How Not to Gain Weight during the Holidays

The holiday season is here. This means that many of us will be with families and eating homemade pies and cakes. At work, there will be streams of goodies and sweets seemingly surrounding us. Planning for and attending various holiday functions, we will unconsciously nosh, nibble and imbibe to our hearts content. All of this means that we will be making those New Year’s Resolutions at the beginning of the New Year. Typically, weight loss is at the top of the list.

However, we need not wait until the results of our holiday activities shock us into more healthy habits. In fact, there are things that we can begin to do right now that will minimize the amount of (unwanted) weight that we accumulate due to the holiday season excess. Specifically, by drinking more water, sleeping more, being more active, eating more fiber and monitoring portion size, we can keep weight gain to a minimum.

  • Drink Water

    Up to 60% of the human body is water, the brain is composed of 70% water, and the lungs are nearly 90% water. Lean muscle tissue contains about 75% water by weight, as is the brain; body fat contains 10% water and bone has 22% water. About 83% of our blood is water, which helps digest our food, transport waste, and control body temperature.
    “To all living things, water is of major importance.”

    When looking to minimize weight gain during the holiday season, one need look no further than though the bottom of their glass; that is to say, drink more water. Water is the liquid that sustains all life on earth. Water also has ‘0’ calories. But more than that, one can actually burn calories due to water consumption. Specifically, men burn more fat while women break down more carbohydrates due to water consumption. So, to hedge your bets against that holiday weight gain, drink more water.

    Recommendation: Ideally, 1.5 liters of water per day or 2 (8 Ounce) cups of water before each meal.

  • Sleep More

    a sleeping baby
    Babies are growing so they need rest. Adults need rest for health maintenance and physiological repair.

    According to researchers, adequate sleep can be instrumental to obtaining positive results from dieting and exercising endeavors. Adequate sleep allows for the activation of Human Growth Hormone: this hormone is responsible for “functions in the body such as vitality, energy and weight maintenance“. In addition, adequate sleep brings about a near 50%:50% muscle mass loss to body fat loss. Inadequate sleep can cause five times more muscle mass loss than body fat loss (5:1 ratio). Minimal sleep can stimulate higher levels of consumption because hormone levels, that stimulate hunger, food intake and retention of body fat, increase. One cannot sleep themselves thin but one can insure that caloric accumulation is kept to a minimum with adequate sleep.

    Recommendation: Get more than 6.5 – 7.0 hours of sleep.

  • Walk More/Be Active

    For those who are busy, there are creative ways to stimulate metabolism. Standing up and stretching a couple of times an hour will do wonders for the body.
    One step at a time: a good way to burn calories.

    To maintain (current) weight and avoid the effects of holiday binging, the importance of physical activity cannot be overlooked. The amount of physical activity can positively affect the efforts to maintain weight. Balancing Calories In vs. Calories Out will yield Weight Control/Weight Maintenance. 60 to 90 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity is recommended to maintain weight. If this proves difficult, however, there are options such as parking farther away from the entryway door and walking, taking the stairs, doing little chores around the home and the like. Every little bit helps. Increased physical activity will also help people to improve conditions of:

    1. Heart disease and stroke
    2. High blood pressure
    3. Diabetes
    4. Back pain
    5. Depression and anxiety

    Recommendation: Try to accumulate 30 minutes of mild to moderate activity per day or try to stand up and stretch a couple of times every hour.

  • More Fiber

    These are some great sources of fiber.
    These are just some of the great sources of fiber that are available

    Generally, studies indicate that increased fiber intake correlates to better weight control. Fiber is an important constituent of food that assist with the passage of food through the colon. Fiber supplementation, along with adequate water consumption, can be part of a balanced diet. However, if a person needs to see and consume an amount of food that makes them feel full, then eating fiber dense foods will be instrumental in their consuming less. Fiber may not help with calories that are consumed from high-caloric beverages: consider that the average American’s recent, increased calorie consumption has come from increased consumption of high-calorie drinks.

