Maintain, Don’t Gain… Holiday Health Tips! [petite model] [fitness]

By on November 16, 2010

This article is written by Bella Petite’s health and fitness contributor Jeanene Cannon.  Jeanene is a Certified Personal Trainer & Corrective Exercise Specialist via the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)

MAINTAIN, DON’T GAIN

Fall and winter are my favorite times of the year.  I love the fall color leaves, the slight chill in the air, and cozying up in front of a warm fireplace.  Not to mention that my favorite holidays and special occasions are all during this time.  I have my wedding anniversary, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years Eve and then my birthday just after the New Year!  It’s a fun-filled couple of months for me and my family.

All of the celebratory occasions (and possible travel) present challenges in keeping with clean eating and regular exercise, so this article is dedicated to those of you who also find yourself dealing with some of the same challenges. I will provide some tips that have helped me to get through them without back tracking too much on my health and fitness.

Whichever holidays you celebrate, I hope that you all take time to enjoy the fellowship of friends and family during this very special time.

Soul-Full Substitutions

One of the best things you can do this holiday season is to prepare all your favorite treats with a twist of health!  Start making substitutions to your favorite dishes…

Instead of....Try:
Whole MilkFat free or 1% Milk
Whole Eggs For each whole egg, try 2 egg whites
Salt Salt-Free Seasoning
Ricotta CheeseLow-Fat Feta or Cottage Cheese
White Potatoes Sweet Potatoes
Cream Evaporated Fat-Free Milk & 1% Milk or Silken Tofu
Sour Cream Low-Fat Yogurt, plain/vanilla
White Breads/PastasWhole Grains
White Flour Wheat Flour
Cheddar CheeseLow fat Mozzarella Cheese, Parmesan
Ground Beef Lean Ground Turkey
SugarXylitol, banana, fruit preserves, or applesauce

Training while traveling…

Whenever I travel, I always pack the following items – as my “gym away from home”

  • Exercise Tube with a door attachment
  • Latex Band
  • Jump Rope
  • Exercise Shoes and attire

Boot Camp students, Terry and Brent, in this picture are doing a bicep curl with the tube, but there are multiple exercises that you can do – especially if you get a door attachment.  You can literally work your whole body.

Some examples of what I do to train while traveling are:

  • Total Body Strengthening with the tube and band
  • Cardio with the jump rope
  • Body Weight exercises – push ups, tricep dips off of a chair, mountain climbers, burpees, lunges,
  • Abs

If I have access to a gym I most certainly will try to hit it for a more complete workout with weights, or if I have access to a nice outdoors area I may do some cardio, body weight and tube exercises outdoors.

I love to make use of my environment, like using outdoor stairs, fences with my tubes, hills and grassy fields… and don’t forget the beach!  Running on the beach is an excellent way to get your cardio in!

Why not add a few lunges and squats while appreciating the view!  So, traveling is no longer an excuse for lack of activity and neither is lack of access to a gym.  You don’t really need anything except the drive to continue to be active and the willingness to put in the time.

Eating while traveling…

Pack a few food items to make it easier to stay on track.  Here’s some things I normally do…

  • Oatmeal (plain rolled oats) in baggies already pre-measured for the appropriate serving size so my family and I can have a healthy breakfast.
  • Pre-measured baggies of plain cheerios, almonds and raisins – my kids love this as an on-the-go snack!
  • Protein Bars, Trail Mix Bars and pre-measured bags of protein powder to make protein shakes.
  • If I’m staying in an area where I have access to a grocery store and a refrigerator, I will purchase a few basic healthy grocery items so that we can make our own sandwiches and snack on baby carrots.
  • Apples, Bananas, Grapes and other fruit.

You’d be surprised what a difference it makes just to have a few healthy, familiar foods to start your day off right and to keep you going in between meals.  This way you decrease your need to be dependent on what restaurants or your friends and family may be offering.  If you do eat something that’s not so healthy, at least your other meals and snacks have been.  Most importantly, remember that the Holidays are really about being with family and those you care about, so focus on the fellowship and not on the food.

Written by: Jeanene Cannon, NASM CPT, CES Join Physique Complete on Facebook!

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5 Comments

  1. Shanti

    November 16, 2010 at 12:53 am

    Really super substitutions I am gonna do it! No gain holidays! I can do it with this 🙂

  2. Lillian

    November 17, 2010 at 12:52 am

    What can i do to get really super lean? Thank you!

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  4. Jeana

    November 21, 2010 at 12:51 am

    Is pumpkin pie fattening? I hope not! Really helpful advice here. 🙂

  5. Kathleen Lepidas

    December 13, 2015 at 6:43 am

    You don’t have to avoid ricotta cheese; just look for low-fat ricotta. (Much tastier than cottage cheese!)

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