How hard it is to stay on our best behaviour and keep good habits going through the holidays! It seems almost impossible!
Experts agree that keeping a routine and even just being aware of the challenges of the holidays will help a great deal. So, here’s a few tips to keep your healthy diet and fitness routine on track during the chaos that is the holidays.
Try to get enough sleep!
Many will say that they can only get 5 or 6 hours at a time. This is just fine for now for a couple of days, but hopefully not as a new general habit. There are, after all, 125 metabolic functions that need to happen at night and you have to be asleep in order for them to happen. For example, your cholesterol in your body that accumulates during the day will not be cleared at night unless you are asleep. So, a word to the wise, your body really needs that sleep.
Plan first for yourself and your frequent trips to the gym.
It is so important to give your body those frequent workouts. You need this for stress management and to put new and revived energy into your body, and to also give your central nervous system a workout or “shakeout”. Believe me when I say, the body knows exactly when you are taking a break.
Also, take a look at the new group fitness classes; new ones are being added all the time at Elite. This is just to keep it interesting and also to be available when you need the programming to fit your schedule! Whether you want a good cardio workout or more strength, stop in and talk with a trainer to see what they would suggest.
Please don’t wait until January to practice good eating behavior.
You know and I know that eating more of something isn’t going to give you much more satisfaction. In fact, it could be less. You will just get a fuller feeling; which by itself is not really what you want while you wait for the food to be digested and used for energy. Many of us get very tired after a meal. So, more now with little consequence for the future in 2016, may not be wise. Why? Because you are going to have to come to terms with these consequences at some point in the future. Once food leaves your mouth, taste buds and throat you don’t smell the food anymore the thrill is gone! Less is better. And, so much easier for your body to accommodate. (Must be why sampler sizes and small plates have become so popular!)
Calories in versus calories out.
Many of us are very excited about the calories we burn during exercise. In fact, many programs like MyFitnessPal will record these as though they are calories you could be eating when you are done exercising at the end of that day, supposedly computing how many more calories you have to eat. Right? Wrong!
The calories from exercise need to be further calculated to be actual “eating” calories. In fact, it is so different that you may want to consider the calories from exercise to be a BONUS for the day. That is, will help with your overall fitness pattern and will help with your overall food intake, but that is about it.
Why is this? Those people who want good weight loss results will eat the same consistent amount every day without fail. (NOT to be determined by whether or not they have worked out.) Your body is just like a car, it works better when it has the exact amount of fuel every time. For more indepth information, read what Luke Lewitzke, Mequon Head Personal Trainer, wrote last spring regarding the calorie deficit intra-workings in the body. He explains it in more detail.
Listen to music as often as possible throughout the day!
Your body will love having music to listen to throughout these hectic holidays. Make it fun and listen to music as often as you can. Music calms the central nervous system and makes energy more readily available as you work and listen!
For more information, or to discuss other dietary concerns, just give me a call at 1-262-391-1003 or stop by my open office hours “Ask the Dietitian” at each of the 5 Elite Sports Clubs locations!
Written by Rita Larsen, RDN, CD; Elite Sports Clubs Nutrition Educator & Diet Counselor
Rita is certified in Positive Psychology, University of Penn; has a BS in Dietetics from Kansas State University; and an Internship and Masters at the Indiana University Medical Center.Schedule a Nutrition Consultation