Holiday health tips


With the holidays right around the corner, it's fitting to touch upon eating healthily and exercising during this busy time of the year.

Work parties, family get-togethers, and other holiday events can foil even the best-laid fitness plans. The average American consumes almost 4,500 calories with an average of those calories being 229 grams of fat just by eating a traditional Thanksgiving meal – yikes!! 

Halloween candy, Thanksgiving leftovers, and Grandma’s Christmas ham – it’s no wonder studies show the average American gains 1 to 2 pounds during the holiday season. That may not sound like much, but those extra pounds often become permanent, and over time, are significant factors in rollover weight gain. So, with all this temptation around us, how do we go about maintaining our figure and overall health in the midst of the holidays? 

As I mentioned last time, incorporating a weekly workout regimen is important for seeing positive changes in your health and well being. Equally integral is the type and amount of food you are eating. 

A great exercise plan can be massively derailed with poor eating habits. Likewise, changing diet alone without a sustainable plan of regular physical exertion can often lead to frustration because progress may be so minimal, fleeting, or take a longer time than planned to attain. All of this becomes doubly true during the holiday season. 

Balance of eating and activity
What and how much you eat should align with how frequently and intensely you work out. Your body burns a certain number of calories within a 24-hour period at total rest given your age, gender, weight and height. The equation result gives you the amount of calories your body needs to consume in order for your body to function properly. This number is better known as the Basel Metabolic Rate and is a key piece of information in understanding how to set your fitness goals. 

If you take in excess calories than your body needs, and you don't exercise the newly acquired energy converted from the food eaten, your body stores that surplus energy as fat. It's really that simple.

With so much extra calorie intake during these months of the year, it's important to increase activity levels to match. 


Calculate your own body’s BMR by clicking HERE and keep track of your calorie intake for three consecutive (non-holiday) days (this includes ALL condiments used and drinks consumed too!). Afterwards, you will have a pretty accurate baseline for analyzing the disparity between the amount of energy your body needs versus how much you’re actually consuming.

From there, you can get an idea of how much you need to increase your exercise levels during the holiday months to maintain or meet your fitness goals. 

Planning your schedule
In planning your workout schedule, be sure to account for special events and parties that might cause you to skip a day. Consider adding a morning set of stretches, walking to work over driving, or participating in a yoga class to your normal routine each week to offset excessive eating. You'd be surprised how beneficial these small additions can be in helping you keep on track with fitness goals that you've set. 

Diet side
On the diet side of the equation, remember that not all calories are created equal. 

Trying to compensate for overeating during the holidays by eating "low-calorie" or "sugar-free" processed foods in bags and boxes is not recommended. These types of foods often contain ingredients and chemicals the body can't convert to energy as easily as nutrient-rich foods like fresh veggies, eggs, unsalted raw nuts, and whole organic fruits. 

Those plus lean meats, like turkey and fish, or other protein options like tofu, provide the body with the essential nutrients for metabolizing food and becoming a fat-burning machine during workouts and at rest. 

Extra motivator
Understanding more about your body and how it works with food and movement can be an extra motivator during this hectic time of the year. 

Enjoy being able to find balance quicker, avoid and prevent injury, feel stronger and leaner, and much more with the help of eating nutrient-rich, satiating, and healthy foods all in one!


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