Celeb Tips: Holiday Slimdown Secrets
The average person gains 7-10 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.
It is easy to put on weight, but it’s not so easy to take it off come January. The holidays are not a license to throw your healthy lifestyle out the window. Rather, they should be a time to be even more aware of how you treat your body. Here are the top six ways that stars stay so fit through the holidays.
Plan your eating. Mark all of your holiday parties on a calendar and create a personal eating guideline for each event. Plan to eat lean the days before and after the party. Don’t waste calories on bad food! I always say: Make a plan or plan to fail.
Set a calorie curfew. Write down your calorie total for the day and be sure to stay within these numbers. Then set a curfew and don’t eat after it. A great curfew time is 8 p.m.
Go veggie crazy. If you like to nibble, then veggies are your best friend. It will take you all night to overeat if you’re eating fresh vegetables (without creamy dips); meanwhile, you can easily consume 100-200 calories with an ounce of cheese or a handful of nuts. Be honest with yourself ahead of time and set yourself up for success by bringing the veggie plate!
Stand firm. Don’t be intimidated, persuaded or cajoled into overindulging at a holiday gathering. When the hostess offers you something that isn’t right for you, smile and politely decline. You can say, “No thanks,” “I’m stuffed,” or “I’m allergic.” If all else fails, take a cue from your kids and simply say, “I’m sorry, but I just don’t like that.”
Begin with the end in mind. Winners always do this. Don’t start your day with a latte and bagel. Instead, start your day off with a metabolism-boosting protein shake or egg whites. By preparing, you set the eating tone for your day. The same goes for parties: Go in prepared. Don’t starve yourself and enter a party ravenous. Instead, eat clean and go to the party sated. That way, you can control the food instead of letting it control you.
Don’t forget to exercise. Studies have shown that when people exercise, they tend to eat better. Exercise more when there are lots of parties happening. Add an extra walk or cardio session to what you are already doing. It will not only burn extra calories, but it will keep you out of trouble. Instead of baking, do more cardio. And remember not to set unrealistic goals: Aim for progress, not perfection.
Energy Drinks: 3 Natural Alternatives
What would you say if I told you that your energy drink contained a half-cup of sugar, excessive levels of caffeine, unidentified stimulants, red food dye and taurine, among other health-harming ingredients? Many of the most popular energy drinks contain ingredients you wouldn’t put in your car – so why would you put it in your body?
Energy drinks are supposed to provide mental and physical stimulation for a set amount of time and are mainly used during periods of strenuous physical activity and to quench thirst. Unfortunately, energy drinks do not hydrate the body and can actually cause dehydration. Energy drinks can also cause serious health problems, such as increased blood pressure, stomach problems, panic attacks, anxiety, and cardiac arrhythmias. They can even cause tooth erosion.
One of the major concerns of consuming these energy drinks when you’re tired is that it masks the symptoms of fatigue. When we do this, we push our bodies past what they are capable of doing and place dangerous strain on the heart muscle. Even drinking too much coffee can place this strain on our bodies and our hearts. Masking fatigue by using stimulants like energy drinks or drinking strong coffee makes us feel worse in the long run. When we crash, we feel even more tired and weaken our immune system, as well as stressing our adrenal system. Headaches, nausea, as well as severe irritability are a few of the symptoms that can be felt when coming off these types of drinks. This is what makes them highly addictive – the only way to feel better is to drink another one or take more supplements.
So, what should we do when we are tired and not feeling good? We need to step back and assess why we are so tired in the first place. The solution is in the problem! Most people are tired and lack energy due to poor sleep and/or because they aren’t getting enough of the right nutrients that make us feel good and keep our energy levels balanced all day.
3 Things You Can Do to Increase Your Energy
1. Get enough protein. Sixty percent of women do not get enough protein in their diets and that is often the number-one reason for fatigue! Reaching your body’s protein requirements is not easy and it’s a lot of work. Most of us need to consume 1 gram of protein per pound of lean body weight. If you want to weigh 120 pounds, you need to consume 120 grams of protein per day from lean sources such as egg whites, fish, turkey and chicken breast, or non-fat cottage cheese. I suggest that all women drink a high-quality protein shake every day to satisfy their body’s nutrient requirements.
