Is it that time of the year, again? Summer is over, the fall is here, and winter is just around the corner. What does this mean for the fitness lover in all of us? We are all in the midst of the yearly battle where we fight fat all throughout the holidays. We are constantly bombarded with empty sugar-filled “gifts” from our holiday work party, or our family and friends get-togethers.
What is the health conscious and fitness fanatic to do with all the external pressures to fall into the holiday rut of eating out of control and munching on whatever is placed in front of us? Sadly enough, we will always be bombarded by our own parents, friends and family with their never-ending requests to eat, eat, and eat some more! But you will survive, not gain any fat, and maybe even lose some weight with my “Dieters Holiday Survival Guide”. I’m going to get you geared up with the tips and tools that you will need to fat and win the war on holiday weight gain.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not here to take the fun out of the holiday season. Because what would you prefer? At your next function to have your family and friends murmur “Wow, did she put on some weight?”, or comment “She looks incredibly fit!” I am actually here to help you survive the holiday season without even gaining one pound, and maybe even slimming down a bit. And I have developed a plan that will allow you to enjoy the best of both worlds. My program will allow you to meet your fitness goals, without ostracizing you too much from your holiday cheer with your friends and family. Just read on…I will show you how to build the best body ever for the New Year!
Let’s get real! The holidays are surrounded with food, and tons of it. You will be forced and shoved in front of food, whether you are hungry or not. Therefore, you must exercise to balance off the increased caloric intake during this winter time. Some fitness gurus and so- called experts state that exercise is a choice, and not necessary. This is a flat out lie, and I am here to tell you that exercise is mandatory. But don’t think of exercise as a chore that you must squeeze in between Aunt Barbara’s Yule Log, and Uncle Steve’s spiced egg nog. Try viewing exercise as an “I get to!” not as an “I have to!” When you exercise, you are getting fresh blood and oxygen to every cell in your body. What a “fat incinerating” treat! And in addition, this gift giving season, give yourself the greatest gift of all, the gift of exercise. Your heart, lungs, and muscles will all love you for it!
And digest this: Treat your workouts like important business meetings that you cannot be late to, call in “sick” to, or cancel. And your workouts are with the most important person in the world-YOU! You must go ahead and pre-schedule your workouts as a priority meeting that is already blocked out. Aim for at least four invigorating workouts per week. If you get to five in, then congratulations. And if you achieve six complete workouts a week, then hats off to you!
Plan Your Food In Advance
To survive this holiday season without gaining a pound, and even better yet, maybe even losing some weight, we need to understand “planning our food”. I call my own meals and the order and content of them my “Food Plan”. I never have called it a “diet”. Why? Because what are the first 3 letters of the word DIET? Yup! DIE! We all don’t want to DIE! We want to live, and live optimally and eat wisely in order to meet our fitness goals.
It’s smart to plan your meals in advance and to follow a certain system of eating. To master planned eating and stop eating accidentally (eating whatever comes in front of us) is when a true weight loss master is born. Thinking ahead per meal is one of the best weight loss strategies anyone can accomplish and master. And don’t get overwhelmed, its pretty easy.
Follow this tried and true food formula: one lean source of protein, combined with about ½ cup of whole grain carb, plus about one cup of a fibrous carb. This will be for your breakfast, and lunch, and then for dinner omit the complex carb.
Aim to “eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper”, making sure to concentrate your amount of calories in the early part of the day. And if you know that you are going to a “gut bomb” of a dinner party, and then prepare yourself by eating a healthy small meal before you go. This small healthy mini-meal will help curb your hunger and insure you don’t over eat on junk when you are at the party.
Sample food plan:
Breakfast-the biggest meal of my day
Mid morning snack is protein shake made with water
Lunch is still satisfying large in portion
Late afternoon snack is another protein shake with water
Dinner is a lean source of protein with my fibrous carb of choice (salad, broccoli, asparagus, etc)
Therefore aim to eat early, often, and taper off the calories as the day goes, and you will be able to still fit into that “little black dress” on New Years!
To Drink or Not to Drink, This is the Question!
‘Tis the season to eat, drink, and be fat! This is my motto for all of those who are NOT on a program. Just leaving your body to the fate of the holidays and all the parties, you pretty much can be guaranteed gaining weight this season. Those of you who are on a food and exercise plan, our motto is “Eat high protein, low carbs, drink water and protein shakes, and be merry! Your body will thank you by being more efficient, effective, burning fat faster, and having more energy to take upon this super busy season.
And now the topic of alcohol! Many of us are still confused on if alcohol is good for our or not. Here is the answer in plain presentation. Alcohol is empty calories, most of it sugar. Its not rocket science to see that when one consumes alcohol, those empty calories pile on quickly. In addition, when someone drinks, their appetites tend to increase, therefore the effects of drinking quantify. Once scientific study proved that one drinks a cocktail at dinner, they consume up to 600 calories more, than if they did not have a drink.
I am not here to tell you not to loosen up with a cold one, and be a social stiff all holiday season. But drink in moderation. And if you don’t want to seen unsocial, simply take a glass of wine or champagne that is offered, take part in the toast, and sip socially, only to leave most of that “sugar” in the glass! And here is another holiday tip: instead of a fully loaded drink, opt for a “wine spritzer” where it’s half the amount of wine that is diluted with a splash of soda water. Add a twist of lemon, and you have slashed your calories in half.
This Season, Let Your Body is a Walking Advertisement of Your Health
Your holiday office party is coming up very soon, as well as your family get together to celebrate the season. One of your first questions is likely going to be “What am I going to wear?” If your diet and exercise plan is in order, then what you wear really doesn’t matter. This is because your body can’t lie! It will show everyone if you have been “cheating” on your food plan, or if you have been putting yourself back on your to do list, and making eating right and exercising priority on your list.
I remember one holiday season when I was around 200 pounds (and maybe can you too!) when I would wear big black baggy clothes, big hair and tons of makeup to try and “mask” me being over weight. Now this holiday season, I am celebrating the fact that I have finally gotten my weight under control. Now I pride myself in being able to not hide my body, but show off my physique, and your body is your biggest advertisement on whether you are living optimally, or not. It’s your choice, so choose wisely!
Sample Dieters Holiday Survival Workout
Mon Tues Wed Thurs Friday Sat Sun
Legs Upper Cardio Legs Upper Cardio Off
On weight training days, aim to perform 45 minutes of weight training exercises. Execute 3 sets of 8-12 reps at a weight that is challenging for you.
On cardio days, perform 20 minutes to 45 minutes of a type of cardio that you prefer.
Sunday, or one day of the week, needs to be a rest day to keep you rested.
This year, you can have your best body ever, and still enjoy the holiday season with your friends and family. The key is moderation, making sure you get to your workouts, and also pre-planning your meals. You can start the New Year looking sleek and sexy with my tips and fitness expertise in this “Dieters Holiday Survival Guide”, and not look like Santa Clause himself!