workout

Fighting the Holiday Bulge

Welcome to December! The month filled with eggnog, mouthwatering sweets, cookies, pies, endless holiday buffets, and tray-passed hors-d'oeuvres. And that’s just the company holiday party! It sounds fantastic, right?  Unfortunately, the joyful sentiments are not felt by everyone.  For some, the idea of navigating through endless food-focused gatherings brings up major anxieties that can override the enjoyment of the holiday season.

How to bring the joy back, you ask?  PH360 Founder, Trainer and Fitness Expert, Reinier Geyser (RG) offers this advice:

“Enjoy the seasonal fare, stay committed to your workout schedule and hydrate. But most Important, DO NOT COUNT CALORIES!” RG

 

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Here, Reinier highlights holiday events and tips for survival:

THE COCKTAIL PARTY

The biggest mistake: "saving up" for the holiday cocktail party. Eat regularly during the day. That way, you are less likely to overeat due to arriving at the party in starvation mode.  During the day, prepare for the party by eating a big salad that includes generous portions of healthy protein.

TIP: Appetizers, sweets and alcoholic drinks are filled with processed carbs and fats, so be sure to fill up on healthy protein during the day.

Mindful eating: Alcohol lowers inhibitions and affects your judgment, which leads to eating everything within arm’s reach. Therefore, be sure to alternate alcohol and non-alcoholic drinks, like sparkling water or mixers like club soda, tonic or ginger ale.

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THE HOLIDAY BUFFET

“Unlike the cocktail party, the buffet is the right time to show up hungry.” RG

But before you sprint towards the buffet, stand back and look at the entire spread. Choose what you REALLY want based on mindful-eating satisfaction and focus less on the calorie count. Don’t think about what is best to eat, but instead, what looks best to you.

Enjoy it and eat slowly to give your body a chance to communicate when it is satisfied. Most Important: don’t feel the need to finish your plate. Your meal should bring you pleasure, not guilt or anxiety.

THE FAMILY DINNER

"Family, the only social group that pressures us to overeat." RG

Family gatherings are traditionally filled with stress and pressure that catapults you back to adolescences. Simply put, expectations are high, and guilt runs through the roof.  Your goal: Set polite boundaries on every level, most important on the food level. Example:

“Thank you. It looks and smells amazing, but I’m not hungry.  Maybe later?”  Simply and kindly say it without creating food fights.

Another way to avoid food fights is to offer to help with meal prep (cut up fresh fruit, veggies or prepare the salad).

TIP: Remain calm and slow down when you’re eating to ensure that you don’t overeat. And, DON’T OVERDRINK.

AND IN THE END, IT’S WINTER:

Two or three pounds, and sometimes more, winter is the time of year when we all put on a little weight. Why? Because we eat more and move less.  

Don’t try to beat the scale with crazy diets and fads.  Most people lose the additional pounds within six to eight weeks after the holiday season.

In closing: Overall, good health and fitness should be the primary goal throughout the year. Even with the additional challenges and temptations associated with the holiday season, be sure to exercise, preparing your meals (as much as possible), and drink more water. And finally…

  • Don’t forget to move  

  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator

  • Take a walk instead of driving to the grocery store or other errands

  • Park further away, and

  • Re-up your Power Hour 360 Membership.


 

Sources: apa.org, healthline.com, cnn.com, mayoclinic.org.

OVERCOMING THE WEIGHT LOSS PLATEAU

Congratulations, you’ve finally stopped eating fried food and bringing candy and ice cream into the house. Suddenly, the weight starts melting off.  You’re feeling good, and taking a PowerHour360 class 3 to 4 times a week to tone, build muscle and burn some extra calories. You've lost weight, and possibly more than you expected, and things are looking up. But then, your body feels wrong …  bloated and stuck.  Welcome to the fitness vortex, you've entered the weight-loss plateau.

