While the holidays can be the most wonderful time of year, with cooler weather, family gatherings and delicious foods, they can also be a minefield for those looking to maintain their weight-loss and fitness goals. Katie Mitchell, director of fitness, and Amanda Turner, registered dietitian, with Curves International Inc. offer the following tips to help stay on track with food and health goals:
1.) Eat before you go to a party: Never go to a party hungry. Eating a high-fiber or protein-based snack like a turkey rollup and an apple will help fill you up and ensure your blood sugar levels stay consistent preventing over indulgence in calorie-laden party foods. Simply take 4 oz. of turkey slices and 2 tsp. of whole grain mustard, spread the mustard on the turkey, roll and enjoy. Slice up an apple if you are still hungry. Once at the party, make sure to drink a glass of water before you grab a plate.
2.) Bring your own healthy item: When you are invited to a party, take a healthy dish with you. This will ensure there is at least one healthy food option at the party.
3.) Measure your portions: Using measuring cups and spoons, rather than eye-balling and guessing, will help with portion control. If you are out and about and can't measure, use these basic measurement estimators: A fist = 1 cup, palm sized = approximately 4 oz. of a meat portion, deck of cards = 3 oz. of meat, tip of thumb = 1 tbsp., tip of pinky = 1 tsp., tennis ball= 1 fruit serving, golf ball sized = 2 tbsp.
4.) Keep a food diary: Keeping a food diary, either online or in a journal, can help you keep track of your weight-loss goals. In fact, some research has shown that those who keep a food journal lose up to twice as much weight. Recording your food intake can also help you think twice about that extra serving of mashed potatoes at dinner. Be sure to enter your food intake online right after a meal or event.
5.) Avoid liquid calories: Liquid calories do not satisfy your hunger as much as solid foods. It is best to choose calorie-free beverages like water, unsweetened-tea, black coffee, and seltzer water for beverages. If you plan to drink alcohol, limit yourself to one 5 oz. glass of wine, a 12 oz. beer, or a small cocktail with 1 oz. of liquor. If you prefer mixed drinks, try a calorie free mixer like soda water with lemon or lime wedges, crystal light, or diet options rather than regular options.
6.) Add activity: Look for efficient and effective workouts. Seek a fitness program that combines strength training with cardio; you need it all in order to protect and increase muscle, burn fat, strengthen the heart and lungs, and promote flexibility. Check out clubs like Curves for a 30-minute, full-body workout, plus ideas for meal plans, support and motivation.
While we are here for our members year-round, we know how hectic and tempting the holiday season can be. At Curves, our members can get the help they need to stay on track with their weight-loss and fitness goals. In particular, Curves Complete offers weekly check-ins to help keep members accountable to a Coach and to themselves, which we know to be a valuable tool for success.
For more information about Curves of Dunkirk, located at 1170 Central Ave., contact a Curves of Dunkirk, staff member at 679-2878 or 9B2G2LK@curvesmail.com. For more information about Curves, please visit www.curves.com.