Christmas Conundrum: Lose weight while still enjoying holiday parties

Traditional Danish Christmas dinner.

Image via Wikipedia

It’s December 1st and the inevitable time is upon us once again. It’s no surprise to us but each year we act like it’s something we didn’t see coming…What am I talking about? I’m referring to the office Christmas parties, family parties, parties with friends, random Christmas cookies brought into the office, the wine, the eggnog and so on and so forth. We knew this time of year was coming and just like the old tale of The Ant & The Grasshopper, each year we arrive at this point unprepared and ill equipped to face the next 30 days of foodie paradise.

This year, why not arm yourself with a few tools to help you keep that waistline trim and survive those Christmas parties without doing too much damage? Staying slim during the holiday season doesn’t mean you have to become an antisocial recluse, it simply means that you have to be smart about your choices.

The first step in surviving the holiday party is to make sure you attend the party after you’ve had a little food; preferably something high in fiber. Not only will this be slow digesting, keeping your insulin levels steady, but it will give you a slightly full feeling. By no means should you attend a Christmas party on an empty stomach unless you’re on a “Seefood Diet” and no I didn’t spell seafood wrong for all you nitpickers. My point is that when you have an empty stomach you’ll see food and most likely eat with your eyes.  Have you ever heard that phrase, “your eyes are too big for your stomach”? Well situations like these where you eat too much too fast, leave you feeling like a Burmese Python that just consumed a goat, barely able to move and needing a week to digest.

Ok so now that you’re at the party…”put down that massive plate”. Ok, so now that we’re at the party go for the small plate and don’t load it up. Sample a few items, but choose the healthier, lower calorie options first. Move around the party and talk with people. Stand as far away from the food table as possible. This means you have to break your conversation to head back to the food. You don’t want the person you’re talking with to feel like the food table is more important than they are do you? Obviously the food table might be a good out for those times where you’re cornered by someone in the office you can’t stand chatting with or even worse, by your boss, but when going back for seconds choose a few delectable desserts and enjoy (no seconds on these).

Steer clear of the alcohol. That’s all I’m going to say about that. Hey, if weight loss or fat loss is your goal then stop fooling yourself and just cut it out. It’s easier if you nominate yourself the designated driver.

At the end of the night, don’t take anything home except your secret Santa gift. No doggie bags…put the Tupperware down.

Now that you have a game plan, get out there and make it happen this holiday season. If you don’t manage to stick to the game plan this December, then tune in this January as I give you tips for shaking the holiday weight.

Lack of Sleep or Legally Drunk?

Sleeping

Image by soylentgreen23 via Flickr

Sleep is essential for your overall health and many times we don’t realize the significant impact that a lack of sleep has on our day and overall life. It doesn’t matter if you’re a student or a busy executive, sleep is essential for your overall performance. The excuses about having a lot of work to finish, big exam or presentation just doesn’t fly. Plan ahead, prepare and get it done on time.  Once you get into a pattern of inefficiency and try to compensate by pulling all nighters, the vicious cycle begins. Lack of  sleep further disrupts your efficiency and you’ll find yourself plummeting further down the rabbit hole.  Take a look at how insufficient sleep can disrupt brain function during exams or during long days at work:

With continued lack of sufficient sleep, the part of the brain that controls language, memory, planning and sense of time is severely affected, practically shutting down. In fact, 17 hours of sustained wakefulness leads to a decrease in performance equivalent to a blood alcohol level of 0.05% (two glasses of wine). This is the legal drink driving limit in the UK.

via BBC – Science & Nature – Human Body and Mind – What is sleep.

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11 Healthy Thanksgiving Side Dishes | Turkey Day Sides | Reader’s Digest

The First Thanksgiving, painted by Jean Leon G...

Image via Wikipedia

Thanksgiving is just a couple of weeks away and if you’re searching for healthier alternatives to the normal, everyday side dishes then look no further than this great article full of solutions. I’m scouring the internet regularly looking for alternatives as people tend to think that the world is coming to an end if they have to eat health.

I’m hear to tell you that you don’t have to sacrifice great taste for health. This is the biggest misconception out there. You can still manage to create great tasting, healthy dishes if you are willing to try.

These 11 Thanksgiving side dishes that I found are excellent alternatives, but I would take many of the dishes one step further replacing any of the recipes that call for rice with quinoa and any of the recipes that call for flour with ground quinoa flour to give you a gluten free solution with a lower glycemic index that’s great for people trying to manage body weight and body fat as well ass diabetics.

11 Healthy Thanksgiving Side Dishes | Turkey Day Sides | Reader’s Digest.

Burgers, McRibs, and a Ban on Happiness: Buzz Week in Review – Yahoo! News

McDonalds Happy Meal

Image via Wikipedia

Leave it to my hometown to be the city to set the trends for health in the United States. For as long as I can remember smoking has been banned in public establishments so when I arrive in cities or countries that have yet to ban this I tend to wonder how far behind are some of these places with regards to overall health and wellness.  I mean in San Francisco there was even a ballot measure to ban smoking in parks, pushing smoking even further away from those of us trying to enjoy fresh, clean air.

Interesting move by San Francisco to ban toys in happy meals. What’s significant about this is that the aim of the happy meal is children. As Whitney Houston said a long time ago (before her crack addiction) and I reiterate, “I believe that children are the future, teach them right and let them lead the way”. Well with regards to health and food choices we need to help our children make the right food choices.  The happy meal is no more than a marketing tool that targets children with fun toys as a lure to get them started on what will inevitably be their addiction to sugar filled fast foods…

Burgers, McRibs, and a Ban on Happiness: Buzz Week in Review – Yahoo! News.

Is Cancer Man Made?

