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.

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3 Foolproof Tips to Stay Slim during the Holiday Season

Christmas lights on Aleksanterinkatu.

Image via Wikipedia

The holidays are here and so begins the onslaught of foods and tasty treats. Party after party is serving up snacks, pastries and drinks that are sure to get that waistline bulging. It doesn’t take long to do damage to everything you’ve worked so hard to keep in check all year as those fat cells are sitting there rubbing their grubby palms together in anticipation of extra calories to store.

Last year, I had a personal training client tell me that it was the first year in her life that she didn’t put on weight during the holidays. She awarded me the credit, but the credit belongs to her for following some simple rules during the holiday season. Now I’m here to share a few of the same tips that I gave her during the daunting holiday food festival. Read more of this post

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.

Funny Fitness Fridays Episode 2: Has your training hit the wall?

This week’s Funny Fitness Friday you’re sure to remember. When I ask if your training has hit the wall, I mean literally has it hit the wall? Sometimes training can become so mundane and boring as there is no new input into your workout routine. You can’t think of any new exercises to do or maybe your personal trainer never brings any new ideas or progressions to the table. Right now he or she is scratching their head going…”huh? What’s a progression?”  Routines the last for months or years are for inmates and your fitness shouldn’t be like doing hard jail time.  So in the words of a good friend of mine, “If you’re in jail…Break Out!! And try not to hit the wall like this guy…

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.

Getting Enough Sleep for Optimal Health?

A child sleeping.

Image via Wikipedia

Sleep is typically the last thing on a person’s mind when they are thinking about their overall health and fitness, but really sleep should be the first thing. Not getting a good night’s sleep can be a huge setback to anyone trying to lose body fat or put on muscle. Lack of sleep is a stress on the body, so when you consider the effects of stress on muscle and fat you may be surprised how much of an impact your sleeping habits may be having on reaching your goals.

As I mentioned in a previous article about stress and fat loss, your body will have a tendency to produce cortisol under stress and this hormone is directly related to fat storage. So how does lack of sleep impact the body? Well first of all when you sleep your body uses this segment of time for the repair process. This is especially important when you are active and your body is undergoing a fair bit of exercise related stress.

A Harvard Health Publication suggests six reasons to not skimp on sleep.  For one, sleep impacts learning and memory functions as well as metabolism and weight loss. Sleep has a direct impact on what’s called memory consolidation and with regards to metabolism sleep deprivation has a direct affect on some hormones that control appetite. Not only that, but sleep deprivation can alter the way your body stores carbohydrates.

Among other things sleep deprivation has an impact on mood, safety, cardiovascular health and the body’s immune function. So sleeping 4 to 6 hours per night can be very destructive not only to your health, but also your goals of losing weight and body fat.

Living an active and healthy lifestyle requires management of various factors in your life. Everything that you do has a direct impact on how your body will react. Putting the pieces of the puzzle together and understanding the relationship between what you input to your body and the output or returns is essential for your overall health and well being.

Quinoa Turkey Stuffing Recipe – Allrecipes.com

Quinoa Stuffing / Dressing

Image by Daniel Greene via Flickr

Thanksgiving is coming up and for Americans this time of year is one of three consecutive holidays that send most fat loss and weight loss goals south. Halloween candy, Thanksgiving stuffing and Christmas parties galore. So don’t stuff yourself on breaded stuffing…Try the quinoa stuffing solution for a lower glycemic index, higher nutritional value food great for diabetics and those who want to keep their weight loss goals on track during the holidays.

Ingredients

1 cup quinoa, rinsed

2 cups water

1 onion, chopped

1 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced

2 apples – peeled, cored, and chopped

1/4 cup pine nuts

Fore more of this recipe check out Quinoa Turkey Stuffing Recipe – Allrecipes.com.

Funny Fitness Fridays Episode 1: Fat people are harder to kidnap

FAT PEOPLE ARE HARDER TO KIDNAP

Image by Leo Reynolds via Flickr

It’s Friday and the weekend is almost here. We’d like to thank all of our regular readers, comment contributors and those of you who simply stop by from time to time. As our blog has taken shape over the past 4 months it has evolved, not only providing informative information, but sharing ideas and broadening awareness. Continue to follow us in the upcoming months  as we have something new and awesome lined up for the new year. We can’t let the cat out of the bag just yet, but we know you’re going to like it.

Anyhow, one thing we’ve decided to do is broaden this site a little bit. We take fitness very serious, but we do realize then need for a laugh or two along the way and so we’ve come up with Funny Fit Fridays. Today’s installment comes as a direct result of a personal training client and good friend. As he was walking home he spotted an overweight man here on the streets of Bangkok wearing a T-shirt that said “Fat people are harder to kidnap.”  My immediate thought was if this is the only reason to be fat then I’ll pass. Obviously this guy was content with himself, but I challenge you not to settle and strive to change your lifestyle, get active and be healthy.

However, I thought it was interesting so I went home and typed it into Google in search of a logo and up came tons of images and video.  This particular video is apparently from a Marriott commercial shot in Singapore advertising an all you can eat buffet. God bless Singapore because you could not get away with this commercial in the United States, but let’s learn to laugh a little more as humor is the best medicine for us all sometimes.

Humor is a major part of a person’s overall health. According to Elizabeth Scott, M.S.

Here are a few links about the benefits of laughter…

http://stress.about.com/od/stresshealth/a/laughter.htm

http://www.helpguide.org/life/humor_laughter_health.htm

http://www.themedguru.com/20090721/feature/laugh-more-laughing-matter-86125496.html

Does Eating After a Certain Time Hurt Weight Loss? (via BodyByH’)

This question should be answered with, “it depends”…bodybuilders eat before bed. The question is what are they eating before bed and what are their activities, energy requirements and quality of foods consumed during the day? Also when it comes down to purely weight loss… we are not talking about fat or muscle, but weight…it boils down to calories in and calories out. At Active Lifestyle we don’t deal in the realm of weight, but in the realm of body fat, body shape, muscle mass, stability, flexibility, lifestyle and overall health and wellness. The questions we want to know the answer to are…”Are you happy with how your body looks and feels?” and “if not are you committed to taking the steps to change your habits and lifestyle to achieve the change you desire?” Check out this post by an BodyByH about eating timing and feel free to shoot me any questions you may have.

If you have ever tried to lose weight, you’ve heard advice like this before: ‘Don’t eat before going to bed!’ or ‘Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper’… Many people who are trying to lose weight hear these and listen to these “warnings” all the time.  In fact, these two saying are also recommended to people who aren’t trying to lose weight. I will admit, the logic behind this advice sounds reasonable.  I mean i … Read More

via BodyByH’

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”

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