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.

Sugar Free Healthy Thanksgiving Holiday Solutions for Diabetics

Photo showing some of the aspects of a traditi...

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Thanksgiving is rapidly approaching and we all like to enjoy the foods and flavors of the holiday season. This is the worst time of year for the average personal trainer when dealing with American clients. Increasingly people around the world are joining in to the holiday eating frenzy. This video did a great job of explaining some easy alternatives for people during the holidays with regards to food choices, moderation and activity. Here at Active Lifestyle, we don’t promote or endorse the sweetener featured in the video, however there are some great tips. As I have mentioned before, there are tons of alternatives to sugar out there, from using fruits like banana, to using honey or agave. Whatever you decide, enjoy your holiday and remember that making the right choices, practicing moderation and remaining active are the keys to making it through the holiday season without gaining an extra body fat.

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Funny Fitness Fridays Episode3: When I Grow Up I Want to be a Vegetarian

Vegetarians have it rough sometimes when it comes to food choices. Without meat in the diet it’s often difficult to get enough protein in the diet to maintain muscle gains, strength and lose body fat. Although there are many great sources of protein for vegetarians, most people don’t know what those sources are. This weeks installment of Funny Fitness Friday features Jack and his son from the American fast food chain Jack in the Box. His son explains why he wants to be a vegetarian when he grows up.

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

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

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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.

He Lost 120lbs & So Can You

What does it take to reach your goals? How long does it take to lose the weight you desire to lose? What are you willing to do to reach those goals and how much will you invest in yourself, your health and your life?

I love being a personal trainer because I get the chance to watch you change your life…I have the unique opportunity to help you overcome your battles with food, weight and body image.  The reason I asked these questions above is because while some people are doing it, others are simply wishing and hoping. We have an old saying where I come from and that is “Don’t talk about it. Be about it!”

The truth is that the weight that most people carry and the fat that has been gained didn’t arrive over night. So my news for you is that it’s not going to go overnight either. It’s going to take an effort, some hard work, dedication and commitment. But you can do it if you just take that first step. A wall is built one brick at a time so stop focusing on your wall and focus on each brick. You can do it!

Check out the video “My 120 pound journey”

Top 5 Fat Loss Shopping Tips

Example of an American grocery store aisle.

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Hey guys, I know shopping for groceries is difficult sometimes. What should you buy? What shouldn’t you buy? These questions always seem to plague us when grocery shopping. Here are 5 tips to help you better navigate the grocery store.

1. Have a Plan – that’s right. You should have a plan when you enter the grocer. Don’t just go in blindly and expect to come out with the right things. Remember, failure to plan is like planning to fail. You go into the store and forget what you came for. Some advert catches your attention and you get side tracked.  Have an idea of what you want to prepare for that week and write it down. It’s just like your workouts. Plan it…map your success!

2. Go on a Full Stomach – going to the grocery store on an empty stomach can be lethal. Studies have shown that people will buy more food when hungry. Also, we tend to make the wrong decisions on types of foods. This concept is the same for going out to eat. If you go out with some food already in your stomach, you’re less likely to pig out.

3. Take a basket not a cart – This is an important one. Unless you’re shopping for a large family there is no need for a cart. Filling your fridge is just a waist. You’ll end up throwing most things out. Save some cash and save your waste line.

4. Shop more frequently – go for fresher foods. If you shop more frequently you have less of a tendency to load up on packaged goods. Shop for fresh fruits and vegetables on a regular basis. I shop 2 or 3 times per week. I pick up some things to last a week and others to last a day or 2. For example I buy enough apples to last a week whereas I buy enough vegetables for 2 days or so.

5. Shop around the outside – stay away from the middle. There’s nothing in there for you worth consuming. Ok, maybe a few things, but they are specific items and should be mapped out on your trusty plan. Browsing the aisles is what gets us into trouble. We’ll see something that looks like a winner, but really it’s not.

Well, those are my top 5 tips. Try them out…Happy Shopping!

What’s in Fast Food Chicken?

Ever wonder what’s in a Chicken McNugget? Well, probably not. I’ve never wondered. I just look at it and ask myself how can that be chicken? Well for those of you who were not convinced by the movie “Super Size Me”, maybe you need a little more convincing about why you should steer clear of Fast Food as much as you can. And do your children a favor and keep it out of their lives. They may not understand now, but they’ll thank you for it some day.

every day, hoards of Americans consume these ingredients in Chicken McNuggets, which McDonalds claims are “made with white meat, wrapped up in a crisp tempura batter.”

However chicken only accounts for about 50% of a Chicken McNugget. The other 50% includes a large percentage of corn derivatives, sugars, leavening agents and other completely synthetic ingredients, meaning that parts of the nugget do not come from a field or farm at all. They come from a petroleum plant. Hungry?

Scariest perhaps is the fact that this recipe is a new and improved, “healthier” Chicken McNugget launched in 2003 after a federal judge called the deep-fried poultry bites “a McFrankenstein creation of various elements not utilized by the home cook.” Also terrifying is the fact that these McFrankenuggets are overwhelmingly marketed to children who love their fun shapes and kid-friendly size.

 

What’s in Fast Food Chicken? (Hint: It’s NOT Chicken) | Foodie Buzz.

5 Foods That Make Your Skin Glow (via Darksiren’s Fitness by Design)

whitening cream

Image by natala007 via Flickr

What’s the largest organ of the body? The skin. Bet some of you didn’t know that so next time you’re watching “Are you smarter than a fifth grader” and this question pops up, thank me please. No need to phone a friend when the answer is right in front of you. So your skin is your largest organ? Then why aren’t you taking better care of it? Forget those silly whitening creams and lotions and get real. The real is that rubbing something over the top of your skin won’t change your skin color (unless you’re bleaching), make it more radiant or look healthier no more than rubbing something on your skin will help you lose fat. Yeah, I know some of you reading this probably bought some of those topical fat burners. Others of you make sure to pick up the extra whitening lotion in your local market around Asia.Good luck with that. I’ve mistakenly purchased some of those skin products in the past and I’m happy to say I’m still Black, Brown…whatever…You get my point. They don’t work!!

But here are a few things that will work when it comes to making your skin healthier…

5 Foods That Make Your Skin Glow By Tony Horton, creator of P90X So you’re saying to yourself, “Tony’s giving me tips on how to improve the look of my skin?” Yes! That’s because better health isn’t all about push-ups and pull-ups, you know. Your skin needs some attention too. And I’ve learned to listen to the smart women in my life who know about this stuff. Healthy, glowing, youthful skin is something we all appreciate and want to hold on to as best we can. With high-end skin c … Read More

via Darksiren’s Fitness by Design

Is Cancer Man Made?

Guns, Germs, and Steel

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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

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