Monday, August 30, 2010

The Back to School Fitness Action Plan

You've bought the school supplies, new shoes, back packs and are getting back into the swing of making lunches and shooing the little darlin's out the door...but what about YOU!!!

Did your summer consist of grabbing a bit of extra sleep in the mornings, eating on a different schedule, leaving the fitness and nutrition plan at the school door?  If so, then here are few steps to help you get your fitness and nutrition action plan under way...
  1. Schedule:  Just like everything else in your day, you need to schedule time for YOU!  If you have a spare hour, great...but if 10-15 min is all you can scratch out...well, it's better than nothing!  Make an appointment with yourself to look after you!
  2. Goals:  Review your old goals and remember why you started in the first place.  Maybe you need to change a few but most importantly, write them down!  Then you can go back and look at them to remind yourself why you started in the first place.
  3. Kitchen:  Take a look and see if some of your former "healthy" cupboard has been replaced by the sumer quickie foods and snacks that seem to appear when the kids are home.  Both you and they will benefit from a cupboard full of "fit" foods!
  4. Change Up:  Was part of the reason you ditched your fitness and/or nutrition routine because you were tired of what you were doing or seeing no results?  If so, it may be time to do something different.  Find something you like doing or find a friend to workout with you!
"If there were no schools to take the children away from home part of the time, the insane asylums would be filled with mothers". ~Edgar W. Howe

Saturday, August 14, 2010

4 Steps to Prevent Pound Rebound

When it comes to the scale, what goes down usually comes up; 95% of dieters regain the weight they lost within 3 years.  Want a few tips to help prevent regaining weight and beat the statistics?

Nearly 55% of regainers said office culture (business lunches, happy hours, birthdays and other office functions) is a diet saboteur.  Outsmart any overdulging by snacking on a handful of nuts or a fibre-rich bar such as Fibre 1 (around 140 cals) or 1/2 a Clif Bar (or make your won!) before you meet with clients or coworkers. 

The still-svelte people are twice as likely to eat a total of five or more servings of fruit and vegetables daily.  You can eat a pile of filling produce instead of a measly handful of chips for the same amount of calories or less.

When regainers start to put pounds back on, they are more likely to turn to diet books instead of the plan that helped them lose the weight in the first place.  Diet books can be a great refresher, but they can't replace healthy behaviours.  For a little "light" reading, try a low-cal cookbook.

Succesful losers continue to exercise for 30 to 60 minutes a day.  Don't drop your workout regimen once the pounds have melted off.  Exercise gives you an edge - burning even an extra 100 or 200 calories a day can help halt weight gain creeping back on.  Be sure to change your routine to help prevent boredom and your body adapting to doing the same thing all the time.

"The older you get, the tougher it is to lose weight, because by then your body and your fat are really good friends." - Anon

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Get Back on Track

Ah...vacation...holidays!!  As much as we love them...Does this sound like you???

Q.  I recently went away on vacation and spent the entire time drinking and eating fatty foods.  Now I'm sluggish and "out of whack!"  Are there any healthy ways to quickly get myself back on track?

A.  As with all overindulgences, it takes time to return to equilibrium.  Getting plenty of rest, exercising regularly, being well-hydrated and abstaining from alcohol for several days will usually do the trick. 

You may have missed out on some sleep and incurred a sleep debt.  If this is so, it's impossible to predict how much sleep you'll need to make up the deficit.  Say you've been awake for 24 hrs straight due to traveling - you'll probably need to "catch up" on at least the 8 hrs you missed.  I would suggest increasing your sleep for 1-3 subsequent nights to make up the deficit.  Pay close attention to your body; if you are still tired when you wake up, you'll need more sleep.  If not, you're more than likely already caught up!

In terms of detoxifying your body, fatty foods are not toxic.  Periodic excess of high-calorie comfort dishes is unlikely to cause long-term effects such as weight gain or elevated cholesterol.  Alcohol, however, is toxic.  Once consumed, it metabolizes into a toxic substance called acetaldehyde - which is more harmful to the body than the ingested alcohol itself.

I recommend spending the next week paying special attention to eating lots of fruit and veggies, in addition to drinking a minimum of 8-10 glasses of water daily.  Give your body a rest.  Get your mind and body back on track through some light cardio, light exercises and/or yoga.  If days go by without a sing of improvement, see your Doctor or nutritionist to review your diet.  Overindulgences have an effect on your homeostasis, but continued overindulgences can have more serious and long-term consequences!

“A vacation is having nothing to do and all day to do it in.” - Robert Orben