shown that it may increase your metabolic rate because your norepinephrine levels, which stimulates your metabolism and instructs your fat cells to break down body fat, are increased during the fast.”

Peter Lee Thomas
Peter Lee Thomas (Courtesy of Riker Bros.)

And be sure to get a good night’s sleep, “essential for muscle recovery after a solid workout,” Peter says. Peter also shared an EXCLUSIVE equipment-free workout demonstration with HollywoodLife, as well. “It can be done anywhere, anytime. It’s quite challenging and can be done quickly so it’s perfect for the big day.”  Watch Peter do the workout in the video above, and follow along using his how-to:

“Perform each move for one minute in duration, transitioning from one to the next with limited rest. Once you complete one circuit rest for at least a minute and see if you can go through it all again. This will take anywhere between 10 to 20 minutes to complete depending on fitness level including resting periods.”

Push-ups
1. Get down on all fours, placing your hands slightly wider than your shoulders.
2. Straighten your arms and legs. If you need to modify, do not straighten your legs and instead remain on all fours.
3. Lower your body until your chest nearly touches the floor.
4. Pause, then push yourself back up.
5. Repeat as many times as you can in one full minute.

Body weight Squats
1. Stand with your hands on the back of your head and your feet shoulder-width apart. Keep your feet turned out slightly to open the hip joint.
2. Lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
3. Pause, then return to the starting position.
4. Repeat as many times as you can in one full minute.

Shin-hugger Crunches
1. Lay on your back with your arms and legs extended.
2. While exhaling, sit up all the way wrapping your arms around your shins at the top.
3. Inhale, and return to starting position.
4. Repeat as many times as you can in one full minute.

Split lunge jumps
1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees soft. Keep your upper body straight, core engaged, with your shoulders relaxed and your chin up.
2. Jump and come into a lunge with your left leg forward.
3. Push off with both feet, jumping them together, then hopping into a lunge with your right leg in front.
4. Jump your feet back together to complete one rep.
5. Repeat as many times as you can in one full minute.

Plank With Arm Raise
1. Begin in a plank position with your weight resting on your forearms, and your body in a completely straight line from your shoulders to your ankles.
2. Tighten your abs, and without letting your hips shift, raise one arm out straight in front of you.
3. Pause, then lower it back to the starting position.
4. Now, raise the other arm straight out in front of you.
5. Pause, then lower it back to the starting position to complete one rep.
6. Repeat as many times as you can in one full minute

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