Tuesday, November 18, 2008

5 Holiday Nutrition Tips

You surely have heard the media stories about weight gain during the holiday "season." What is the holiday "season" anyhow? Last I checked, Thanksgiving is one day, Christmas is 1 day, Kwanzaa is 7 days and Hanukah is 8. But there's this 6 week "season" that everyone refers to which prods them to throw their health & fitness right out the window!

It's craziness!

Sounds like a little planning is the key! Here's a tip to help -- Thanksgiving will again be on a Thursday this year, Christmas on December 25th.

There you have it - now I don't want to hear that they just "snuck up on you." :)

Think about this. If you have a goal to lose weight, you can start RIGHT NOW and by December 31, 2008 (nearly 6 weeks away), you can lose up to 12 lbs!! Or, on the flipside, you can gain the 3-7 lbs most Americans do during this time and then be behind the 8 ball come January 1st and working as hard as you can to make up for lost time. Which would you rather do?

Maybe your goal isn't to lose weight, but to run in an upcoming race. Cross training will only help improve your running and your health because of the different muscles used - and it's also a great way to break up the monotony.

So what can you do during this holiday season to maintain or improve upon what you've worked so diligently to achieve?

Of course, regular exercise is a great start.

Making time for it is the other important piece to the puzzle--time is tight, stress is high, and exercise usually goes right to the back burner. The no excuse hour is there for a reason.

Eating is the other side of the equation, which is weighted more heavily, particularly now with the parties, desserts, treats, family gatherings, etc.

These 5 tips will help you make smarter nutrition decisions:

1. Prepare your own dish if going to a party. This way you have complete control over what you're eating.
2. Plan ahead -- Pack meals ahead of time. Oh yeah, and schedule your exercise, like any other important appointment.
3. Always have fruit/veggies on hand. We can't eat enough of these healthy snacks and they also help fill you, so it's a win win for you.
4. Put the candy and nut dishes away. When food is out in plain sight, you'll eat it. Everyone will. We've seen it in research. We've seen it in the real world.
5. Enjoy the foods that are the greatest traditional foods rather than filling up on the everyday type items. If you can only get grandma's stuffing once a year, by all means eat it. But then pass on the store bought rolls you could have any old day of the week.
6. OK, OK -- I said 5, but I couldn't hold back. Get your exercise done in the morning so it's out of the way!

And, lastly, here are 5 healthy holiday gifts to ask for -- from stocking stuffers to more "serious" gifts.

1. A subscription to a favorite healthy cooking magazine.
2. A favorite exercise video.
3. Fruit baskets -- Edible Arrangements is a favorite of mine (these work wonders for offices or clients, too). http://www.ediblearrangements.com/
4. Exercise clothing -- nothing says I love you like giving/asking for clothing for someone to be active and take care of themselves in.
5. Adventure Boot Camp -- and nothing says I love you even more than a Gift Certificate to Adventure Boot Camp! If you'd like to "drop a hint" to your husband, boyfriend, partner, or friend, send the following link along:

Click Here for Adventure Boot Camp Gift Certificates!

Next week, I'll share some tips to make your Thanksgiving the best ever as well as send you an invitation for you to join us for a special "Burn the Bird" Boot Camp workout on Friday after Thanksgiving!

Your friend in fitness,

Brian Calkins - Cincinnati's HealthStyle Fitness, Inc

No comments: