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TINAKATRINA1's Photo TINAKATRINA1 Posts: 6,002
12/13/11 9:38 A

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www.sparkpeople.com/resource/fitness
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Burn Off Holiday Calories!
25 Ideas, No Gym Time Required
-- By Nicole Nichols, Personal Trainer

Ah, the holidays are officially here!

And as much as we look forward to them, and all that comes with them (the friends, the family, and of course, the food!) it’s hard to escape the stress that they also bring.

"Exercise routine? Heh. Healthy eating? Forget about it." Sound like you?

Between the cooking, cleaning, traveling, decorating, shopping, and entertaining, how can you fit in your normal exercise routine? Or even a shorter exercise routine?

Well, if you’re like most "normal" Americans, you’ve probably bitten off more than you can chew when it comes to responsibilities. So, here’s a list of common holiday activities and the number of calories they burn. Realistically, you can keep your caloric intake in check (by keeping portions small and making healthier recipe substitutions), and by adding up these common activities—like cooking and cleaning—you can still burn a hefty sum of calories without setting foot in the gym.

(Based on a 40-year-old 5’5", 140-pound woman. Men, and women weighing over 140 pounds will burn more calories during the same activities.)

Bathing dog (to look and smell pretty for guests!): 15 minutes = 56 calories
Wrapping gifts or making crafts (hello party favors): 30 minutes = 48
Bagging grass & leaves: 30 minutes = 127 calories
Light baking (of all your favorite treats): 1 hour = 159 calories
Tending bar for guests (not drinking it yourself!): 1 hour = 146 calories
Changing bed linens (for the out-of-towners): 15 minutes = 40 calories
Loading & Unloading the car (suitcases, groceries, kids): 10 minutes = 32 calories
Carrying groceries: 5 minutes = 13 calories
Taking out Trash: 2 minutes = 5 calories
Carrying wood or lumber (Marshmallows not included): 5 minutes = 26 calories
General to Heavy house cleaning: 1 hour = 191 calories
Clearing dishes from the table: 5 minutes = 13 calories
Washing dishes by hand: 15 minutes = 37 calories
Dusting: 15 minutes = 40 calories
Family Reunion (includes sitting, talking and eating…not fighting): 1 hour = 95 calories
Food preparation: 1 hour = 195 calories
Flag Football (fun for the whole family): 1 hour = 508 calories
Putting away groceries: 5 minutes = 13 calories
Quick nature hike after dinner: 15 minutes = 95 calories
Light jogging (to get away from scary relatives): 15 minutes = 127 calories
Mowing lawn (pushing power mower): 20 minutes = 95 calories
Mopping floors: 15 minutes = 56 calories
Playing catch (baseball or football): 30 minutes = 79 calories
Raking lawn: 30 minutes = 137 calories
Grocery shopping (with cart): 30 minutes = 73 calories
Grocery shopping (with basket): 30 minutes = 79 calories
Socializing while standing: 1 hour = 127 calories

So, if you’re finding it impossible to get to the gym, try something new this year…like NOT avoiding the extra holiday chores. Your partner and/or host will be happy, and so will you for keeping your waistline in check.

Tina

"Life's a dance, you learn as you go... " Go ahead and dance!

Reading about Paleo and Raw Food diets is inspiring changes in My diet! Just enough to want to add lots of veggies!


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TERRIJ7's Photo TERRIJ7 SparkPoints: (136,411)
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12/7/11 1:02 A

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Another great blog! This is really GOOD advice~

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LILY8486's Photo LILY8486 Posts: 3,452
12/6/11 4:35 P

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Great article... Thanks! I am printing this out!!!!

Lily/Tracey
Vagabonds and ragamuffins all, He saw us before we were born. And he loves what he sees.
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TINAKATRINA1's Photo TINAKATRINA1 Posts: 6,002
12/6/11 9:59 A

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Lose Weight Over the Holidays!
20 Tips to Help You Succeed
-- By Nicole Nichols, Fitness Instructor & Health Educator

For weeks, you have tracked your food and exercised regularly to improve your health and alter the shape of your body. More than a "diet" or a fitness fad, you've created real lifestyle changes and built the confidence that you can stick with it for the long haul. So why is the winter holiday season so intimidating—even scary—for so many?

