Our children will live 10 years less than we will the way we are going. Jamie Oliver gave a very impactful Ted Talk on the obesity epidemic.
We've all been there...the summer ends and the Fall hits, and we're right back to the gym! Kids are back in school, and then we become our next priority. Back to the gym routine! Okay! I got this! Meal prep done. Bought ALL the veggies. I just cooked the hell outta this kitchen in my jammies on a Sunday. I'm totally about the rock this weight loss stuff!
...and then Thanksgiving happens (for my Canadian friends). A minor fall off the wagon, but we're good! Brush it off! Back to the gym! Okay here we go....
...and then Halloween happens.
Okay so, a couple (thousand) fun size candy bars won't hurt, right? I mean I'm been SO GOOD....
...and then the cold hits. Depression sets in, and we find ourselves in the fetal position on the sofa with a bottle of wine, wondering if maybe this will be the year global warming REALLY hits and winter won't even happen.
BUT it does. Just in time for....Christmas parties! And then Christmas. And then New Years. And before you know it, your gym routine has turned into "I guess 2,000 steps a day will do" and meal prep is more like emergency back-up plan of pasta and pizza every night of the week.
Sound too familiar? It's what happens to most people. To be heathy and fit is a discipline. It's about willpower at the highest level. I remind clients, your results you've worked so hard for can be erased with months of serious binging. And if you're been a steady go-goer, your strength and stamina you've built up will be all for nothing if you just stop.
So Okay Debbie Downer, what can I do? Well, that's what today's post is for! December is about to hit, and go very quickly I might add, so what can you do to avoid the holiday weight gain and start your year off on the right foot? Susan Rabin from WebMD.com is gonna tell us...
Experts say portion control is key when the temptations are endless.
It's that time of year when extra calories lurk around every corner -- frosted cookies at the office, eggnog at your neighbor's, jelly doughnuts for Hanukkah or chocolates in your stocking. All these extras add up, and if you're like most Americans, you'll put on a pound or two by New Year's Day.
So what's the harm in a little holiday weight gain, especially if it's just a pound? According to researchers at the National Institutes of Health, most Americans never lose the weight they gain during the winter holidays. The pounds add up year after year, making holiday weight gain an important factor in adult obesity.
But you don't have to fall into this trap. It is possible to enjoy holiday goodies without putting on a single pound. "Portion control is the key," says Susan Finn, PhD, RD. Finn serves as chairwoman of the American Council for Fitness and Nutrition. "I don't believe you can't eat food that you like -- even indulgences -- but it is the amount you eat," she tells WebMD.
Of course, it's not easy to go on portion patrol when the temptations are endless. That's why WebMD compiled these tips to help you avoid overindulging.
1. Never Arrive Hungry
New York psychologist Carol Goldberg, PhD, says planning ahead can help you maintain discipline in the face of temptation. "Don't go to a party when you're starving," she warns. Try to have a nutritious snack beforehand. If you do arrive hungry, drink some water to fill up before filling your plate.
2. Divert Your Attention
Many people forget that there's more to a holiday party than food, Goldberg tells WebMD. "Don't look at the party as just a food event," she says. "Enjoy your friends' company or dancing. Focus on something other than food."
Finn agrees. She says chatting is a great diversion, whether you're at a small family dinner or a large party. "Take your mind off of food and focus on the conversation."
3. Pace Yourself
Have you ever tried telling yourself you'll only eat during the first half hour of a party? Goldberg says this strategy is a mistake. "If you cram in as much as you can in half an hour, you chew faster. Chewing more slowly will fill you up with less food."
To munch at a leisurely pace, Finn recommends putting your fork down between every bite. "This puts you in control."
4. Count Your Canapes
When there are canapes, it's easy to lose count of how many you eat. Keep track by stashing a toothpick in your pocket for each one. Set a limit and stick to it.
5. Outsmart the Buffet
When dinner is served buffet-style, use the smallest plate available and don't stack your food; limit your helpings to a single story. "Go for the simplest foods on the buffet," Finn says. "Fresh fruits and vegetables and shrimp cocktail are good choices. Watch out for sauces and dips."
6. Limit Alcohol
Avoid drinking too much alcohol at holiday parties. "It's not just about calories but about control," Finn explains. "If you drink a lot you, won't have as much control over what you eat." If you feel out of place without a drink, Goldberg suggests sipping water or club soda, "so you have something to carry like everyone else."
7. Be Choosy About Sweets
When it comes to dessert, be very selective. "Limit your indulgences to small portions and only what is very sensual to you," Goldberg says. Her personal rule on sweets: "If it's going to have calories, it has to be chocolate." What about sampling several desserts, if you only take a tiny bite of each one? "You have to know yourself," Goldberg says. "Some people can eat one bite of something and stop. I don't think most people can do that. "If you know you're the type who can't stop at one bite, you're better off taking a small portion of a single dessert than piling your plate with several treats you plan to "try."