    Recommendation: Accumulate more fiber from food sources; drink more water.

  • Portion Control

    Which one do you want?
    Larger portions are being accepted as ‘normal’, single servings. This puts less active people at risk for weight gain.

    One of the best ways to minimize weight gain is through portion control. Many people often eat what is in front of them and most underestimate the amount (of calories) that they consume on a day to day basis by as much as 25%. In order to affect portion control, one must direct their efforts toward assessing, monitoring and regulating the portion sizes of foods that they consume. If you are at a restaurant, eat half of your order and take the remainder home, if possible. If you are at home, eat a smaller than normal portion and wait a bit before going for seconds. If the feeling a fullness is there, you just may not want to go for seconds.

    Recommendation: Make a strong effort and adhere to consuming smaller portions and waiting to see if satiety sets in or eat smaller portions throughout the day.

These steps are presented as a way to help in minimizing the weight gain that typically occurs during the holiday season. By adding these steps to your daily routine throughout the holiday season, you can be in control of what transpires with your weight. Of course, if you are exercising regularly and eating a balanced diet, then these steps will easily help you in maintaining your weight.

Drinking water will assist in caloric expenditure. Sleeping more will help the body to burn more fat. Being more active will help to burn the calories that you consume. Consuming more fiber will keep the colon clear. Portion control will allow you to regulate how much you are actually consuming.

I have assembled a Percentage (%) of Effort Chart below to give you an idea of how these activities will contribute to your minimizing that dreaded holiday weight gain. The items are the five points outlined in this blog: i.e. water, sleep, activity, fiber and portions. The more days that you do these things, the better your results will be. 100% of effort will yield better results than 20% of effort.

Oh, before I forget . . .

HAPPY HOLIDAYS

% of Effort

1 item

2 items

3 items

4 items

5 items

1 – 2 days

4%

8%

12%

16%

20%

2 – 3 days

8%

16%

24%

32%

40%

3 – 4 days

12%

24%

36%

48%

60%

4 – 5 days

16%

32%

48%

64%

80%

5 – 6 days

20%

40%

60%

80%

100%

SOURCES:

CNN: Trying to Lose Weight? Drink More Water

WebMD; Drinking Water May Speed Weight Loss

Science Daily; Sleep Loss Limits Fat Loss

HuffPo: Sleep Is Integral To Weight Loss, Study Suggests

WebMD: Exercise and Weight Loss

WIN: Physical Activity and Weight Control

CalorieLab: Does more fiber mean more weight loss?

Food Product Design: The Skinny on Fiber and Weight Management

Mayo Clinic: Portion control — Downsize portions for better weight control

WebMD; Portion Control and Weight Loss

A Cleanse and Detox adherent speaks.

The changing of the seasons is symbolic of the cyclical nature of the heavens. In temperate climates, there are the seasonal rains that come and wash the earth during spring and autumn. The rains are a sort of announcement, a prelude, to the ensuing summer and winter seasons, respectively. It also during these times that some individuals commit themselves to seasonal cleanses and detoxes. Cleanse is short for Colon Cleansing. Detox is short for Detoxification Diet. In addition to setting the stage for enjoying a more vibrant life, cleanses and detoxes engender a higher degree of psycho-energetic sensitivity. People then can be more in tune to the seasonal vibrations.

Can you feel the change??
The changing of the seasons is symbolic of the cyclical nature of the heavens.

Cleanses and Detoxes can be very beneficial to the body. They allow the body to slow down and recuperate from the abuse that results from overindulgence in nutritionally devoid foods, overindulgence in improper drinks (alcohol, soda pop, etc.), exposure to chemically laden foods, and lack of dietary fiber. “Despite all of our best efforts, we may not be able to prevent toxic substances from entering our body and affecting our well-being. Pollution, packaged foods, caffeine, smoking, drinking, and etc, over a period of time can, impair our immune function and affect our health”.

