Right now there is a Twitter Moms contest asking your top 10 suggestions for getting fit after the Holidays. People gain weight during the winter months in general. You are less active than summer months, confined to your house, the kids are in school all day etc. Then the Holidays come and you bake, others bake. You cook big family meals, others are cooking you big meals. There are pot lucks at work. Even when you go to the grocery store there are foods that are only available during holiday times out tempting you...you have to get them because next month they will be gone. The result...an average of 5 or 10 extra pounds.
So what are some of my shape up trim up tips?
1. Breakfast Smart. You hear it all the time, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But is your breakfast really a good choice? Doughnuts, pop tarts, and other sweet things not only are packed with worthless calories they also get you eating and craving more sweets throughout the day. Many people have to have their morning coffee. If you choose a cappuccino, latte or other coffee house type drink instead you are added a bundle of fat and calories as well. Consider an all fruit breakfast. Two or three pieces of fruit eaten one at a time over the course of the morning hours will keep you full feeling and also give you a huge jump start twords the daily recommended allowances of fruit and vegtable servings and also do wonders twords hitting the recommended fiber intakes.
2. Lunch Smart. If you work outside your home consider packing your lunch. You can avoid bad fast food choices or other diet disasters from a work cafeteria by bringing food from home. The best time to pack your lunch might be right after dinner the night before. You will be full so won't be prone to pack a bunch of extras out of hunger. Its a great time to take things like carrot sticks that you might not eat at home when there are other choices available. Basically you are at work, the only thing to eat are carrots, you are hungry, you eat them. Try eating a big salad everyday for lunch. Warning however, watch your dressings. Dressing can turn a healthy barely any calorie salad into a pretty unhealthy choice. Use sparingly and look for fatfree choices.
3. Dinner smart. Serve at least 2 vegetables with every meal. Aim to make the vegetables occupy the majority of your plate. Another thing on these vegetables...try eating them plain..no cheese sauce, no butter pat...just plain. This will keep their calories minimal. When making casseroles try reducing the meal called for. It it calls for a pound and a half of ground beef, try a pound. Most like the extra will not be missed and the calorie and fat intake dropped. Try reducing other things like cheese as well.
4. No snacking after dinner. This is a big one for me. I can go being good all day long but once the kids are getting into bed I want to snack. Sometimes its because I am hungry but a lot of the time its just because I am rewarding myself for making through another crazy hard day with 5 children through food. If you really need something at night as a end of the day reward, try a cup of hot tea. Or save a portion of something you would have normally consumed at dinner for later on at night. Then you are not adding extra calories to your diet, its something that would have been eaten earlier anyways. You have probably heard before that eating late at night just lets those calories sit because you will be inactive sleeping but that's not really necessarily true. Its more "dangerous" because you have already consumed a day's worth of calories then are back at eating again, thus going over your daily limit.
5. Switch your meat. Use ground turkey instead of ground beef. Its considerable lower in fat and calories. In casseroles and other dishes it will probably not even be noticed as different by your family.
6. Drink your water. Water will help you feel fuller. It will help your body work better at elimination. It will help keep you from drinking sodas and other high calorie sugary drinks. I suggest taking a glass and filling it every hour...so you have one hour to drink your glass empty each hour throughout the day. Drinking water this way is better than drinking a big quantity at one time,too. Flood yourself with water all at once and you will probably just pee it out before it really gets to absorb into your body and really do its full benefit.
7. Reward yourself. Give yourself rewards to give yourself something to look forward to. Friday night allow yourself a special snack. A bowl of ice cream. Some barbecue potato chips. That caramel cappuccino you have been craving. When tempted to eat wrong throughout the week just remind yourself you only have however many more days to your treat night. Make bigger rewards too. After a month of being good and sticking to all your plans, treat yourself to ao new outfit, a great handbag, whatever you have been wishing for. You might even want to plan longer time goals like a 3 month reward and a big 6 month reward.
8. Don't look for the easy way out. Park far from the store and walk in. Instead of sitting in the parking lot waiting for the kids, get out of your car and walk up to the school doors to meet them, refuse the help to load the groceries in your car and do it yourself. THese all might seem like small things but over the coarse of a day you can add some good calorie burning.
9. Sleep well. Make sure you are getting as much sleep as you can. If you are tired you will not want to put the effort into preparing healthy meals. You won't want to be active. Your body will be functioning well and working optimally.
10. Baby Wear. If you are a mom with small children consider baby wearing. The extra weight of having your baby strapped onto you in a carrier will be a workout as you complete your tasks. Don't put baby in the cart at the grocery store. Wear him. As you walk about bending to pick things up you will really feel it in your legs. As your baby grows your workout gets tougher. Those of us whose babies are over 20 lbs. before 6 months...we get an even better workout. So ditch the stroller and get a carrier, sling or pack and wear that baby!
Those are some of the things that work for me. I hope you will find them helpful as well. I wrote this in hopes of winning a a copy of EA SPORTS Active™ Personal Trainer – the highest rated Wii™ fitness product to date for use on the Nintendo Wii system! Now wouldn't that be a superb way to get fit after the holidays!! You can find out more details here.