Guns, Germs, and Steel

Image via Wikipedia

Is it Junk Science or is there validity to this argument? I’m just asking the question. I don’t have the answer to this one at all.

I used to have this debate a long time ago with my father about the prevalence of  certain disease in our world today. My question was always, why is cancer now suddenly such a huge epidemic where it wasn’t years ago. I had read books like Guns, Germs & Steel by Dr. Jarrod Diamond of UCLA and from reading this  my thought process began to shift about why we as human beings are in the position we are in today. I began to think that most things in the world we know today have been a direct result of our own advancements, choices and changes in our lifestyles.

I still remember sitting in my undergraduate genetics class and my professor talking about “deleterious genes” and being fascinated at the entire idea of genes, how long we live and natural population impacts. Is it time, environment or both?

Some people will argue that our health is directly related to our diet, nutrition and environmental pollutions. At the same time we are living longer due to advances in technology albeit unnatural. However if we didn’t have this unnatural technology where would we be. Besides who’s to say one thing is natural or not.  If we we were created by nature does that not make our creations natural? Just asking…

Either way you slice it, we’re doing everything we can to live longer. Doctors prescribe medicine that helps us live longer, but causes side effects that potentially harm us. We’ve created machines that make life convenient yet pollute the earth and have negative impacts on our health. We’ve genetically manufactured produce and meats to make them bigger, last longer, feed more people, etc, which is a good thing. At the same time those modifications may be having a negative impact on our overall health.

But not to put a damper on life as we know it. Get out there and live it up! Remember we have choices to make with to our health both with regards to foods we eat and activities we participate in. As for me, I haven’t taken an antibiotic in years, don’t use hand sanitizers like it’s going out of style, have been sick once in the last 2 years and I try to eat as healthy as possible maintaining a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. The only thing I can attribute my health to is the amount of physical activity and the amount of quality vitamins and nutrients I get per day.

Have a look at this interesting article about Cancer. Is it junk science or should we at least hear the arguments out?

Cancer ‘is purely man-made’ say scientists after finding almost no trace of disease in Egyptian mummies

By FIONA MACRAE

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1320507/Cancer-purely-man-say-scientists-finding-trace-disease-Egyptian-mummies.html#ixzz12UcOfJ3S

Cancer is a man-made disease fuelled by the excesses of modern life, a study of ancient remains has found.

Tumours were rare until recent times when pollution and poor diet became issues, the review of mummies, fossils and classical literature found.

A greater understanding of its origins could lead to treatments for the disease, which claims more than 150,000 lives a year in the UK.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1320507/Cancer-purely-man-say-scientists-finding-trace-disease-Egyptian-mummies.html#ixzz12UZCm9vm

Top tips for eating out…

Top Tips for eating out plus a couple more. Eating out has become a major reason for pitfalls in nutritional planning. Often times a person is left thinking, what should I eat? It can be even worse here in Asia where eating is a communal thing and food is ordered and shared by everyone at the table. Essentially, you have no choice to what is available sometimes as one person has done all the ordering of a variety of things he or she thinks is best.

What do we do when faced with these sorts of situations? Well, these top tips address Western methods of dealing with eating out, but what about while in Asia? So here are a few tips that you can try in order to still eat with friends in Asia.

1. Make sure the person ordering simply says “no msg”. Easy to do and will save your body loads in health. For more information on MSG have a look at my article, “Thai Food is Healthy Right? So Why Am I Gaining Weight?”

2. Ask the person to order more vegetables. Typically in Thailand for example there are more “other” things on the plate than vegetables and often times rice is the dominant item on the plate. In Korea, just keep asking for more side dishes.

Want more tips? I’ve got three words for you “Buy My Book”. Just kidding. I got that line from “Wall Street 2” yesterday. But there is always a little truth to every joke =)

Enjoy…

Top tips for eating out... 1.     Eat your calories and drink water. The first question you are always asked upon being seated in a restaurant is what you would like to drink. Choose water and pass on the high-fructose-corn-syrup, sugar, preservatives, caffeine and extra    calories found in most beverages. 2. Take half home. We are annoyed when restaurants don’t over serve us and restaurants have responded accordingly by over supplying huge portions. Italian Restau … Read More

via Connectfitness’s Blog

Fat Loss Drugs more Harm than Good

OTC weight loss drugs

Another fat loss drug is taken off the shelves in the midst of possible deadly side effects. “Meridia pulled from shelves amidst serious health concerns”

On one hand they tell you that drugs are bad for you. On the other hand they say, well if we make them in our labs then they are good for you. In the red corner we’ve got all the banned and illegal substances and in the other corner we have the “ok” substances because they’ve been approved by the American FDA…at least temporarily. Read more of this post

International Youth Obesity, Health & Fitness Series

 

Front Entrance of ISB, as seen entering Nichad...

Image via Wikipedia

 

As schools around the world begin to change direction and International Baccalaureate programs begin to switch the focus solely towards academics over physical education, children are being conditioned to live a more sedentary and stressful lifestyle. The right prescription of physical education and exercise may not only increase a child’s ability to cope with stress, but in the long run gives children a solid lifestyle foundation for their future.

I was recently training one of my teenage team members who happens to be a student at the International School of Bangkok (ISB), and Read more of this post

Krispy Kreme in Bangkok, McDonalds, KFC, Starbucks and now this ?

A pair of In-N-Out cheeseburgers.

Image via Wikipedia

I remember discussing the globalization of sports in graduate school and we discussed all the major sports that were globalizing their brands; all of the companies like Nike, Adidas and various others that were taking on the world in a major way. I recall sitting in class thinking, “Hey I’m in fitness. What in the world does this have to do with me?”  Well, sometimes as a coach you have to get down on the field before you can see what’s really going on out there. Now that I’m officially global, I can see what’s happening more clearly. Read more of this post

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