How to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

Holiday Season is upon us and with that comes big meals! Because of this, you may be worried about maintaining your health and/or your weight over the holidays. For that reason, I have written a couple of fit tips for you on how to avoid the holiday weight gain!

 

Here’s my take on the holidays as they relate to your health (and your waistline):

 

  • Holidays are to be enjoyed, not stressed over
  • YOU are in control of how much you indulge
  • Holidays shouldn’t be just about food. They should be about enjoying time with those you love.

With that in mind, here’s how to stay fit this holiday season:

Holiday Fitness Tip #1: It’s All About Moderation

 

Don’t try to deprive yourself of all the foods you love! This is highly unrealistic (and SO not fun!!). Instead, be smart about what you choose to eat. Enjoy your very favorite flavors of the season, but in moderation. Trim calories where you can by only eating those rich foods that you really enjoy.

 

When eating at home in non-holiday mode — eat really, really well (whole foods, lots of fiber, lean proteins and boatloads of veggies).

 

Also, be sure to limit the number of alcoholic beverages you drink when at social gatherings. Some typical holiday drinks are filled with tons of sugary calories. Try alternating an alcoholic drink with a non-alcoholic drink like sparkling water.

Holiday Fitness Tip #2: Fiber is Your Friend

 

Here’s a simple tip that most people overlook when loading up their plates at holiday gatherings…fill up on fiber first. You see, if your plate is mostly fibrous vegetables and greens there is only a moderate amount of room left on your plate for the dishes full of fats and carbs. Therefore, your net calorie intake for the meal will be dramatically lower than if you had eaten more of the dishes full of carbs and fats.

 

BONUS TIP! – While this tip is super effective during the holidays, it’s also a technique that you can carry with you throughout the rest of the year to stay lean while still indulging in what you love. The key is to eat less of the rich foods and more of the lower calorie, high fiber foods.

Holiday Fitness Tip #3: Exercise is a MUST

 

Many people let their workouts go to the wayside during the busy holiday weeks, however I am here to tell you how important it is that you keep your workouts a priority. I know it’s harder to get up early when it’s cold outside, or head to your evening workout when it’s dark outside. However, that act of lacing up your shoes, sweating, and getting the endorphins flowing makes a huge impact on your overall fitness (and mental health!).

 

Not only are you burning calories and stoking your metabolism by sticking to your normal exercise routine, you are keeping fitness at the forefront of your mind. It may sound like a small thing, but getting your workout in forces you to remember your fitness goals. This small act will help you make better decisions throughout the rest of your day.

TAKEAWAY

So, how do you avoid holiday weight gain? My message to you today is that you DO NOT have to sacrifice the fun and flavors of the season. You just have to keep your exercise schedule as tight as possible and be aware of your eating habits. Make good choices when you can (like at home), and enjoy those indulgences when you’re at an event. 

You can do this!

NEED HELP ALONG THE WAY?

 

I am passionate about seeing my clients achieve results—AND maintaining those results throughout the holiday season and beyond.

 

If you are not currently working with us and want extra accountability during the holiday season, call or email me today to get started on a lifeSport Fitness program.  Who knows?! You might end up on December 31st more fit and leaner than you are now — how’s THAT for a healthy holiday season? 🙂

 

Sign up below for a FREE 30-minute consultation to see if we’re a good fit for you!

 

Committed to your success,

 

Coach Becky

Other helpful blog posts to help navigate the holidays:

Why Squats Hurt – Are they Safe?

Squatting is one of my favorite exercises! It’s also actually one of the most beneficial when it comes to maximizing your relative strength. But …. what if your squats hurt? If you have pain when you squat you may be wondering: Are squats safe to do?? Should you even squat at all??

A doctor (or an inexperienced coach) might tell you, “If it hurts, don’t do it.”

Unfortunately, there’s a lot more to it than that.

As with everything, if your squats hurt, we need to examine why it hurts.

Are you performing the movement incorrectly? Is your stance too wide (or too narrow) for your anatomy? Do you have short thigh muscles, inflexible ankles or tight hips?

Do you have a strength imbalance (i.e. one leg is stronger than the other) dominating the movement and causing compensation and pain?

All of this information can be acquired from a short, simple assessment … so we’d start there.

Here are some of the reasons you may be hurting from doing squats:

SKILL:

If it’s a question of skill, we need to put the dumbbells away for a while and work on rebuilding and relearning the squat pattern from the bottom up. Then we can execute the squat correctly and safely before adding external weight.

STANCE:

If it’s the stance, we can quickly determine what the ideal and most comfortable stance should be for each individual based on their anatomy and flexibility.

FLEXIBILITY OR MOBILITY:

If it’s a lack of tissue flexibility or joint mobility, we’ll need to spend some time performing corrective exercises to improve that. Just doing more squats is not going to help.

STRENGTH IMBALANCE:

If it’s a strength imbalance, we’d need to focus on any number of awesome and highly effective single-leg strength exercises (split squats, lunges, step-ups) until the weaker side catches up to the stronger side.