The answer is complex. Sure, there's the food. Unlike other food-centric holidays like Valentine's Day or Halloween, the winter holiday season lasts for weeks. There are more parties, more potlucks, more food gifts, more cookies and well, just more everything! And these temptations won't be going away any time soon. Then there's the stress. Buying gifts, volunteering, decorating, cooking and party hopping often take the place of cooking healthy meals at home or hitting the gym. Like an infant sitting on Santa's lap for the first time, it's no wonder we're scared of the holidays and the infamous weight gain they encourage. How can we keep up with a healthy diet and fitness program—let alone lose weight—with all of this going on around us, day after day?

That answer is simple: Stick with your plan. You've overcome temptations and slip-ups before. Every day poses challenges, yet you remain strong and continue to make progress toward your goals. Why should the holidays be any different? If you want to lose weight this month, you can. You just have to choose to stay in control, one day at a time. Here are 20 tips that will help you keep holiday weight gain at bay and lose a few pounds by new year.

1. Track your food. That means all of it, from the spoonful of cookie batter you ate while baking to the free sample of ham at the grocery store. These "hidden" calories are easy to gloss over but can really add up. Plus you know from experience how it helps you to lose weight and eat better. If you do nothing else during the holidays, track your food diligently every day.

2. Plan your holiday meals. A continuation of tip #1, plan your meals and snacks in advance so you can enjoy your favorites and still stay on track. Before you head to another party or sit down for a holiday dinner, pre-track your food for the day. Find places to cut back on calories in order to splurge a little more on your holiday meal, for example. Decide which foods you'll have (and how much) and use your Nutrition Tracker to stay within your calorie range.

3. Look up calories before you bite. Use SparkRecipes.com to calculate the nutrition information in your favorite holiday foods so you can add them to your tracker. If you really want to eat a cookie from a co-worker, open your Nutrition Tracker first and decide whether it fits in with your plan (see #2 above).

4. Make fitness a priority. I like to remind people that food is only one part of the equation that determines whether you'll lose or gain weight. Fitness is just as important. Don't let your workouts go by the wayside. If anything, you should be trying to work out more than before to curb weight gain and extra eating. Just remember this: Burn it (exercise) to earn it (extra holiday calories).

5. Schedule your workout like an appointment. You wouldn't miss work, a doctor's appointment or an important meeting to bake cookies or do some holiday shopping, would you? Add your workouts to your calendar so that other obligations don't get in the way of your gym time. Tell your friend that you'd love to bring some cookies to her party but that you won't arrive until after Pilates class lets out.

6. Bring your own food. This is a great tip if you're heading to a party and don't know what's in the food (or how it was prepared). Pick a healthy, low-cal recipe that you can bring. And no matter what kind of food is there, you'll have at least one dish you can eat with confidence.

7. Limit alcohol. It lowers inhibitions, making it more likely that you'll forget about your nutrition plan and overindulge. Plus, alcohol alone is pretty high in calories. If you can party hop without drinking at all, you'll be better off. If you must drink, nurse your glass slowly, choose diet-friendly drinks, and limit the number of servings. Oh and yes, alcohol does contain calories, so add every drink to your Nutrition Tracker.

8. Re-gift treats and food. Of course, your loved ones mean well when they give you delicious food and candy gifts. But just because they give them does not mean you have to eat them! There are plenty of opportunities to re-gift food gifts over the holidays: bring them to parties, potlucks, and other get-togethers. Or, donate store-bought foods to a local food pantry or hospital to spread the holiday spirit to others. Take home-baked goods to a homeless shelter.

9. Bring your food to work. If you feel guilty about re-gifting, do as the SparkPeople employees do. This time of year, our kitchen fills with all sorts of candy, sweets and other food gifts that people simply don't want or would rather not eat. Share it in a communal space like the office café for others to partake of as they choose.

10. Don't make mountains out of molehills. It's easy to go over your calories one day and feel like a failure. But remember that it takes much more than one day of overeating to thwart your progress. Accept your slip-ups, learn from them and move on. Here are 25 ways to get back on track today.

