How to Stay in Shape During the Holidays

How to Stay in Shape During the Holidays

With Memorial Day and 4th of July fast approaching, most of us will be having family get togethers. With that comes barbeques and brews and the pressure to join in the festivities. During the holidays most of us indulge a little too much and by the end of the day we are in a food coma and we just want to fall asleep and hibernate afterwards.

How do I stay on track?

If you are concerned with your waistline with the holidays coming up, you can still enjoy the food and still stay in shape by following a few steps.

  1. Your first plate should be a ‘sample’ plate with a little bit of everything.
  2. The second plate should be primary of approved foods on the diet with a smaller portion of non-approved foods.
  3. Keep drinking limited to 1 drink per hour and drink 2 glasses of water in between each drink.
  4. Keep your mind occupied by entertainment or playing with the kids.
  5. Go out for a walk or the playground with the family or kids after eating.

By following these steps, you will be able to enjoy the foods you love but also keep on path to hit your fat loss goals. The first step should be having a plate with a little of everything so you can get the taste of the food without getting all of the calories. Your second plate should be about 80-90% of approved foods on whichever nutritional plan that you are on and then the other 10-20% can be foods that you can enjoy. Moderation is key here. By slowing down while you eat and conversing with family or friends, time will go by much faster and your body has enough time to signal to your brain that it is satisfied or satiated. If you like to drink during the holidays, limit it to one drink per hour and immediately follow that with at least 8-16 ounces of water between each drink. This will have a few effects on your body. One will be that it will reduce the feeling of being buzzed or drunk. It will also prolong the effect of being drunk and the water will also occupy a large portion of your stomach’s capacity so you are less likely to over drink or over eat. Between eating and drinking, you can play with the kids in the family or immerse yourself in the football game or video games to keep your mind occupied and not think about food or drinking. After all the festivities and the environment has calmed down, take a nice walk or stroll to the closest park or playground to allow the kids to burn off that excess energy. You could also throw around the pigskin in the backyard. Get involved as well and play with the little ones so that you can burn off a few extra calories.

By following these few steps during your next holiday, you won’t regret it the next morning. Enjoy your holiday, have fun, spend time with loved ones, and hit your goals at the same time!

What causes me to feel sleepy?

Most people can attest to feeling sleepy or tired after eating too much or drinking too much. Most attribute this feeling of lethargy to a certain amino acid called Tryptophan. Tryptophan is contained in many foods but most notably in a Thanksgiving turkey. But this is not the reason you feel tired after eating. What makes us feel tired is the carbohydrates that we consume during the holidays. If we were to break down the effects of carbohydrates to a microscopic level you will find that as our bodies break down the food in our stomach acids, carbohydrates are converted to a substance called glucose. Insulin is then released into the bloodstream to transport the glucose into muscle and fat cells. But more often than not, we are consuming way too much carbohydrates than our bodies utilize, so it is stored as fat. Most people think that fat makes us fat but that isn’t true. Fats contain good and bad cholesterol. High Density Lipoprotein (HDL) also known as good cholesterol and Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) which is considered bad cholesterol. LDL is what contributes to heart disease and HDL is what helps our hearts by protecting it. Fats also contain several good compounds such as omega fats, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), DHA, EPA, and lauric acid. All of these compounds contribute to protecting your organs and support healthy brain function. Lauric acid which is present in coconut products such as coconut oil, have anti-cancerous properties. CLA binds itself to LDL and carries it out of the body through urination or excretion. Fats also aid in the production of human growth hormone which is the basis of muscle growth and overall health. Especially in men. Do not be afraid of high levels of fats. There are many benefits of consuming fats including steady energy levels versus that of carbohydrates which normally provide spikes of energy.

 

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