How to Stay Fit During and After the Holidays

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In the world of fitness, this time of year means tons of new faces and lives being changed. New Year’s magically pulls people to exercise – maybe you’re feeling the pull yourself. Also a lot of us are going for a relaxing holiday; unfortunately all that indulgence typically leads to a pound gained for each day that you’re away. To help you combat these unwanted pounds, I’ve identified the five main reasons that people gain weight on vacation, as well as your strategic plan of avoidance.

By Stefan Lamping (Maxfit Performance)

Here are the five main reasons that people gain weight on vacation:

Reason #1: Not Having a Plan

Let’s face it, the vacation mindset is a set-up for gaining pounds. Your priority is to relax, and for most that means eating, resting and forgetting the gym. Your best line of defense is to keep your fitness goals at the forefront of your mind.

Your Plan: Before you leave for your trip sit down and set a goal. A realistic goal is to maintain your current weight or to lose a pound or two. The simple act of bringing your fitness goal to mind before leaving on your trip will greatly reduce your chances of coming home heavier.

Reason #2: Indulgent Snacking

There’s nothing like a vacation to cause you to throw all caution to the wind with indulgent snacking. Ice cream in the middle of the day, frozen coffee drinks topped with whipped cream, salty bags of chips and even a visit through a fast food drive thru. While these snacks may be fun, the damage will quickly catch up to you.

Your Plan: Approach your trip with the strategy of indulging with control. If you really must have a sweet treat, then make it small and follow it up with a balanced, protein-filled meal. Another way to reduce indulgent snacking is to bring along your own healthy options.

Dried or fresh fruit, unsalted nuts, health bars, cut veggies and low fat jerky are a good start. By filling up on these healthy snacks you will end up eating less when presented with a sweet or salty treat.

Reason #3: Forgetting Portion Control

You have no choice but to dine out while on vacation and whether you’re visiting five- star restaurants or fast food diners, you’re going to face the same problem: large portions. While the easiest thing to do with a big plate of food is to simply eat it all—you are on vacation after all…right?—that isn’t the best for your waist.

Your Plan: Decide here and now that you will not indulge in large portions. When you order your meal ask the waiter or waitress to bring you a doggy bag, Take half of your meal and place it safely into the box before you even begin to eat. This gives you no choice but to eat a healthy portion.

If you would rather not carry around a to-go box then ask that your entrée be made into a smaller portion. If it is dinnertime ask for the lunch-sized entree.

Reason #4: Eating Too Late

Who really wants to go to bed early while on vacation? The days stretch long and undoubtedly end with a nice big dinner. All these calories, eaten right before bed, will quickly land around your waist.

Your Plan: Simply stop eating three hours before you go to bed. This easy trick is especially effective while on vacation. So skip that late night indulgence and wake up looking and feeling great.

Reason #5: (Or At All)

Oh, groan, do I really have to exercise while on vacation? Yes, you do! That is if you want to look and feel younger and more alive. Too often exercise is looked at as work, but vacations are the perfect time to really enjoy a good workout. You won’t be rushing home, trying to squeeze in a few minutes at the gym, but rather the vacation workout can be a relaxing and enjoyable experience.

Your Plan: Look at vacation workouts as a treat, and make it a priority.

Here are some ideas:

  • We have some great Fun home workouts you can do alone or with the family, check out this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJuLdDwXpLg
  • Vacations are also a great time to take your workout outdoors; take a run on the beach or do sprints, pushups and crunches on a grassy field. If you want more ideas of workouts you can do using just your body weight then give me a call or send me an email.
  • Make a conscious effort to be active every day. Go on a brisk walk after your day’s activities. This is a great way to see a new city, and also a great way to burn off extra calories. Take the stairs instead of elevator in your hotel and any other buildings you visit.

Here are my Fitness Predictions for the year ahead:

  1. 2013 is the year that many will lose weight and regain their health. Times are changing. People are realizing that obesity has gotten out of hand, and exercise is back in the spotlight.
    The real food movement is taking the globe by storm as people turn away from fast and processed foods and return to wholesome, nutritious meals.
    2011 will be the year that many people adopt a healthier lifestyle and drop the extra weight. Maybe even you.
  2. Ninety-two percent of all New Year’s Resolutions will end in failure. While millions will start gung-ho in January with lofty goals for massive weight loss, the reality is that most will fail.

Here’s why:

  1. They bite off more than they can chew.
  2. In all the excitement of becoming a better person and transforming their life in the New Year, they make the crucial mistake of committing too much. But reality soon sets in and they give up.

Want to be a part of the 8% who will achieve their resolutions? Then set realistic goals

  • Instead of resolving to lose 50 pounds by June, commit to exercise 3-4 times each week.
  • Instead of resolving to give up all carbs, commit to bring healthy snacks to work instead eating from the vending machine.
  • Instead of resolving to lose 4-5 sizes, commit to losing 1 pound each week until you reach your desired size.
  • Instead of resolving to never eat out again, commit to eating healthy all week and reward yourself with one meal out on the weekends.

Remember that the whole point of making a New Year’s Resolution is to become a healthier, happier and more successful person. Small changes done consistently will make a big difference.

Here a Healthy Recipe you can insert wherever you want:

Easy Turkey Wrap

This wrap is perfect to pack for lunch or makes a quick and healthy dinner. It’s ready in a flash, tastes amazing, and is filled with lean turkey, veggies and whole sprouted grains. Try it today, but don’t be surprised if you get hooked!

Serves: 1 person

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 sprouted grain tortilla, 6 inches
  • 1 Tablespoon low fat cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup tomato, chopped
  • 1 cup lettuce roughly chopped
  • 3oz lean turkey slices
  • dash of salt and pepper
  1. Spread a tablespoon of cream cheese evenly over one side of the tortilla.
  2. Arrange the turkey slices over the cream cheese and layer with tomatoes. Top with lettuce, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roll the tortilla closed.
  3. Cut in half and enjoy.

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 228 calories, 6g fat, 21g carbohydrate, 4g fiber, and 21g protein.

Editor’s Note: Stefan Lamping is a former fat boy who decided he was sick of being fat at age 18. He changed his lifestyle completely, which resulted in gaining a ton of muscle and reaching single digit body fat. Six years later he quit his job as an electrician and became a certified personal trainer so he could devote his time to teaching you how to do the same. Unlike a lot of trainers out there, Stefan practices what he preaches, and knows exactly what you’re going through when you are having hard times while dieting. Besides being a personal trainer and innovative bootcamp superstar, Stefan is also a great salsa dancer and teacher, hereby destroying the myth that muscle makes you stiff and uncoordinated. Stefan can be reached at 089-071-822 or maxfitpor@gmail.com

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