11. Add 10 extra minutes of cardio to your days. Some experts say that adding just 10 minutes of vigorous exercise to your usual workout routine can counter the effects of a little extra holiday eating. You can spare an extra 10 minutes, right? Even if you can't fit it in all at once, try to do small amounts throughout the day. High-intensity moves like jumping jacks, high-knee running in place, or jumping rope all work. Or you can try our 10-mintue cardio videos to torch those extra calories in one shot.

12. Maintain your active lifestyle. Remember that "running" errands isn't the same as running—or exercising. But the more activity you can add to your days (in addition to planned fitness) the better off you'll be. Try the best activities of the season, like sledding, snowboarding, ice skating, hiking, snowshoeing, and more.

13. Keep an emergency snack on hand. Stashing some healthy and portable foods in your car, purse, and desk drawer can help satisfy your cravings and prevent you from going overboard on all the wrong foods. This is a good idea when you're hungry at work and cookies sound tempting, or when you're shopping late at the mall and hear the food court calling.

14. Watch your portions. There's nothing wrong with enjoying some once-a-year favorites if you keep your portions in check. Sometimes just a little taste is all you need. Use this handy portion guide to estimate portion sizes when eating at parties and holiday dinners.

15. Focus on people. Isn't that what the holidays are all about? At parties and gatherings, enjoy the good conversation and activities instead of hovering around the food table. Create lasting memories that don't revolve around eating, and you won't feel like you're missing out.

16. Drink your water. Recent studies found that when people drink more water throughout the day, they end up eating fewer total calories. Water and water-rich foods can help fill you up longer. Keep a cup of water in hand at parties, sip water between bites, and meet your daily quota to help prevent overeating.

17. Wake up with exercise. People who exercise first thing in the morning are more likely to exercise regularly than those who exercise later in the day. Even if you're not a morning exerciser now, a.m. workouts might be the best way to squeeze fitness into your days before other things come up. Plus, when you exercise first, you're less likely to overindulge with food later.

18. Don't act as if it's your only chance to eat. With every food that crosses your path, remind yourself that you'll have plenty of chances later to eat. Forgo the "last supper" mentality. Honor your true feelings of hunger and fullness, and if you're not hungry or in the mood for a certain food, don't feel obligated to eat it. Be a (polite) food snob. Don't waste calories on a treat you don't really like or that isn't very delicious. If you accept a co-worker's cookie or Aunt Mary's bacon salad, but it's not very tasty, stop eating it. No one will fault you for saying you want to just have a taste.

19. Slow down. Savor your food and the experience of eating. You'll eat less, feel more satisfied, and recognize feelings of hunger before it's too late.

20. Keep your eye on the prize. Before you take a bite or hit snooze instead of hitting the gym, remember your goals. It's going to take work to get there and survive the holiday season. Before you act, ask yourself, "Will this help me get where I want to go?" If not, make another decision. And remember that YOU are in control during the holidays, not the other way around.

Here's to staying fit, looking great, and reaching your goals all month long!

Tina

"Life's a dance, you learn as you go... " Go ahead and dance!

Reading about Paleo and Raw Food diets is inspiring changes in My diet! Just enough to want to add lots of veggies!


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TERRIJ7's Photo TERRIJ7 SparkPoints: (136,411)
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12/3/11 1:13 P

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I read her blogs too--I like her perspective and advice.

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FITNFUNJEN's Photo FITNFUNJEN Posts: 3,882
12/3/11 10:09 A

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I read that article too! It's a good one.

~~Jenny~~
San Diego, CA

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LILY8486's Photo LILY8486 Posts: 3,452
12/3/11 8:14 A

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by : Birdie Varnedore, M.D. :

It's that time of year again. Staying on track during the holidays is challenging, but it can be done. I’m entering my fifth holiday season as a SparkPeople member, and I’m looking forward to conquering it! There will be many articles coming out in the next few weeks about avoiding holiday weight gain.

Instead of concentrating on avoiding holiday weight gain, my goal is to maintain consistency with my diet and exercise program throughout the holiday season. I do plan to splurge on special occasions. The problem with maintaining consistency is that there are so many special occasions between now and New Year's Day!

Why is weight gain during the holidays a yearly topic? Weight gain during the holidays is an important contributor to the weight gain "creep"--that is, the extra pounds you gradually and slowly add without noticing. Just about everyone thinks that you have a license to indulge during this time of the year!

