Saturday, December 4, 2010

3 Great Ways to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

Did you know that the average American gains 4-7 lbs during the holiday season and that many never get back to their prior weight. It's no wonder weight loss is "tops" when it comes to New Years Resolutions. Use the following three strategies to maintain your weight this year:

  1. Listen to Grandma- My sisters and I always rolled our eyes when our "nana Pat" extolled the virtues of eating oatmeal for breakfast. Every Saturday morning we rolled our eyes as she would push three piping hot bowls of the hot "gruel"  under our pouting noses. But you know...Grandma was right-breakfast is really important; even more so when trying to control body weight over the holiday season. "The temptation may be to skip breakfast over the holiday's in an attempt to manage calories, but eating a quality breakfast will help curb overeating later in the day", states Michelle Tranter MS, RD a Chicago based nutritionist.
  2. Pick Your Poison- The Holiday Season is meant to be enjoyed so go ahead a splurge a little, but pick your poison wisely. Here are a few suggestions: Since bread is plentiful year round- choose stuffing on Christmas Day and skip the bread basket. Planning on having a few drinks on New Years Eve? Choose to enjoy a couple cocktails or wine and forgo the leftover Christmas cookies. My favorite strategy is to make Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Years Eve my binge days and keep the other 33 days between Thanksgiving and New Years day clean.
  3. Earn Your Meal!- A good friend and Chicago based personal trainer, Tom Hagler loves to eat....I mean really eat. I've seen Tom put down a loaded six egg omelet, double hash browns topped with a quarter bottle of ketchup, and four slices of toast. On most days, he behaves himself but he came up with a great strategy for occasional guilt free binges. He calls it Earn Your Meal Day. On Earn Your Meal Day, he will choose a crazy fitness challenge. Once that challenge is complete, he can have any meal of his choice-pizza, burgers, fried food, etc. Earn Your Meal Day's workout is typically 2-4 times his normal workout. For Tom, a 210 lbs. triathlete built like a running back, earning his "meal" may be include a 20 mile bike ride followed by a 5 mile run and 30 minute weight training workout. For mere mortals-double your normal cardio workout and throw in a 15 minute resistance training circuit. So earn your Holiday meals guilt free!
Add these three strategies to your normal workout plan and keep the Holiday pounds at bay. If you do put on a couple though don't be too hard on yourself just get "back in the saddle" the first of the year. Happy Holidays from Five Star Fitness Boot Camps!

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