12 Healthy Eating Tips for the Holidays

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During the holidays it can be difficult to manage holiday eating and weight gain. I am thrilled to share these 12 healthy eating tips from Dr. Caroline Cederquist, M.D. to healthy holiday eating this holiday season, without missing out on any of your favorite staples. Here are 12 helpful tips:

  1. Drink Water. Drinking lots of water not only flushes toxins from your system but it also fills you up. Often times the body misinterprets thirst for hunger. Carrying a bottle of water with you not only will help reduce the urge to eat but it will also fill you up faster.
  2. Holiday Drinks. Alcohol has a lot of calories, as do eggnog, punch, and soft drinks, therefore try to limit these. If you are a soda drinker try to incorporate seltzer and maybe mix it with a little bit of juice. If you must have egg nog try to limit yourself to one and if making it yourself try using non-fat milk.
  3. If you’re hosting a holiday party, provide healthy snacks. Serve salsa with wholegrain, trans-fat-free chips or pita wedges. Offer guacamole with fresh vegetables.
  4. Eat smaller portions of food. This is especially important at a buffet, where you may want to try everything. Choose the items you want to try the most, and eat a small portion of each. Hors d’oeuvres
  5. Holiday hors-d’oeuvres. You don’t have to pass up the cheese tray just be smart about your choices. In addition to portion control, harder cheeses tend to be lower in fat than softer cheeses and opt for a whole-wheat or multi-grain cracker instead of one made with refined grain.
  6. Slow it down. You’ll enjoy your meals better if you eat slowly. Also eat less, because your stomach and brain will have time to realize it is “full.”
  7. Fill your diet with fruits and vegetables. The bulk of your meal should consist of fruits and vegetables.
  8. Holidays and the fast food trap. The holiday season can keep you on the go with little time to prepare meals. Fast food may be handy, but often is high in fat and calories. Prepare and freeze quick, healthy meals ahead of time to stay out of the fast-food trap.
  9. Holiday Staples and Stuffing. Cook stuffing outside of the turkey it’ll have fewer calories and will be healthier than the traditionally prepared stuffing. Also, when preparing the stuffing try to incorporate more vegetables and less bread.
  10. Don’t deprive yourself. Depriving one’s self of certain foods often leads to binge eating so if you want something eat it, just eat smaller portions and make the healthiest choice.
  11. Holiday deserts and your sweet tooth. If you are someone who loves their holiday pies you are not out of luck, just make smarter choices. Apple pie is probably better than other holiday favorites because it contains fruit and not as much sugar and calories as other rich desserts. Pumpkin pie is also a healthier choice than cookies and cakes. Fruit salad makes a delicious desert too.
  12. Holiday treats and the healthier option. If part of your holiday tradition involves baking cookies, make them with vegetable oil in place of solid fats or shortening. Add some whole grains or wheat germ, raisins, and nuts. Also, make the cookies mini-size. Use a teaspoon instead of a tablespoon for drop cookies and cut bar cookies into bite-size pieces. You can offer more varieties and you won’t have to bake nearly as many.

Thanks to bistroMD for sharing!

7 Healthy Halloween Tips

Who is ready for Halloween? I did my monthly radio show this week WMJJ Magic 96.5 FM Radio on “Healthy Halloween Eating Tips”, and I mentioned this recipe for Halloween Caramel Corn. It makes a great party, snack or dessert idea just in time for Halloween. I am so excited to have had the opportunity to get Oprah Winfrey’s trainer, Bob Greene to share some of his top healthy Halloween tips. Bob Greene, founder of TheBestLife.comoffers a few helpful hints for having a happy and healthy Halloween, and starting the holiday season off on the right foot. We all need this right?  “The key to enjoying Halloween is to have a plan of action beforehand,” says Greene. Here are his top 7 healthy Halloween tips:

1. Delay candy shopping: If you have bags of candy lying around your home for weeks before the holiday, you will start to dip into them. Stores will have plenty of candy to sell, even the day before Halloween so make this the last thing you do for the holiday

2. Opt for lower calorie treats: When you do shop, consider getting hard candy, such as small lollipops, which have fewer calories than gooey chocolate and caramel treats.