Even the worlds most fit and fabulous occasionally find themselves in the middle of a fitness or weight loss plateau. Sometimes, the cause is the need for a change in your workout routine. Maybe it's merely that stubborn 5 to 10 pounds that appear to be holding on for dear life. Or, your body likes to maintain a stable weight, known as set-point weight, and is simply resisting the additional push.

If you're still hard-pressed to lose those vanity pounds, here are eight tips to move the pesky pounds off the table.

1. Cut Back on Carbs ­– who doesn’t love carbs? Potato chips, popcorn, ice cream, pizza, crackers, candy, the list is endless. If in doubt, just let them go for a while. An occasional splurge or cheat meal is fine - it's important to include a splurge meal or day into your weekly meal plan­ - to avoid going completely off the rails. But, daily meals and snacks primarily made up of carbs, will guarantee a long layover in the weight loss plateau. 

2. Eating Too Little or Working Out Too Much ­– both can and will slow your metabolism to a snail’s pace. The body will slow itself down in response to a lack of food or excessive amounts of exercise to conserve itself.

--> DID YOU KNOW? Studies have shown that if you do aerobic exercise for more than 1 hour a day, your metabolic rate can drop by as much as 15%.

3. Alcohol in Moderation ­– you don't need to cut alcohol out entirely. But if you're trying to lose weight, cutting your intake in half is an excellent place to start.

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4. Track What You Eat – keeping a food diary, adjust your calorie intake, and focus on portion sizes, (you'd be surprised what a serving of salad dressing looks like), can help you keep close track of your daily intake.

5. Drink More Water – 64oz a day.  Enough said.

6. Get More Sleep – Getting plenty of Z’s (a minimum of seven hours) every night may help your body push past a weight loss plateau.

7. Adjust Your Fitness Routine. – Increase weight and decrease reps. Up the intensity. Set a goal. If you don’t have a specific goal, pick one.

8. Manage Stress – Getting a handle on your stress level is essential and allows your body to eliminate negative energy, waste, and pain. Plus, a stress hormone called cortisol, may increase the amount of fat your body stores away.  In fact, research has shown that higher levels of cortisol have been linked to increased amounts of visceral fat. Try to incorporate PH360's Stretch and Reset, Yoga, or Meditation into your wellness routine.

 

Sources: eathis.com, webmd.com, health.com. ruled.me

Fit and Fabulous for Fall

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Is it Fall already? It seems like it was only weeks ago that we were getting swimsuit sexy for Summer! With school back in session and your schedule operating on all cylinders, now is the perfect time to ramp up a fall fitness routine that will prepare you for the holiday season. Fall also offers the perfect weather to get outdoors, so use this time of year to your advantage. 

Here are five simple ways to help you carve fitness into your fall schedule:

1.    Keep it Close to Home.  Let's face it; we do what comes easy. What will guarantee that your fitness get-up-and-go stays on target, is finding a convenient and close exercise location near your office or home.

PRO TIP: With three PH360 locations now open throughout the valley there is no excuse for missing a workout! 

2.    Fall Foliage.  The advantages of group training are endless but don't forget that this is the perfect time of year to enjoy outdoor activities. This season is the perfect time to take advantage of local parks, walking trails, camping and hiking.  Plus, the cooler air is great for your body and makes outdoor activities more comfortable.

3.    Have a Plan.  Commitment begins with having a plan. So, eliminate excuses by planning ahead. Keep your gym bag packed at all times and keep it in your car.  Pick a minimum of three days a week, to include a specific time to exercise, and stick to it. If your plan includes outdoor activities like hiking or bike riding, have a predetermined trail in mind. That way, you are less likely to deviate from your plans or simply cancel.

4.    What’s in Season?  Detoxify and rejuvenate your system by including seasonal fruits and vegetables into your diet that your body needs for sustained health.  BONUS: you’ll spend less money while consuming the vitamins and nutrients that your body craves.

5.    Give it 30 Days.  On average, it takes 21-days to form a habit and about 60-days before it becomes a routine. Give your plan 30-days, and you will be on your way to staying fit for fall and the holiday season.

Sources: huffingtonpost.com, elitedaily.com, webmd.com