At Visual Therapy, we’re all about Mind, Body, and Soul. As we work with clients to line up their optimal wardrobes and help them to be the best version of themselves, we’re huge believers that it’s not the dress, but what’s in the dress that matters. And even though clothes can help you feel like a movie star, there’s something that needs to be taken care of first on a deeper level. Welcome to “Wellness Wednesdays”: our weekly feature to bring you tips for a healthy, whole and fulfilled life. In this week’s post, get tips on staying fit during the Holidays from personal Nutritional & Fitness Consultant Nick Hojsack.
Without fail, the gym always seems the MOST popular hang-out right after Thanksgiving and New Years. Think about it. We all indulge a little bit more than usual and feel the detrimental effects the day after. We then try to make it all right by putting in some extra time at the gym.
Don’t get me wrong. The holidays are a time to celebrate and enjoy the company of friends and family. It’s only natural that delicious food and beverages play a big role in these gatherings.
But let’s face it. You just ate enough to feed a small army. And when the dust settled, you realized that maybe they weren’t crazy when they told you that you CAN have too much of a good thing.
Let’s try to take a more strategic approach… preventing the damage BEFORE you enjoy the moment.
Here are a few quick tips that will avoid having your trainer send you to boot camp after the holidays.
1. Control your carbs, soldier!
There are various studies that show you should keep your insulin at low levels all day, then raise them at night. Try eating predominantly healthy fats and protein for breakfast and lunch. Examples are whole eggs, egg whites, turkey bacon, olive oil, coconut oil, lean beef and tons of vegetables. Limit your fruits to low glycemic ones like blueberries, apples, peaches or strawberries.
Keeping insulin low through the beginning part of the day will allow your body to burn fat more efficiently. Once the afternoon or evening comes and it’s time to indulge, go for it!
2. Remember to move
Combat your huge meal with a brief walk around the block shortly after. For many people (myself included), it’s easy to go to the couch and nap away or watch some of the game. But a 5-10 minute brisk walk can have many positive effects, ranging from helping digestion to activating your body’s fat burning system.
3. Squeeze some lemon
Have food items that will cap or stabilize blood sugar levels, such as lemon. There’s a good reason many restaurants offer lemon with water. Lemon has been known to put a perimeter around blood sugar levels when taken before meals. If you don’t like lemon, try some cinnamon (I like it dashed on some plain yogurt) or vinegar (on a salad). These can help keep insulin in check, which can limit the amount of fat you’ll store.
4. Eat your breakfast
Make sure to eat a healthy breakfast! So many times, I’ve had clients believe that skipping meals will ultimately result in fat loss. Quite the opposite. Eating a breakfast full of proteins and healthy fats can help kick-start your metabolism, help you feel full throughout the day, and give you the energy you need to perform. My ultimate breakfast is egg whites, chicken or tuna and a greens shake made by blending kale/spinach, cocoa powder (unsweetened), 1 scoop of all natural peanut butter, ginger, coconut oil, blueberries and cinnamon. The cocoa powder really brings it all together.
5. Try 4-minute HIIT
Tabata is a type of High Intensity Training that has come into vogue recently. It’s a quick, 4-minute workout where you “work” for 20 seconds, then “rest” for 10 seconds. Repeat 8x, for a total of 4 minutes. Generally speaking, it’s not long enough to truly constitute a full workout, but it can have some nice fat burning effects for the rest of your day. Below is an 8-minute workout. Try doing both parts, but if you want to stick to the 4 minutes, just pick one movement or the other.
- Burpees for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds: 8x
- Rest for 30 seconds.
- Air-squat for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds: 8x