Protein shakes make your life easy. You don’t have to think, plan or cook – just drink and go! Be sure to look for a high-quality whey protein shake that is under 160 calories and has no fat, minimal carbs and under 5 grams of sugar. Make sure the whey protein you choose is geared for health and weight loss and NOT weight gain, so you can add it to oatmeal or make a delicious shake for breakfast.
I also recommend that the shake have at least 2000 mg of glutamine already added to it. Glutamine is an awesome brain booster that can help ease depression and keep you alert for hours without the crashes that come with energy drinks. I adore my chocolate whey drink every morning in a small cup with very little water; I eat it like fudge brownie batter – yet it’s virtually sugar-free, contains no fat, and is absolutely delicious! If I dont want it cold, I make it like “healthy hot chocolate” or add it to my oatmeal. I always struggle with meeting my protein requirements and having a whey protein shake makes reaching my daily numbers do-able because I can add it to my coffee or to baked goods, such as health muffins. Whey has also been known to decrease blood pressure and increase energy, strength, and also ease depression.
2. Sleep more. Plan your life around your sleep schedule to get as much sleep as possible. It’s as simple as planning your activities so that you are home in enough time to relax and get sleepy. There is nothing more powerful as a good night’s sleep! Getting enough rest is the very best way to slow aging and feel great! Aim for 7-8 hours each night and create a sleep pattern so you go to bed at the same time every day and wake up at the same time every day, even on your days off. It will be well worth it – I promise. This step is extra important for anyone who struggles with depression and anxiety. If all else fails and you can’t sleep well due to stress or hormonal changes, take 3 mg of melatonin 30 minutes before bedtime or six drops of oxytocin to ease anxiety and help you sleep deeper. All healing happens when we sleep, so make it your priority!
3. Drink water! We all need to consume a minimum of eight glasses of water daily to hydrate our bodies. If we are even a little dehydrated, our metabolism can slow down up to 3%! Fill a large water pitcher full of cold water, and add slices of lemons, limes or oranges to make it more appealing so you’ll drink more. Not only does it look great, but it’s less expensive than buying bottled water, which helps our Earth at the same time. Get out your favorite glass and leave the pitcher out in front of your face so you’re called to it everytime you walk by.
Taking care of your health is the best way to prevent fatigue so you never need to buy those garbage drinks again!
Not all exercise will help you burn fat or boost your metabolism. If you’re trying to speed up your metabolism and strip your body of excess fat, you must do an hour of cardio a day and lift weights three times a week in a specific way. Let me break down how to get it right, so you can use your time and energy most efficiently and achieve fast results.
It’s best to exercise in the early morning – not just because it gets the workout out of the way, but because your body is in the low-sugar, carb-depleted state that most effectively burns fat and speeds up the metabolic process. Drink a full glass of water and take a fat-burning L-Carnitine supplement the minute you wake up. Enjoy a cup of black coffee (two sweeteners are fine but no milk) and get to it. I strongly suggest that you get the cardiovascular part of your training out of the way first because it’s the most time-consuming and makes you sweat! You need to do one hour of moderately-paced cardio every day (yes, that means seven days a week) until your body is prompted to burn fat.
The best type of cardio exercise is the one you like best. You don’t need to kill yourself; you just need to move. If you like biking indoors, check out a recumbent bike. I find women who are on their feet all day prefer them because they burn calories and make you want to ride them! You can even read on them. This was even how I got Martha Stewart to do her cardio!
If you want to lose body fat, you must do add weights to your cardio routine. Working out to lose body fat is different that just working out or bulking up. If you don’t want to bulk up, you must find the right balance of lifting weights at least three times per week in a circuit-style manner (no resting in between sets) and working the whole body every workout. Precisely how you lift depends on your strengths and weaknesses, as well as your body shape. For instance, a woman who bulks up in the thighs and buttocks will want to stick to slimming moves for the legs. Don’t be afraid to lift heavy because lifting heavy will keep your body tight. The trick is to do just the right sets and exercises. Use the heaviest weights that you can safely manage while performing 12 repetitions per set. Lift with intensity, as if you’re in a rush. If you’re tired, go slower that day but do it. You will not be sorry.
Finally, remember that controlling your diet is 80% of the weight-loss battle. Focus on green vegetables and lean proteins.
To recap, here are the four things that you need to do to get leaner and in the best shape of your life.
1. Lift weights at least three times per week.
2. Do your daily cardio for 45-60 minutes at a moderate pace.
3. Food is 80% of your success, so eat clean, lean food.
4. Take the right supplements for fat loss.