The Holidays are upon us and stress levels may be at an all-time high as well as the temptation to eat bad foods. Many find that they have a bit more than usual on their daily “to do” plate and find themselves skipping meals and gym time while eating on the run. 6pm now feels like 10pm because of the shorter days and lack of sunshine leads many with a lack of Vitamin D and feeling a bit tired and having a slight case of the blues.
Despite the classical saying, abs aren’t made in the kitchen but they can be lost there. There is a lot of truth that nutrition is critically important but that isn’t the only thing. Eating smart and healthy is critical if you want to lose weight and get more fit, but you need to exercise on a regular basis as well. This includes: weight/resistance training, running, biking, crossfit, or playing a recreational sport to name a few. The bottom line is that you have to be consistent in staying active to maintain your body and muscle to therefor ensure you are burning calories every day. When a good diet and a consistent workout program come together and are in play, you are on your way to getting a six pack.
With winter and the holidays under way, there comes a lot of excuses for bad food choices. Family gatherings, holiday parties and the fact that you may be indoors with more skin covered up every day can all be contributing factors to abs pulling a David Copperfield and disappearing in no time.
Here Is a List of Top Ab Killers to Avoid:
1. Soda and sugar loaded drinks. This is probably the easiest way to cut out several hundred calories in a gathering alone, not to mention it’s impact on insulin and its promotion of fat storage. Simply drink water. Just doing this one thing alone can have a huge positive impact for many!
2. Eggnog. Lots of fat and sugar here, bad combo for fighting that extra padding around the midsection.
3. Prime rib. Loaded with saturated fat, not the preferred kind we want.
4. Glazed ham. Sugar added to an already known fatty meat, not the greatest choice. Go with some baked turkey instead.
5. Sweet potato casserole (marshmallow, butter, sugar, etc are on this).
6. Irish coffee. Go for coffee with cocoa and stevia instead!
7. Pastries; Fudge, cake, puddings, fruitcakes, etc. A very small piece may be ok depending on your body type (If you’re an ectomorph or mesomorph type), but keep it at that.
8. Creamed potatoes. Ask or grab for a baked sweet potato on its own with some cinnamon.
9. Craft beers. Most tend to be loaded up with a hefty amount of sugar in a serving. If you must indulge in an alcoholic brew, choose a light beer or a light serving of vodka mixed with LaCroix or Pelligrino (regular) water.
Having a little piece of pie or a small serving of something sweet isn’t going to break your stride. The goal is to have control over your portion size and not to go back for seconds and thirds, time and time again at a dozen parties you attend.
If having a tight mid-section is the goal, then the Holiday season is no excuse to stop eating correctly. We all have decisions and choices we can make. Let’s look to make good ones to keep you on track with getting and keeping that tight mid-section. All it takes is a little planning and a healthy dose of self-control.
Here are a few ideas and solid things to stick to during these winter months upon us below…
If you are going to a Holiday gathering, eat before-hand so your appetite isn’t out of control with the urge to eat bad foods or sweets. When you go on a half way full tank, you can just eat some vegetables, turkey or lean meat and basically pick out the “clean” foods. You can also simply pack your own meal or take a healthy dish or two to contribute that you prepared and eat just that.
Just Ask and Choose:
If you out at a restaurant or at a family members house, just asking is rarely ignored. Ask for dressing on the side of your salad; ask for meat with no gravy or sauce; ask for vegetables without the added butter; ask for your meat to be grilled and not fried; be sure to ask for just a small slice of cherry pie (my favorite) if you must indulge a bit.
Including a few key supplements can also help to curb cravings, regulate blood glucose levels and help keep you in control when you have scents and sights of sweets all around you.
Incorporating some herbal extracts such as Garcinia Cambodia, Yerba Matte, Cinnamon and the mineral Chromium Picolinate may just do the trick to help control tendencies to indulge in the sweets and not to mention, still support your body’s efforts in keeping, or getting, that desired six pack!
Sometimes, we just need a little reminder and a plan to stay on track. The holidays can be a challenge for many who are trying to keep their bodies and health in check. The temptations and social obligations can be tough. But with a little forethought, we can come untarnished after and keep charging forward with looking and feeling our best!
Roger Bowman, CPT