3. Buy your least favorite candy. If there’s a type of sweet you can’t stand, make that your candy of choice for treat-or-treaters. That way, you won’t be tempted to taste.

4. Eat before trick-or-treating: You will need the energy to take your kids around anyway, so you may as well have a healthy meal before heading out. If you’re feeling full, you’ll be less likely to sample all the sweets.

5. Don’t neglect your workouts: It’s fine to enjoy a little candy on Halloween, but don’t forget to sneak in a workout. Try to add an extra 15 minutes to your sweat session to help offset the calorie splurge.

6. Partner with other families: Find other like-minded moms and dads in your neighborhood who want to offer healthier options and make those homes your designated trick-or-treat spots.

7. Go bobbing for apples: Apples are high in fiber, plus they contain quercetin, which has cancer-fighting properties.

About Best Life 

Best Life is a company devoted to helping you become your healthiest. Its popular online weight loss plan, TheBestLife.com, based on Bob Greene’s best-selling The Best Life Diet, is focused on helping individuals create their best life and encouraging them to enjoy it each and every day. Behind all of our advice is the belief that losing weight shouldn’t be about counting calories or deprivation, eating nutritiously shouldn’t require sacrificing taste, and living healthfully shouldn’t be a chore. Rather, living your best life involves making smart choices that fit into your lifestyle. It’s about taking pleasure in eating foods that taste good and are good for you. Ultimately, it’s a way of living that brings more joy and satisfaction to your life.

Fitness Friday: Top 10 Get-Fit Shortcuts

Looking for new, fresh advice on getting fit? I have 10 awesome fitness shortcuts that will help you get fit and lean even faster.

1. Jump to it

Rather than plod through a slow warm-up jog, kick off your routine with 20 jumping jacks, says trainer Larysa DiDio, founder of PFX Fitness in Pleasantville, New York. In less than a minute, these simple but explosive old-school moves activate your upper-and lower-body muscles and quickly raise your heart rate and body temperature to prime you for your workout. Another reason to keep it short: A study in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that lengthy warm-ups can fatigue you, compromising your true workout.

2. Start Strong
People who pushed themselves in the first half of a workout and eased up during the second half burned 23 percent more fat than those who did the opposite, according to a study from the College of New Jersey. The study also found that a period of moderate-intensity exercise prior to a milder one can elicit greater fat oxidation while making the overall workout feel less stressful. One more reason to get the hard part out of the way.

3. Hit the Right Notes
Music moves you to burn more calories in less time by spurring you to crank up—and keep up—the effort. But not just any playlist will do (sorry, Adele). To increase workout intensity, listen to songs with a tempo of 125 to 140 beats per minute and lively lyrics, says Costas Karageorghis, Ph.D., author of Inside Sport Psychology, who has studied music’s impact on exercise for 20 years. His picks: “Moves Like Jagger,” by Maroon 5 featuring Christina Aguilera (128 bpm), “The Time (Dirty Bit),” by The Black Eyed Peas (128 bpm), and “Jai Ho (You Are My Destiny),” by A. R. Rahman & The Pussycat Dolls featuring Nicole Scherzinger (137 bpm).

4. Defy Gravity

Sculpting a perkier posterior may be as simple as hoisting heavier weights. The challenge to your muscles builds lean muscle faster, which is the secret to a tighter, lifted backside, says trainer Rachel Cosgrove, WH fitness contributor and author of The Female Body Breakthrough. Plus, it’s a stellar metabolism booster: Research shows you can burn nearly twice as many calories in the two hours after lifting heavier weights.

5. Join the Workout of the Month Club
When you stop seeing results, your first instinct may be to stay on the treadmill or elliptical longer. But tacking on extra minutes won’t rescue you from a plateau. What will: switching up your routine every 28 days—before you have a chance to stagnate. “It takes four to six weeks for your body to adapt to a workout,” says Cosgrove. “Once it becomes efficient at it, you use less energy and burn fewer calories and fat.” The good news is, you don’t need to completely overhaul your fitness routine every month, says Cosgrove. Even simple tweaks—say, adding a few hills to your daily run—can make the difference.

