A season of consuming eggnog, turkey gravy, peppermint bark and pumpkin pie can pack on the pounds leaving you feeling out of control and defeated. The good news is that it you can make significant progress in your health and fitness during the holidays while still enjoying some of your favorite traditions.
Not many people can say they are finishing the year healthier, leaner and fitter than they started, but it’s still possible with two months remaining. Incorporate these 10 proven ways to lighten up, detoxify, boost metabolism, and build muscle and look and feel your best by New Year’s Day.
Sleep 7 or more hours a night. Lack of sleep is closely linked to excessive hunger cravings. Sleep is also necessary for detoxification where hormones clean up the toxins from the day. For every hour less of sleep, it significantly increases obesity and toxicity. Sleeping is something we should all look with its energizing and healthy effects.
Stay hydrated. In order for fat to be metabolized, the body must be hydrated. Multiply your body weight by .55 to estimate how many ounces of water you should consume daily. Increase that number if you are exercising.
Consume a nourishing diet. The food that passes your lips should be the most nutritious so that your body can get the most positive return for every calorie. Foods that are natural such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, fish and other lean protein should be the staple of any diet, avoiding all processed foods.
Incorporate cleanse days. One day per week, engage in a cleanse day where you consume a nourishing drink loaded with essential oils, botanicals, vitamins and minerals, such as Cleanse for Life by Isagenix. On this day, drink 16 oz. of the cleanse drink and incorporate raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, green tea, water and scrambled or hard-boiled egg whites. This day will be a lower calorie day giving your body a chance to focus on releasing fat rather than digesting food. This will be your most nutritious day of the week!
Use a meal replacement shake. Isa Lean Shakes by Isagenix are convenient, tasty, have 23 vitamins and minerals, fiber, are non-allergic, contain an excellent source of undenatured whey protein, are low glycemic and delicious. You can add nut butters, fresh pumpkin, fruit, or other natural ingredients for variety. It’s a fraction of the cost of a traditional meal and it’s a filling and balanced way to start the day. Shakes are also lower in calories and fat and can be used to replace one or two meals per day.
Engage in morning exercise. Morning exercisers stick to their workouts. Later in the day other opportunities quickly trump workout time and the excuses pile up with justifications about why you can’t get sweaty or how the traffic will be too heavy at the mall. Join an early morning boot camp 3–5 days per week like the award winning Argyle Adventure Boot Camp to burn 500+ calories before breakfast.
Say No. Finding yourself overbooked during the holiday season is detrimental to your health and fat burning on many levels. An in demand schedule cuts into your time for exercise, sleep, healthy cooking and contributes to a chronic high stress level making it more difficult to release fat and regulate hormones. Say no to activities that do not align with the goals of you and your family. You can also schedule visiting, entertaining, volunteering, hosting or other activities after the holidays so that you can enjoy the things that you do commit to.
Have a vision. Know why you want to choose salads over sandwiches or fresh berries over gingerbread. Have a deeper commitment about why you want to get your body moving in the morning versus lying in bed for an extra 20 minutes. Be loyal to your vision of a vibrant, energetic, youthful self so that the choices you make align with your vision. Your decisions will become congruent and rational without a struggle or feeling of deprivation. Keep the big picture in mind.
Exercise with a buddy. Accountability is a huge component in the difference between sticking to your fitness plan or dismissing it! Having a friend whose fitness level is slightly higher than yours, who you respect and who you don’t want to disappoint, is key to engaging in those body changing workouts! Commit to a schedule and stick to it, or better yet, join a group of like-minded people at Argyle Adventure Boot Camp where you will be encouraged. The level of intensity will be higher than when on your own and the results will show.
Plan for scheduled “me” time. During the work day, while at your desk, set time in your calendar for “me” breaks where you take 5 minutes of every hour to stretch, go for a walk, perform deep breathing, meditate or take a few brisk strides up and down a set of stairs or in the fresh air. Planned time for you keeps you calm, from making emotional eating (or drinking) decisions, and allows for clear thinking. A calm body can release more fat than one that is stressed out and it feels good mentally, physically and spiritually to take some quiet time out of a busy day.
Remember that you cannot separate the body, mind and spirit and you always want to exercise common sense as you are led to make the best possible choices for your well being. Whatever decisions or opportunities come your way during the holidays, remember to make choices that will allow for the most excellent outcome. The excuses end here. There is no need to wait until the New Year. Finish the year strong and fit!
Kelli Calabrese is a clinical exercise physiologist, the owner of Argyle Adventure Boot Camp, an executive with Isagenix International and owner of the Divine Health Studio. She is an author, spokesperson, coach and has a radio program called Fit Lifestyles. For more information go to www.KelliCalabrese.com; www.ArgyleBootCamp.com, KelliJ@KelliCalabrese.com or 817-490-1296.