Some Thoughts On Excess Holiday Poundage
average American gains approximately seven pounds between Thanksgiving
and New Years. There are endless opportunities to pack on pounds.
My theory is that it starts to go wrong beginning with Thanksgiving
dinner and goes south from there. (Especially if you follow the
Glutenfreeda style of food preparation where everything tastes
great!) If you eat normally all day and go into Thanksgiving dinner
in your usual state of caloric intake, youre more vulnerable
to overeat at dinner. It seems justified, after all, its
a special occasion. Thats just the start of the special
occasions to overeat on the way to the New Years extra
the usual Thanksgiving overdose of food, most people feel stuffed,
regretful of eating so much, and hopeful that it was just that
one instance and not a pattern. That negative feeling can take
hold and influence the same behavior at the next holiday gathering.
People who fall off their diets often figure that theyve
been bad and wrong about food intake and feel defeated. The next
step in thinking can be, why fight it?
if you decided to budget your holiday food intake the same way
you budget your holiday spending money? Instead of skipping all
the good stuff and becoming a martyr, why not plan your indulgences
so you can enjoy them, guilt-free?
of all, if you moderately increase your activity, (a brisk walk
on your lunch hour, a few times a week perhaps?) your body will
forgive some of your less fortunate food choices. You build in
a little bit of a buffer zone against weight gain.
resolve to control weight gain but dont expect yourself
to lose weight during this time. The high expectations can program
you to fail and give up.
begin to budget food intake on the days youre having a special
event like a Christmas party or a dinner party. Eat a balanced
but minimal breakfast and lunch during the day. That way you dont
have to feel food deprived. When you face the buffet table or
the dinner table, you can eat a reasonable amount and not have
to face the unhappy truth on the scale.
avoid the egg nog or other rich drinks. Theres a big difference
in the caloric makeup of those festive holiday drinks and a glass
of wine. Also, alcohol lowers your food inhibitions, so moderate
your intake to avoid a binge.
last, spend your party calories frugally try to graze your
buffet table, choosing some of the lesser evils like veggies.
That way youll feed your hunger and avoid overdoing on the
most fattening items. (Do allow yourself some of those, (the gluten-free
ones, of course,) and enjoy every bite!)
of luck getting through the holidays in good shape. All that said,
if you have trouble with your financial holiday budget, you might
experience the same difficulty in budgeting your holiday calories.
Wouldnt it be nice to be able to combine both food and financial
counseling when you visit your local consumer counseling service?
are all fitness moves you can do at home. The ones that you do
with a chair are great for staying in shape when you travel.
Chair Double Dip:
(Lower abdominals, obliques, triceps)
A: Stand with your back to the chair and place your
hands on the armrests. Raise one leg off the floor.
Bend your elbows to 90-degree angles while you bend your
extended leg and reach the knee toward your chest. Return
to the starting position. Do 15 reps. Repeat with the other
leg extended. Work up to three sets with each leg.
(Shoulders, chest, triceps)
Stand several feet from a chair that youve placed
against a wall. Hold the armrests and lean forward till
your body is in a straight line.
Slowly lower yourself toward the chair by bending your elbows
to a 90-degree angle. Push back up, slowly. Work up to 3
sets of 15 reps.
(Hip flexors, gluteals, thighs)
Stand facing the back of a chair. Hold onto the top of the
chair with both hands. Cross one leg over the other knee.
Slowly bend the floor leg and lower yourself until you feel
a gentle stretch in your right buttock and your thigh. Hold
this pose for up to 15 seconds. Slowly return to the start
position. Work up to 3 sets on each side.
Lie on your back with your heels resting on an exercise
ball (you can also substitute a heavy chair.) Rest both
arms flat on the floor, palms down. Lift your hips while
pressing your heels into the ball or the chair. Bend one
knee, rolling the ball closer to your body using your heel
to cause the movement. Repeat on each leg, working up to
3 sets of 15 repetitions on each leg.
For an advanced challenge, extend one foot toward the ceiling
from the lifted base position. Switch legs. Rest and repeat,
work up to 3 sets of 15 repetitions.
Lie face-down on the exercise ball with your belly button
centered in the middle of the ball and your legs placed
out wide apart to form a solid base of support.
Clasp your hands behind your head. Slowly raise your chest
upward, off the ball. Slowly return to your base position.
Work up to 20 slow-motion repetitions.
Lie on your back. Open your knees to each side and put the
soles of your feet together. Life a 5-pound weight with
both your hands and raise your arms to a 45-degree angle
over your torso.
Squeeze your abdominals to raise your torso off the floor.
Reach as far forward as possible, then slowly lower and
start again. Work up to 3 sets of 15 repetitions.