When I started my lifestyle change in 2007, I started out sprinting. I was tired of being morbidly obese and I breezed through the 2007 holiday season with ease. There were no false starts.

I was on a mission and my mission was to reach my goal weight. That’s not to say I didn't hit a few bumps: I binged on Halloween candy that year, declaring it to be a "cheat day," and I pretty much did the same on Thanksgiving. Otherwise, it was smooth sailing.

I started out at 292 pounds on July 23, 2007, and by Thanksgiving 2007 I was in the 230s. But, I was motivated and nothing was going to stand in the way of my goal.

Unfortunately, the new penny feeling of a "diet" wears off. I knew that I was trying to change my life, but I had started to tire of trying to be perfect. Fortunately, I had already become very attached to SparkPeople and its principles and was attempting to focus on the long haul, not the quick fix.

My weight loss was pretty steady during that phase. By the 2008 holiday season, I was a sleek 158 pounds, but I was already a little battered and bruised. I had faced and beaten burnout a few times already. I had conquered many hard questions about my motivations and I had felt the pain of defeat. Still, I got back up and dusted off my knees after every fall. Despite those battle wounds, I held steady through the holidays and got down to 150 pounds in early January.

The next holiday seasons didn’t go as well as the first two. I fought hard battles during the 2009 and 2010 seasons. I gained for the first time during the 2009 season and had to go back to the basics after New Year's to get back to my maintenance weight. I pretty much did the same during the 2010 holiday season. So, is this a pattern? Am I destined to be a yearly victim of the holiday weight-gain tradition?

My holiday season starts with Halloween and ends at the New Year. That is when I have traditionally face the greatest struggle, and there are pretty good reasons for that struggle. Treats on every corner, parties, days off, schedule changes, vacations, mass media telling you that you have to try this new holiday drink, etc. Let’s not forget the cold weather and the fact that you get to hide some of your extra pounds behind sweaters and other winter fashions.

As you can see I’m not an expert at getting through the holidays, but I have rode them out and made it to the other side. I’m at a bit of a disadvantage this year because I’m going into the holiday season a little on my higher side, but I’m planning on success this year! Here’s my plan:


Keep exercise consistent. This is extremely important. If you’ve been burning a couple of thousand calories per week through exercise and you drop it down to a couple of hundred during the holiday months, you are going to gain weight from that change alone! Throw some extra treat calories on top and you have a recipe for weight gain. The workout endorphins are helpful for dealing with holiday stress as well. So, I’m exercising consistently this holiday season! Are you?

Just say no. The candy in the dishes on the desk, the newest holiday coffee drink, the extra samples in the grocery store. Just say no to it all. I vote for attending the holiday office parties but not partaking in any of the treats. There are way too many special occasions during this time of year to spend your calorie bucks at occasions that are not all that special for you. Pick the events that you want to splurge on a little and keep to the plan. For me, it’s all about family.

They own my splurges and I’m not wasting them on anything else! Remember there is no such thing as free dessert. You will pay for it in the form of extra pounds and ill-fitting clothes. Save it up for your special occasions!

Tighten the reins. Make sure you track even more diligently during the holidays. You are going to need the extra wiggle room to absorb the special treats! Be honest--you don’t have a lot of room to play with when you're adding in extra sweets.

Pick yourself up after every fall. The all-or-none trap is especially deep during this time of year. It is not all over if you slip. Get back up quickly, I promise you will minimize some of your post-New Year's pain!

Get support. Find like-minded people who are ready to brave the holidays with you. You will need a support system to help you get through the lure of joining in on the holiday mindless eating. Join a SparkTeam today!

Are you ready to stay consistent through the holiday season? To those who are staying strict and on a mission this season, kudos to you. Whether you are trying to lose weight or maintain throughout the next few months stay consistent and you will reach your goal. Let’s have a great holiday season. Good luck and keep sparking!

Do you aim to lose or maintain during the holiday season? Traditionally, do you give up or stay strong during the winter holidays?

Edited by: LILY8486 at: 12/3/2011 (08:15)
Lily/Tracey
Vagabonds and ragamuffins all, He saw us before we were born. And he loves what he sees.
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