We can always work toward better health
Despite our best efforts, we may not be able to prevent toxic substances from entering our body and affecting our well being.

To the individual who initiates and undergoes the process, the benefits of improved digestion, greater energy and immunity, and a slimmer, more vibrant appearance can be the result. Honestly though, cleanses and detoxes are only, can only be, a part of a true effort to live a more healthy lifestyle. It has been said that many people care more about their cars than they do their bodies. Given the recent statistics concerning health in the U.S.A., that statement seems to be ‘Dead On Point’. However, it does not have to be. If they are undertaken with caution and awareness of what one’s body is ready for, cleanses and detoxes can be a part of the initiative to reverse the trend of ill-health.

Do you know how good you can feel??
If they are undertaken with caution and awareness of what one’s body is ready for, cleanses and detoxes can be a part of the initiative to reverse the trend of ill health.

Lately, attention has been focused on cleanses and detoxes as a way to lose weight. This method of weight loss is totally counterproductive to a ‘healthy lifestyle’. Cleansing and Detoxing can most certainly result in weight loss. However, because of the intense and drastic manner in which it occurs, the weight loss is usually short-lived. Remember, the reason for the cleanse is to purge the colon of catarrh and built up waste material while the detox helps in purging impurities and toxins from the body. Lifestyle is what will really enable people to maintain a ‘healthy weight’. Cleanses and Detoxes can really only be a compliment to a healthy lifestyle. They can only be a means to an end as opposed to an end unto themselves.

For me, spring and autumn are optimal times for this. It is a chance for me to cleanse my body and be in communion with the Source of All Creating/Sustaining/Dissolving (my concept of GOD). I use cleanses and detoxes to prepare for deeper meditation and other physical/spiritual practices in lieu of bringing in more of the new seasonal energies. On a personal note, I have been blessed to see 52 years of age and, as of last year’s (2011) check up, I had no polyps in my colon. I think that my observing a healthy lifestyle has helped. However, I think that my spiritual practices, to include the recent addition of cleanses and detoxes, since 2009, have enabled and will allow me to maintain much of my health, vitality and positive outlook.

Intense Seated Forward Bend
This pose is great for taking breath into the backside of the body. Even so, there must still be breath going into the front side of our body as well.

We can all be healthier, if we so choose . . . .

Be Healthy, Be Ageless, Be You!!!

Sources:

Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/122748-benefits-detox-colon-cleansing/#ixzz26eUtwxZO

Read more at Suite101: Health Risks of Cleansing Diets: Harmful Effects of a Detox Diet | Suite101.com http://suite101.com/article/health-risks-of-cleansing-diets-a99438#ixzz26eW2lqhF

Low Calorie Diets — Part 2 of 2

I went on my first ever diet a couple of months ago. It was successful, I lost weight, the scale reflected that, as did my looser fitting jeans. But soon, those same jeans began to fit a little tighter again. I did not gain more than a couple of pounds initially, but soon I was back up five pounds. I panicked and went back on the diet for two days. Eventually I lost the five pounds, but I didn’t look any different. I saw myself becoming one of those people who were completely obsessed with controlling their weight. At that point I stopped playing into the numbers game. My weight has always fluctuated and always will.

Nowadays I don’t check the scale everyday. I just doesn’t matter that much anymore. The truth of the matter is, I like my body, I like the way it looks. I have intensified my workouts though in an effort to increase lean muscle mass and decrease fat mass. I am more interested in my body fat than my body weight. I feel strong, healthy and energetic, but then again I felt that way at 152 pounds. I started following the Mediterranean diet a couple of months ago and it’s been great for me. I have always had the energy to exercise regularly, so who cares about what the scales says, I don’t.

How Active Are You?

A smiling, healthy and active individual.
Stay Active and Eat Nutritiously

The primary role of a Lifestyle and Weight Management Coach is to help individuals live healthier lives over the long haul.

Exercise alone is not enough. A knowledgeable Lifestyle and Weight Management Coach can educate the client on the need for a lifelong committment to overall lifestyle change. That may seem intimidating but the changes made can be simple and, with persistance and practice, will become habitual.