6. Lose your Balance
Multitasking is a useful skill at work—and during a workout. “Do upper-body strength training—biceps curls, overhead presses—on an unstable surface, such as a BOSU, a balance board, or even a couch cushion at home,” says DiDio. “You’ll use your core to stabilize yourself and keep from falling, so you’ll strengthen and tone your midsection while you work other muscle groups.”

7. Intensity Your Cardio

Slow and steady doesn’t win the race to hotness. Women who did 20 minutes of cycling sprint intervals lost three times as much fat in 15 weeks as those who cycled for twice as long at an even pace, according to research from the University of New South Wales in Sydney. High-intensity interval training (HIIT), in which you alternate between short bursts of intense exercise and recovery breaks, is one of the best—and most time-saving—ways to turn your body into a fat-burning machine, says Cosgrove.

8. Speed Lift

Do reps to a count of one second up, one second down. Researchers at Anderson and Ball State universities found that exercisers who performed a weight-lifting workout at a quick, explosive pace expended 70 more calories, on average, than those who did the workout at a normal pace.

9. Inch Up Your Incline
All it takes to torch 15 percent more calories on the treadmill? Adding a little incline, about 6 percent, to your usually flat run or walk, says DiDio. The higher the ramp, the more calories burned at any speed—without tacking a single minute on to your workout.

10. Make a Smartswap
Trade one of your weekly cardio workouts for a strength-training session to see more waist-whittling results. In a study at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, one group of dieters lifted three times a week and another did aerobic exercise for the same amount of time. Both groups consumed the same number of calories, and both shed the same amount of weight (26 pounds). But those who pumped iron dropped 100 percent fat, whereas the cardio group lost 92 percent fat and 8 percent muscle. Why this matters: Muscle incinerates calories even when you’re not working out. If you replace 10 pounds of fat with 10 pounds of lean muscle, you’ll burn an extra 25 to 50 calories a day even when you don’t break a sweat.

Want more? See this link at Women’s Health Magazine

Photo credit by Munetaka Tokuyama

 

Top 10 Heart Healthy Tips

February is heart health month, so I thought I would share some of my healthy heart tips. A few of my favorite heart healthy foods are salmon, nuts, oatmeal, dark chocolate, tomatoes, berries and even red wine (in moderation). Read on for some easy tips to better heart health.

1. Limit unhealthy fats and cholesterol-If you reduce trans and saturated fats, you can reduce your cholesterol.

Choose: canola oil and olive oil

Avoid: butter, lard, bacon, fat

2. Choose Low Fat Protein Sources-Choose lean meats, eat less red meat and choose heart healthy fish (such as wild salmon and mackerel). These are filled with omega 3-fatty acids. Other good options include lean meats and poultry, low-fat daily products and egg whites. Avoid full fat milk and dairy products, egg yolks, bacon and fried foods.

3. Eat more vegetables and fruits-Eat raw fruits and veggies, and if you cook your vegetables, steam, grill or sauté them.

Avoid: frying vegetables, vegetables in cream sauces and fruit in heavy syrup.

4. Eat Whole Grains and Seeds-Choose whole grains and add seeds such as ground flaxseed and chia seeds to your diet. Flaxseeds are small brown seeds that are high in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, which can lower your total blood cholesterol. You can grind the seeds in a coffee grinder or food processor and stir a teaspoon of them into yogurt, applesauce or hot cereal.

Avoid: white bread, cakes, and pies

5. Reduce sodium intake-Sodium can lead to high blood pressure. Choose fresh or dried herbs and spices instead of salt.

Avoid: table salt, full sodium canned soup, soy sauce, and tomato juice

6. Control portions-Watch your portions. A serving of pasta is ½ cup and the size of a hockey puck. 3 to 4 ounces of lean meat is the size of deck of cards.

7. Plan your daily meals ahead of time – Eat out less and cook healthy meals more.

8. Eat more Power-Foods-Power foods are those foods packed with antioxidants such as cherries, strawberries, berries, chia and flaxseeds, lentils, pomegranates, quinoa and more.

9. Exercise that heart-Try to exercise 5 to 6 times a week. Walk, run, dance, bike, swim or do what you love to get that heart pumping.

10. Replace junk food with fruits and vegetables– Start by replacing one junk food a week, and increase this every week  until you have a cleaner diet.

Photo above via pinterest  

photo above from Pinterest