TAKEAWAY

After reading that, you can probably understand why simply eliminating an exercise because it hurts might not be the right thing to do.

Sometimes, all we have to do is other “re-balancing” exercises before we can move on to more complex exercises.

It’s not uncommon for us to see a new client in our facility who doesn’t squat comfortably or correctly. When this happens, we work on more remedial exercises to strengthen their hip muscles before we can have them squat safely.

So, if your squats hurt or you have pain when you lunge or even press something overhead — it might not be that you shouldn’t do that movement anymore. You just might need to do some other exercises first, under the guidance of a trained professional, before attempting the exercise in question. But, you may very well be able to do that “painful” exercise at some point in the future– and do it pain free!

NEED HELP FIGURING THIS ALL OUT?

If you’ve got a painful “glitch” somewhere in your movement patterns and it concerns you — consider setting up a 30 minute consultation with me.

It costs you nothing except your time — and you might just get the benefit of being in less pain down the road ;-).

Fill out the form below or contact us here if you’d like to set up a time to talk! We’d love to hear from you!

Committed to your (pain free!) success,

Coach Becky

Consultation Form

Does Strength Training Have to Hurt in Order to Get Results?

Remember the old saying, “No pain, no gain?” Well, does strength training really have to hurt in order to get results?

Really, whoever came up with the saying used a poor choice of words. 

First things first, we need to make a distinction between discomfort and pain.

In order to get better/stronger/leaner/faster, you DO have to get out of your comfort zone. And, yes, you should push yourself to get there.

But – exercise should never be painful.

Most educated trainers and fitness pros are now educated enough to understand that pushing through the pain only leads to more pain … and worse, injury.

HOW TO PREVENT INJURY AND STOP PAIN FROM WORKING OUT

 

Here are a few exercises that every one of your workouts should have, in order to keep you safe, healthy and pain-free..

1. Dynamic Warmup

We can’t stress this enough — especially for those of us over 40! This is the part of the workout that many people skip, but it’s honestly the last thing that should be neglected.

Preparing your body for movement is the most important part of the workout. An effective dynamic warmup should encompass all the foundational movement patterns, increase the heart rate and tissue temperature and prepare the central nervous system for the activities ahead. NEVER SKIP THE WARMUP! 

 

Interested in some exercises you can do as warmups? Check out this Health.com article here.

2. Prehab

These are corrective exercises that strengthen often neglected muscle groups and promote soft tissue health in order to enhance the freedom of movement and prevent injury. Skip the prehab, and you’ll wind up in rehab instead.

At our studio, if we have a client that needs some prehab work, we build it right into their customized program right after their dynamic warm up.

3. Mobility

Stretching and mobility are not the same thing. Mobility exercises enhance the freedom of movement through the joints, whereas stretching involves muscle lengthening (read below). Both improve flexibility. Is one better than the other? No. Our bodies need both!

4. Cooldown 

Whereas the warmup involves dynamic movement, the cooldown is about calming the central nervous system, lowering the heart rate, and lengthening muscles through static stretching (i.e. holding positions and poses).

Setting aside a few minutes to cool down after a workout signals to the body that it’s time to start the recovery process.

A tough workout tears down muscle tissue. It’s during the rest and recovery between workouts when the rebuilding happens.

THE TAKEAWAY

 

So our message today is: Don’t get caught up in the 80’s mentality of “no pain, no gain.” Does strength training have to hurt in order to get results? Absolutely not!

Incorporate the above steps before, during and after your workouts and you’ll be well on the way to healthy, pain-free gains💪🏼.

How to get motivated to exercise

How to Get Motivated to Exercise!

How do you get motivated to exercise?? We get asked this question a lot by people who are struggling with their fitness who often tell us “I’m just not motivated to work out.”

 

Now hear us out on this … It turns out that motivation is a myth. Yes, that’s right! It doesn’t exist. At least, not by itself. 

 

Motivation is not something that’s going to crash down from the sky like a lightning bolt and magically kickstart your fitness plan. If you’re waiting for motivation to hit you (you know, that day when you feel motivated to get up and work out or improve your nutrition) well, you might be waiting for a long time.

 

 

 You see, motivation only comes from one thing.

 

 Action!!!!

 

Not the other way around. In order to feel a sense of motivation, you have to take action first.

 

It could be ONE workout! ONE pushup. Having ONE healthy meal.

 

 

It could be anything that’s a small step in the right direction. And that one little thing could spark a little motivation to do more of the same the next day.

 

Motivation doesn’t come from magic.

 

It comes from action.

 

If you’re looking to get back into a routine or get a fresh start with your fitness this fall, what’s one small thing you can do today in order to get started?

 

Pick that one thing and do it. Then do it again. And again. And again. And see the motivation build up! That doing, that action, will create the motivation you’ve been looking for.

 

If you’d like some help in taking action, we invite you to request a free one-week trial at one of our off-site community boot camps. With a coach to keep you safe and a fun group to work out with — taking ACTION on your health and fitness has never been easier! 

Fill out the form below to request your

FREE boot camp trial today!

 

If you want to know more about our bootcamp program click here!