Guest Author - Tom Weede
Tom Weede, is a former senior editor of Men's Fitness magazine, a certified health/fitness instructor with the American College of Sports Medicine as well as a certified strength and conditioning specialist with the National Strength and Conditioning Association. His new book, The Entrepreneur Diet, is available this January.
Tis the season to be in shape, and hereís how, according to Tom:
a. Be whole -- Before heading to a party or a big meal, eat a toasted whole-wheat bagel or a bowl of oatmeal. You wonĎt show up hungry and the whole grains are complex carbohydrates that take longer to digest, helping you feel fuller longer so you wonít over-snack on the pre-meal munchies.
b. Water it down -- Drink a tall glass of ice water along with your holiday feast -- this will help fill your stomach and leave less room for eggnog and stuffing. Youíll even burn a few extra calories as your body warms the water temperature.
c. Beware the buffet -- At an all-you-can-eat affair, fill up on veggies first, then stand or sit a good distance from the table.
d. Take a post-meal walk -- Research indicates that physical activity after a big holiday meal may the lower levels of fat in the blood.
e. Get creative with exercise -- Maximize the little time you have for exercise with circuit workouts, which combines strength and cardiovascular training. Hereís how: Move from one exercise to the next with minimal rest between exercises (which keeps your heart rate up). Once through all the
movements, cycle back through the circuit one or two more times.
f. Recruit a workout partner -- Plan ahead of time to exercise with a friend at set times each week during the holidays. If theyíre counting on you to show up, youíll be there.
g. Work out at the mall -- Mega malls have massive parking lots and stores as far as the eye can see. Take advantage of the size and park on the opposite side from where you intend to shop -- you could get in 20 minutes of walking this way.
h. Solve your stress -- Schedule a massage at least once during the holidays. Chronic stress can cause elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which can boost your appetite. No time? Practice belly breathing a few minutes a day. Sitting in a comfortable chair, take a slow, deep
breath through your nose, feeling as though youíre filling every part of your lungs. Pause, then let the air flow out slowly from your mouth or nose. Completely exhale, and then repeat five to 10 times.
i. Get shuteye -- Sleep deprivation can result in lower levels of the hormone leptin, which helps regulate hunger. This may lead your brain to think the body hasnít taken in enough food, setting you up to overeat.
j. Donít count calories -- Focus on the big picture -- a few holiday indulgences arenít going to burst your belt. Itís the overall calories you eat and the overall calories you burn during the whole holiday period that count.
You really donít have to deprive yourself during this season, Weede says. Just make some good choices, stick to them, and youíll start the New Year ahead of the game.