HEALTH / FITNESS
Information about fitness, health, nutrition and weight loss
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In this Section....
- Second Annual Christmas Cookie Exchange
- December Recipes
- Daily Diet Tip
- Avoid Gaining Weight During Holidays
- A NEAT Approach to Weightloss
Second Annual Christmas Cookie Exchange -- Click Here
This year's cookie recipes includes a few from our beloved editor, and a faithful reader, plus a couple of recipes from the Kwanzaa and Hanukkah cookie books, also. Give some of these a try, and make your Christmas, Kwanzaa, or Hanukkah special!!
December Recipes - Click Here
The holiday season means families coming together to share their time and happiness and their traditions together. And different families have different ways of celebrating the holidays. This month, we have put together a meal that incorporates some recipes from Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and a few from the Christmas menu as well. Whatever holiday you're celebrating, this meal will bring together all the goodness from this season and bring together all the people who celebrate them too. As always, we wish you well this holiday season, and hope for happiness in the New Year!!!
We'd love to feature one of your favorite recipes in any one of our monthly issues, just send them on to us at email@example.com. Hope to hear from all of you in the following months!
Avoid Gaining Weight During Holidays
This holiday season donít be trendy Ė avoid the Seasonal Seven (the average weight most Americans gain between Thanksgiving and New Yearís). Thatís one trend you donít want to participate in!
I know what you are thinking Ė the holidays are a time for fun and indulgence. You donít want to think about fitness during that time. You want to enjoy yourself. Okay, before you accuse me of being the Grinch, you should know that I completely agree. The festivities donít have to be eliminated or avoided, because you can have a fabulous time while also maintaining your weight and your fitness regimen.
The secret to achieving a holiday season that is both full of fun and also includes fitness is found in moderation. There are two typical approaches to the seasonal festivities: 1) throw all healthy habits out the window and indulge in every guilty pleasure 2) starve and binge approach (for example, you eat nothing all day long to allow yourself to overindulge in party food). Of course, neither approach is successful at maintaining a healthy, fit lifestyle throughout the holiday season.
As I mentioned above, the key is found in moderation. With a moderate approach both to what you eat (or donít eat) and how much exercise you do (or donít do), you can avoid packing on extra weight AND also partake in all the fun of the season. So this season, get a head start on the New Year instead of starting January with extra pounds to lose.
Here are some tips to help you:
- Create a plan ahead of time. Before the holidays sneak up on you, create a plan for incorporating fitness and good nutrition into your daily routine. Evaluate your holiday and then determine how much time you will realistically have available to devote to working out and/or eating healthy meals.
- Donít put your fitness goals on hold until the New Year. If you canít exercise as often during this time period as you normally do, adjust appropriately. Donít use the excuse that since you donít have time for your full workout you just wonít workout at all. Instead simply reduce the frequency and/or duration of your exercise. Itís much better to cut your fitness time in half than to completely eliminate it.
- On the day of a party, be sure to eat regularly all day long. If the party is in the evening, eat breakfast, lunch and a snack before hand (just as you would on any other day). Once you are at the party, go ahead and indulge in some of the fun, delicious foods. Since you have eaten meals earlier in the day, you probably will find that you arenít tempted to go overboard and eat everything in sight. However, if you starve all day long attempting to save up all your calories for the party, you will be so famished by the time it begins that it will be difficult not to overeat.
- Schedule your workouts. Mark them on the calendar and set-aside time to complete them. Consider them as important as any other appointment or event you have marked on your calendar. When at a party, start by eating some of the healthy offerings. For example, vegetable sticks (without dip), fruit pieces, plain chicken pieces, etc. Then move on to some of the less healthy (but yummy) offerings. You will be less likely to overindulge on these foods if you have already filled-up on some of the healthier items. Yet, you will not feel deprived or unsatisfied.
- On days that you really lack motivation or simply do not have time for your complete exercise routine, commit to do just 10 minutes of exercise. Youíll probably end up doing more than that once you get started. Even if you only end up completing 10 minutes, that is still a lot better than zero minutes. When presented with a large variety of food options, itís tempting to want to eat everything. Rather than eating one large slice of chocolate cake or a huge plate of meatballs, select a sampling of bite size pieces of several of the desert or appetizer offerings. This way you get the enjoyment of trying many different foods without overeating.
- Exercise at home. Youíll be more inclined to follow-through on your exercise commitment if you donít have to drive somewhere to do your workout. Plus, you wonít waste any time on driving, parking, the locker room or waiting to use equipment. Working out at home requires very little equipment (even can be equipment-free) and is quite inexpensive.
- Avoid wasting calories on alcoholic beverages. The average alcoholic drink contains 150-200 calories per glass. Indulge in just 2-3 drinks and youíve drunk the equivalent calories of an entire meal. If you partake in these beverages, choose wisely. For example, instead of having a full glass of wine, try mixing half a glass of wine with sparkling water or with a diet cola. This will help cut your calories in half. When running errands or shopping, be sure to pack some healthy snacks to have on-hand. Then after you work-up a big appetite, you wonít be tempted to grab something at the mall food court or the fast food restaurant on the way home.
I hope these tips will help you find a balance between staying fit and also enjoying the fun of the season.
For additional fitness tips, visit www.workoutsforyou.com. Remember, moderation is the key. Have a great holiday season!
Written by: Maria Albus
A NEAT Approach to Weightloss
When we think of exercise, we usually think of setting aside an amount of time to devote to going to a gym, or getting on a treadmill in the basement. However, as explained in last week's letter, we can also burn calories with "Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis" (NEAT) just by moving a little extra during the day.
Physical activity has been taken out of our society. We have cars, remote controls, elevators and escalators. Sometimes even finding a staircase can be a challenge. When we do find them, they are often dull and dreary. We have become a society that is programmed to sit (and often eat) whenever we can, even in our jobs.
An interesting study involving 2140 people looked at using automatic devices verses lifestyle activity. 97% of the people chose elevators and escalators over stairs, and 99% chose automatic doors over manual. People were even willing to line up to use an automated form even if the manual form was quicker! Recent studies also show that people who are obese spend more time sitting and lying down than people who are lean.
Enhancing one's daily lifestyle using NEAT is easy and can significantly improve long term weight loss success. In addition, we are more likely to continue NEAT activity than structured activity (i.e. exercising at a gym). NEAT activity is an additive to diet, exercise, and behaviour modification, and NOT meant to replace them in weight loss.
How can we incorporate NEAT activity?
- Park cars further away when out
- Use stairs rather than elevators or escalators
- Avoid moving platforms
- Pace while on the phone
- Do our own house cleaning, grass cutting, snow shoveling and gardening
- Rather than drive thru's, get out of the car to do banking or get a coffee. (This also helps with pollution and saves gas!)
- Get off the bus one stop sooner
- Stand when reading hard copies in the office
- Walk to school with our children rather than driving them (couch potatoes breed tater tots)
- Walk across the hall to speak to a co-worker, rather than e-mailing them
- Use the washroom on a different floor at work
- Leave your lunch in the car, so you have to go out and get it at noon hour
NEAT represents a creative addition to our lifestyles. We all need to look at what we can add and then make it a habit. So get thinking - how can you move a little more during your day?
Submitted by: Dr. Doug