8. Bring Your Own Treats
Whether you're going to a friend's party or an office potluck, consider bringing a low-calorie treat that you know you'll enjoy. Bringing your own dessert will make the more fattening alternatives less tempting.
And don't feel your dessert has to be typical holiday fare. "Get away from rigid thinking about what holiday food has to be," Goldberg says. "People love fruit."
9. Limit 'Tastes' While Cooking
If you do a lot of cooking during the holidays, crack down on all those "tastes." "People lose their appetites when they've been cooking because they've been eating the whole time," Finn tells WebMD. Instead of tasting mindlessly every few minutes, limit yourself to two small bites of each item pre- and post-seasoning. "Just put the spoon in and taste a little bit," Finn says. "It's not grounds for a big scoop." For tried-and-true recipes, dare yourself not to taste the dish at all until it is served.
10. Walk It Off
Make a new holiday tradition: the family walk. Besides burning some extra calories, this will get everyone away from the food for awhile.
"Get people off the couch and move," Finn says. "Go out for a walk as a family before or after the meal." She says walking not only benefits you physically but also puts you in a mindset to be more careful about what you eat. "There's something about activity that puts you in control."
By Sherry Strong, from CanFit Pro Magazine
If you’re working hard in the gym but aren’t seeing the changes you were hoping for, it could be that sugar is undoing your good work.
So you’re motivated, doing the work in the gym, showing up to personal training sessions or classes, but your form is not changing, body fat is not shifting, and you wonder – what is up?!
So many people are consuming high levels of hidden or masked sugars in products marketed as healthy that you literally are undoing the hard work and in some cases making things worse.
How much sugar are you actually consuming? I bet it’ll startle you, and even more so, what that long-term impact can have on your body.
Sugar in unnatural forms and amounts will create havoc in the body. It will create a cycle of addiction, erode and/ore degenerate vital organs, and can strip nutrients from the body. The result is disease and there are over 144 diseases that can be directly linked to sugar consumption.
There is a current misconception in the health and fitness world that people who work out a lot are the ultimate picture of health. The full picture of health, however, has many different parts. Yes, one of those parts is exercise, but constantly working out doesn’t mean you can eat whatever you want and however much you want with no negative impact. Eating highly processed foods that contain high amounts of sugars and toxic chemicals will be a detriment to your health regardless of how much you work out. The theory that most people fall back on in this argument is that since those people are working out so much they are burning all of that energy as fuel. This argument fails to recognize the other substances present in processed foods. Toxic ingredients and preservatives are in most sports drinks, sports bars, and recovery snacks marketed to athletes.
Fit “Unhealthy” People
No human is going to burn these toxins as fuel, these substances get stored in fat cells (a physiological protection mechanism to keep the toxins contained so that they cannot damage our vital organs). For thin people who are working out in high amounts but are constantly treating themselves with highly processed foods post workout, these toxins don’t’ have as many places to go considering they have a lower fat mass. This means their vital organs are at risk of damage directly from what they are ingesting.
The disconnect of thinking that if you’re working out a lot that you can eat whatever you want is pervasive in mass media, as many famous athletes share their high calorie, low nutrient dense meal regimes. For example, Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps was highlighted on numerous news outlets for sharing that he ate fried egg sandwiches, pounds of pasta, and entire pizzas while sipping on sports drinks on a daily basis while he was training. This does a disservice to athletes everywhere because they look up to professional athletes as the gold standard of performance. Working out a great deal puts a large amount of stress on your body and in order for your body to heal from this stress it needs highly nutrient dense and antioxidant dense foods in order to repair and recover for ultimate performance. No powder or supplement can trump nutrient rich foods.
It’s not just enough to stop eating sugar. It is highly addictive, in everything, found everywhere, and hard to avoid. It is made in the same way we take natural things like coca leaves and opium sap, that are not highly addictive in their natural state, but when processed to the white form it becomes addictive and toxic to the body. Getting off of it most people requires a strategy, not a diet.
We’ve come up with a couple way to avoid the added sugar and keep you nourished and balanced when it comes to your fitness:
Remember: Packing in the calories will definitely provide a fuel source, but choosing more nutrient dense foods to add to our training regime gets you’re a lot farther, no matter the sport or activity.
Sherry is the author of “Return to Food” – the life-changing anti-diet and the Founder of the Sweet Freedom Project, helping people end sugar addiction for good. She is the Food Coach’s COACH and runs the Return to Food Academy, an online school that trains food coaches to make healthy living through holistic food, wellness courses, and retreats.
Finally, a website! I think I've been avoiding this partially because I've been working to get my products and services squared away, but also it's been a busy time getting certifications and such. But I'm excited to have finally put the building blocks in place to make this site pretty robust.
So, this is a work in progress, and a starting point to what I hope are much bigger and better things over the next year! Can't wait to share so much with you...and help you have a happier and healthier life!