Don’t Let the Holidays Ruin Your Diet!!!

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So summer is officially over and the holiday season is quickly approaching…  But don’t let the holidays ruin your diet!!  Here are my top tips to stay fit this holiday season.

1. Make your workouts mandatory.  There is always an excuse to miss a workout, but don’t.  Write your workouts in your schedule and don’t miss them.  This is a busy time of year but you deserve to make time for yourself.  You will happier and if you stay with your workout schedule.  And if you are feeling lazy then take a group class or workout with a friend.  Summer bodies are made in the winter!  Especially with the parties this time of year and all the food and sweets that are readily available, this is not the time to be missing a workout.  Do at least 30 minutes of exercise 5 to 7 times a week.

2. Find balance.  On Thanksgiving it’s tradition in my family to have pumpkin pie so I will have a slice.  The important part is not to go back for seconds or thirds, that day and the next.  Find balance and moderation, don’t deny yourself and make yourself miserable, instead have reasonable portion sizes and eat healthy the majority of the time.  You will notice the healthier you eat, the less you will crave unhealthy foods.

3.  Know what you are putting into your mouth.  When you are at a party or dinner eat off a plate.  Snacking or eating from a tray and lead to over eating, and when we over eat, we gain weight.  It is important to know what you are putting in your mouth.  Health pros suggest eating a small meal or snack that is rich in fiber and protein before a party to avoid over eating.  Also, make sure to eat plenty of vegetables because they are full of nutrient dense carbohydrates that will help you stay satisfied longer than refined carbohydrates.  Another great tip of knowing what you are putting into your mouth is to make and keep a food journal.

4. Drink water.  Sometimes we mistake being thirsty for hunger. The cues from our body that tell us we are hungry and thirsty are every similar.  So staying hydrated will help you from not eating when you are not hungry. In addition, if you trying to lose weight the process of burning calories requires an adequate supply of water in order to function.  In addition, when you are exercising it creates toxins and water has a vital role in flushing them out of your body.  There are several different recommendations for water intake and it can vary from person to person, however, drinking six to eight eight-ounces glasses of water each day is a standard recommendation.  So drink up and stay hydrated.

Enjoy your holidays and stay active!  Remember that shopping at the mall should not replace your workout, but it does add to your step count.  Every day is a new start, so if you had one bad day or even two the worse thing you can do is beat yourself up about, just start fresh the next day and stay positive!  HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Get The Skinny on Fat!

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Good fats, bad fats… what is the difference?  But there is a difference, there are good fats and bad fats to look for in your diet.

Fat is the target of much scorn, yet it serves up health benefits you can’t live without.  Fat supplies essential fatty acids (EFAs).  Your body is incapable of producing EFAs, known as linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid, so it must come from your diet.  In addition, fat carries vitamins A, D, E, and K, which are fat soluble vitamins, into and around the body.

Fat is also necessary for maintaining healthy skins, and plays an important role in promoting proper eyesight and brain develop in babies and children.

Although fat does good, it is usually the culprit in the battle of the bulge.  And it is easy to understand since fat contains 9 calories per gram.  Good fat or bad fat, it packs more than twice the calories per gram than carbohydrates and protein.  Yet, it’s a mistake to equate dietary fay with body fat.  You can get fat eating carbs and protein, even if you eat little dietary fat.  Excess calories from any source is what is responsible for weight gain, not fat per se.  If weight gain is your concern then watching your total calorie intake.

There is an established link between fat intake and heart disease and stroke.  Diets rich in saturated fat and trans fat, both “bad” fats, raise blood cholesterol concentrations, contributing to clogged arties that block the blood flow.

When it comes to fat quantity and quality count.  Make sure you read the labels on your food!

To understand the game, you need to know the players.  There are four major types of fats:

  • monounsaturated fats (good fats)
  • polyunsaturated fats (good fats)
  • trans fats (bad fats)
  • saturated fats (bad fats)
GOOD FATS
Monounsaturated fat Polyunsaturated fat
  • Olive oil
  • Canola oil
  • Sunflower oil
  • Peanut oil
  • Sesame oil
  • Avocados
  • Olives
  • Nuts (almonds, peanuts, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, pecans, cashews)
  • Peanut butter
  • Soybean oil
  • Corn oil
  • Safflower oil
  • Walnuts
  • Sunflower, sesame, and pumpkin seeds
  • Flaxseed
  • Fatty fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring, trout, sardines)
  • Soymilk
  • Tofu

 

Saturated fats and trans fats are known as the “bad fats” because they increase your risk of disease and elevate cholesterol.

Appearance-wise, saturated fats and trans fats tend to be solid at room temperature (think of butter or traditional stick margarine), while monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats tend to be liquid (think of olive or corn oil).

BAD FATS
Saturated fat Trans fat
  • High-fat cuts of meat (beef, lamb, pork)
  • Chicken with the skin
  • Whole-fat dairy products (milk and cream)
  • Butter
  • Cheese
  • Ice cream
  • Palm and coconut oil
  • Lard
  • Commercially-baked pastries, cookies, doughnuts, muffins, cakes, pizza dough
  • Packaged snack foods (crackers, microwave popcorn, chips)
  • Stick margarine
  • Vegetable shortening
  • Fried foods (French fries, fried chicken, chicken nuggets, breaded fish)
  • Candy bars

If you are concerned about your weight or heart health, rather than avoiding fat in your diet, try replacing trans fats and saturated fats with good fats. This might mean replacing fried chicken with fresh fish, swapping some of the meat you eat with beans and legumes, or using olive oil rather than butter.

  • Try to eliminate trans fats from your diet. Check food labels for trans fats. Avoiding commercially-baked goods goes a long way. Also limit fast food.
  • Limit your intake of saturated fats by cutting back on red meat and full-fat dairy foods. Try replacing red meat with beans, nuts, poultry, and fish whenever possible, and switching from whole milk and other full-fat dairy foods to lower fat versions.
  • Eat omega-3 fats every day. Good sources include fish, walnuts, ground flax seeds, flaxseed oil, canola oil, and soybean oil.