Friday, November 14, 2008

Fusion's Holiday Bulge Buster Plan

From Thanksgiving till past New Year’s, most Americans are tempted to indulge in waistline increasing behavior. Holiday parties mean free alcohol and fattening appetizers, huge holiday feasts bring high-calorie foods and sedentary hours, and nonstop travel, shopping and family can disrupt work-out regimens and increase stress. In fact the average American adds 7 pounds of unhealthy weight gain over the holidays - a most unwanted and unneeded yuletide gift.

Fusion: Heart Muscle Mind, has a plan to not only beat back holiday weight, but obliterate it. Our Holiday Bulge Buster Plan is effective by focusing on the energy equation,
calories in = calories out. We want to participate in holiday festivities so we can expect that we will be increasing our caloric intake, so the plan is about keeping those calories from skyrocketing and ensuring we are still burning enough calories no matter where we are so extra ones don't turn into belly fat.

Work Out Efficiently When You Do Have Time
While parties, shopping, travel and family all take time out of your schedule don't use them as an excuse to stop your routine all together. You just need to be smarter and more efficient, so schedule time, leave work a smidgen early or workout in the mornings/weekends. When you can make it to the gym hit it hard with a coach/program like Fusion's Cross-training workouts, designed to be as efficient as possible, producing a very high caloric burn of up to 1000 calories per session with all the heart health, lean body and stress relief you could ask for.

Break the Rules and You'll Find Support
The holiday bulge is well known and documented, but it is not just the excessive food and coach surfing that does it, there is stress and angst during the holidays and an assumption nobody is interested in being active. In fact, most people don’t want to “feel fat” and lethargic but culturally they comply. What it is going to take is some bravery and leadership to change your holiday culture to a healthier, active one. This isn't a revolution, merely an evolution to a smarter way of celebrating what is actually important. I hope it is not a surprise to you that what is special about the holiday season is not food, football and drinking, it is about selfless giving, being thankful, and strengthening family ties. So break those unspoken, peer pressure rules that put on the holiday bulge!

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Create New Active Traditions
On a regular basis we run into motivation barriers if we don’t have a separate, inspiring place to workout and coaches to push and educate us, but over a vacation or holiday break a personal or family workout at home can be a great way to break family tensions, food fatigue and bond while working out. Here are some great suggestions for new traditions before or after meals or in the morning before you even get into the eating:
  • Long walks or jog (easiest to pull off)
  • Ice skating (adds some excitement, Penn's Landing!)
  • Basement Boot Camp (teaches the kids)
  • Fun Fitness Triathlon (max push-ups, sit-ups, squats)
During Fusion’s proven boot camp-style work-outs, clients will not only experience a first class fitness session, but also be educated on body weight exercises and stretches they can do anywhere, even at grandma’s.

Quality Over Quantity

Our regular drinking habits, eating portions and choices often get thrown out the window with holidays in an effort to create more pleasure and frivolity. From past experiences however we should know that more is not better, it is actually worse. There is a reason for upset stomachs, heart burn, embarrassing gas, food coma, drunken word vomit, drunken real vomit and hangovers... that is your body and mind screaming at you that you over did it! Unfortunately our current culture is all about over doing it, be it financially with credit/purchasing, or with alcohol and junk food, so again this is about bucking the trend and setting a higher, smarter standard. Here are some tactics from Fusion’s nutritionist Jesse Frank:

  • Lower Calorie Cocktails
    (Pick light beers and use zero calorie club soda instead of tonic/cola/juice)
  • Drink Like A Connoisseur
    (Take your time drinking and enjoy every small sip)
  • Alternate Drinks with Water
    (water fills you up and hydrates you while still looking the part of the happy party goer)
  • Indulge in Pre-Dinner Drinks or Apps, NOT Both (the biggest calorie add during holidays is all the extras before and after dinners)
  • Load up on Healthy Dishes
    (salads, turkey, fish, veggies, etc.)
  • Skimp on Unhealthy Dishes
    (stuffing/bread, butter based dishes, fatty beef/ham, gravy, jellied cranberry, pie, etc.)
  • Normal Portion with No Second Helpings
    (unless you want to feel sick)
  • Do You Really Want Dessert
    (by this time most have overeaten, take it home)
By creating some new active traditions and setting new eating/drinking rules you get enjoy what is most important during the holidays more and keep yourself looking and feeling great. If your body is saying no, listen.

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