Friday, December 9, 2011

Tips and Tricks to Stay Fit for the Holidays

It's here...the Holidays. We just passed Thanksgiving and hopefully good choices were made, but now comes a plethora of parties, office goodies, family dinners, etc. all of which are laden with salty snacks, sweet treats and fatty holiday fare. Plus, now that it’s cold, food becomes less light and more hearty in every day life…think chili, casseroles and other warm and rich food. That, along with our busy holiday schedules can sometimes make exercise less of a priority. So more food, richer food and not enough exercise really is just a big ol’ recipe for disaster. But not to worry, you don’t have to finish out 2011 with a belly Santa would be proud of; just have a plan.

Be assertive. No means NO people. So when someone offers you a second slice of pie or helping of buttery mashed potatoes, say “no thank you, it was delicious” and then stick to your no-guns! The "no-guns" also work when saying no to treats at the office.

No excuses. “But it’s the holidays” is not a good excuse for throwing out everything you know about eating healthy. Just because you can eat a dump truck load of cookies, drowned a pot of chilli or drink a lake full of eggnog, doesn’t mean you should. Think about how overeating junk will make you feel a few hours later and about all the hard work that will disappear because of a month or two of binging.

I repeat: No excuses. “It’s the holidays and I’m too stressed and busy to workout,” is possibly the lamest excuse ever for not working out (check out other worthless excuses that should never come out of your mouth by clicking here). Exercising reduces stress, helps us to think more clearly, banishes irritability and so forth…plus, it burns calories that we inevitable consume more of during this time of year. Just do it…even if it’s 20 minutes a day…get your body in gear. Want to shave off the time driving to and from the gym? Try this quick and very effective workout at home.

Split it up. Because your time is valuable, split up your workout routine into 10 minute sessions throughout your day…you’ll get the same result, but wont need to find an entire 30 minuntes to and hour at a time.

Write it down. Studies have shown that writing down your food (every morsel that goes into your mouth) can double your weight-loss. And with computer programs and smart phone apps, this has never been easier. Write down what you are going to eat at the beginning of the day and then after you've eaten all your necessary calories, stop! Some great (and FREE) online/app rescourses are,, and

Don’t go hungry. A great tactic to ensure that you don’t overeat at big meals or parties is to not go to them hungry. Eat a light but satisfying snack before you go. A half turkey sandwich on whole grain, veggies and hummus or a protein shake should do the trick. This also works in every-day a small meal or snack every three hours so that you don't end up eating a ton of food out of starvation.

Exercise portion control. Parties and your kitchen should never be viewed as all you can eat buffets. Fill up on fresh or steamed veggies, lots of fruits and a small amount of meat and side dishes. Make it your goal to have one plate of food per meal…half of it being fruits and veggies.

Say “bye-bye” to leftovers. Send the fatty and high calorie leftovers off with your guests, put them on festive plates and deliver them to your neighbors, take them to the office or “gasp!” throw it away. Whatever you do, try not to leave them in your house for you to snack on day and night.

Armed with these tips, you are ready to face the holiday merriment and wherever else the rest of 2011 takes you. Remember, it’s okay to indulge every once in a while, just don’t make it a habit.

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