The most important factor in any lifestyle-modification program is the client’s readiness to make a change. Not all people are necessarily ready to make lifestyle changes. Both exercise and healthy eating need to be incorporated into a person’s current lifestyle.

Which stage are you in?

  • Precontemplation — Sedentary: Not even considering an exercise program; in denial.
  • Contemplation — Sedentary, but starting to consider the importance of physical activity.
  • Preparation — Physically active, but inconsistent and sporadic; yet ready to adopt and live an active lifestyle.
  • Action — Regulary exercise, but have been doing so for less than 6 months.
  • Maintenance — Regulary exercise for 6 months or longer.
  • Relapse — Slipped off the exercise and healthy eating wagon, lapses are inevitable.

Regardless of what stage you are in, Ab-Sutra Health and Fitness Coaches can and will help you progress to the next level.

Mediterreanean Diet

The Mediterranean Diet is more than a diet, it is a way of life. Instead of focusing on what you cannot have, it focuses on what you can have — the very best, freshest, healthiest foods.

Research supports the health boosting qualities of the Mediterranean diet. This way of life can significantly decrease body weight, blood pressure, blood fats, blood sugar and insulin levels — health benefits that contribute to a longer life expectancy than that of people who follow a Western diet.

Basic ingredients of the mediterranean diet

Fresh, healthy food

The staples of the Mediterranean diet include fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds, legumes, seafood, yogurt, olive oil, and small amounts of wine.

Healthy fats

found in olive oil, nuts, avocados and polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids, found in fatty fish like salmon, tuna, sardines, and trout; and fat from plant sources, like flaxseed and chia seeds.

Whole grains

Whole grain foods like bread, pasta, millet, quinoa, brown rice, and couscous are a key part of the Mediterranean diet. In their natural state, grains are full of cancer and heart disease-fighting fiber, vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Whole grains provide energy and calories with little fat.

Omega-3 fatty acids

Found in abundance in the Mediterranean diet, omega-3 fatty acids are bursting with health benefits. Fatty acids have been shown to reduce the incidence of heart attacks, blood clots, hypertension, and strokes; and may prevent certain forms of cancer and lower the risk of neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s disease.

More vegetables, less meat

A diet higher in plant foods and lower in animal products has been linked to decreased incidence of heart disease, diabetes, and many cancers. The traditional Mediterranean diet is practically vegetarian, with lots of fish and very little meat. As for vegetables, Mediterranean people feast on tomatoes, broccoli, peppers, capers, spinach, eggplant, mushrooms, white beans, lentils, and chick peas.

Wine

Many Mediterranean people drink a glass or two of wine each night with dinner. But portions are small, generally about three ounces. When taken in small amounts, wine has been linked to lower rates of heart disease, likely due to the presence of antioxidants like transresveratrol and oligomeric proanthocyanidin, which keep blood circulation healthy and prevent blood clots from forming.

Olive oil

The Mediterranean people use olive oil in almost everything they eat, including pastas, breads, vegetables, salads, and fish. It is the principal fat in the Mediterranean diet, instead of butter or margarine. Olive oil may reduce inflammation, which could prevent heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, Alzheimer’s, autoimmune diseases, as well as certain cancers.

Portion control

The Mediterranean diet focuses on small portions of high-quality food. Healthy fats like olive oil and nuts, are staples of the Mediterranean diet and keep you feeling fuller longer.

Fruit for dessert

For Mediterranean people, fresh fruit is the typical daily dessert. Taking advantage of fruit’s natural sweetness has double benefits. First, what you gain: the fiber and nutrients in fruits like apples, grapes, and oranges. What you lose: the added sugar, calories, chemicals, and unhealthy fats in sweet, processed desserts.

In addition to eating healthy meals, the Mediterranean people spend a great deal of time walking. When you can, include exercise, laughter, and spending time with loved ones in your day.