By Lisa Leath Turpin, Health & Wellness Coach
Happy Holidays Destin! In November I encouraged you to just get moving and stay moving… any movement/activity counts toward your ability to burn calories and stay healthy. I also challenged you to use movement to “Weigh Down to Christmas,” to keep from gaining the dreaded holiday halo around the waist. Below is a list, inspired by a cute article from Elite Health, of things you can do to stay in control easier and still partake and enjoy yourself! You’ll yield a good healthy balance of fun, family time, giving and receiving cheer, and still feel good along the way.
Water that is… When you are about to attend a gathering where massive amounts of finger foods and holiday treats will be served, drink a few big glasses of water prior to arriving. This will help stall your hunger and cut down on the cravings when you step up to the beautiful display of goodies.
Don’t go unsatisfied…Eat a protein rich food before a party or event. Protein digests more slowly and will keep you satiated, help with blood sugar, and also help with making better choices.
8. Have Everything!
Try the several varieties of dips and casseroles, but make sure each portion is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. This concept goes a long way any day of the year.
7. Follow the Leader
Start with the veggies, then move to the protein, then to the starches: breads, puddings and sweets.
Ideally, filling up on meats and veggies will limit simple carb intake, and limiting carb intake will ideally keep you from the yearning to sleep in the middle of gift opening.
6. Cheers to You!
Eating big and getting toasted don’t mix if you are trying to keep your figure. If you want to stay lean this year, you have to choose between that one and that one too many. A good rule of thumb is stop drinking alcohol an hour before you eat and wait an hour before drinking again. Another great idea for any day of the year as it can really help in keeping your waistline chiseled.
5: Leave it!
If you don’t have it, you can’t eat it. Leftovers can really sabotage your efforts and can really be the culprit of holiday weight gain. Because we all know it’s not just one day that does the damage! Leave the sweets there!
4: If You’re Achy Fishy Takey
Take more fish oil by spoon or capsule. By bumping Omega-3 consumption, you can help keep your body from becoming inflamed from processed foods, and keep your Omega 3/6/9 ratios in check. This results in increased fat burning.
3: Keep it Fresh!
Brush your teeth after a meal. Brushing the teeth is a sign of finality, and will keep you from snacking more.
2: Be a Rule Breaker!
Just because we serve it up BIG or “super-sized” in the South doesn’t mean you have to play by the rules. Enlist one person to split food with you, or take half a portion.
And TOP TIP #1… Pre Burn.
Exercise on the day of any party or food based gathering. The more intense the better, but anything is beneficial! Getting an intense full body workout will ensure that the calories you eat later will most likely go toward fueling the muscles, and not just building the gut.
Can’t make it to a gym? Your home or park will do. Get your family to join. A family that plays together, stays together! Make it fun, even a good brisk low impact walk will raise metabolism as well as endorphins to make you feel good, and should I say JUSTIFY a little overeating when tempted.
Don’t have a workout program? Try this holiday fat burning, muscle building treat—a gift from me to you.
Exercises are arranged in blocks. Each block should be completed twice before moving on to the next. Do 15 repetitions per exercise.
*Warm up with a 5 minute walk.
• Stationary Lunges (split lunges)
• Plank with alternating row (in plank, pull one arm back like you are pulling a lawn mower cord from the floor then alternate to other side)
• Push-up to Downward Dog (alternate from single pushup to piking your hips up making a teepee shape with your body then back to pushup)
• Side Elbow Plank
• Wide Squats – see if you can reach the floor with back straight & chest and head up (you can bend over from hips only and as little as possible. heels planted knees direction of toes)
• Grocery Biceps (fill a grocery bag to desired weight with cans or rocks, or whatever)
• Tricep Dips
• Grocery Shoulders (fill grocery bags and press overhead or straight out to sides)
• Bridge Dips (on back, feet on floor, knees bent, push hips up toward ceiling then back to floor)
• Seated Side Twists (Russian Twists) lean back to engage abs
• Anchored Leg Lifts or Knee Arcs (on floor, stabilize by grabbing something overhead with hands and raise and lower either straight legs or bent legs)
NOTE: To raise intensity, add jumping jacks, jumping rope, running in place or any cardio movement of choice for 1-3 minutes in-between each block. I suggest this only if you have already been doing this form of exercise and you have no underlying reasons not to.
Remember Be Active, Stay Active 850!!!
FUN HOLIDAY FACT: The average person can burn an estimated 75-100 calories per 30 minutes of SHOPPING! Add a shopping cart and move more briskly and that number can be higher!! Go get ’em!