Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Giving Thanks the Fit Way!

By Diana Chaloux
Thanksgiving time is here and the holiday season has begun. This is a time for celebration, a time to be grateful for all of your blessings in life… a time to lose sight of your fitness goals. Time out! That last one should not be part of this list! Unfortunately it is very common for people to completely lose all awareness of their health and fitness throughout the holidays. How about giving thanks the fit way this year so you can enjoy the season AND a fit healthy body at the same time.

Giving thanks the fit way does not mean depriving yourself of your favorite foods, or sitting in a separate room during Thanksgiving dinner so you won’t be tempted! It does mean maintaining awareness of your fitness goals and recognizing that when you lead a healthy lifestyle holidays are simply a potential fitness obstacle that must be addressed. When you have a strategy in place for dealing with the holidays you will find that sticking with your fitness goals is easier than you thought.

Preparation and moderation are the two crucial elements you will need in order to survive Thanksgiving without completely sabotaging yourself. Get started on your own Thanksgiving fit plan today, here are a few tips to get you headed in the fit direction.

Get your workouts in consistently throughout the week. Remember that even if they are abbreviated it is better to get them in than to forego them completely. If Thanksgiving will be a day off of exercise for you, schedule your work outs for the day before and after and stick with your commitment. Burn off some extra calories on the day of Thanksgiving by getting the family out for a brisk walk and some fresh air!

If you are traveling for the holiday take some time to figure out how you will get your physical activities in even while on the road. If you are staying at a hotel check to see if they have a fitness room, if you are staying with family ask about potential neighborhood walking routes which you could use to get your cardio in. Pack healthy snacks and foods to take on the road with you too.

Eat a healthy breakfast on Turkey Day morning. This is still the most important meal of the day, it will spark your metabolism and you will be less likely to overdo it during dinner. If you are eating Thanksgiving dinner late, eat small meals consistently through the day until 2-3 hours before the main event. Whatever you do don’t starve your body until meal time!

Rather than splurging all at once, eat a smaller portion during the main course meal and then save a plate of leftovers that you can serve as a second meal in a couple of hours. Turkey is typically the food of choice on Thanksgiving, save some calories by choosing white meat instead of dark, skip the gravy or at least keep it to the side and use it for dipping purposes. That same rule applies for all sauces, dressings and other fixings that grace the Thanksgiving table. Remember that these additional toppings can add mass amounts of extra calories to your meal!

Choose your sweets and desserts wisely. Select the ones that are your favorites and enjoy them in small portions or share them with a friend. Carry sugar free gum with you and chew it prior to and after dinner so you are less likely to nibble on all the temptations that may be placed around.

Don’t lose sight of your fitness objectives this Turkey Day! Review your goals and motivators and plan your eating and exercise strategies ahead of time. Enjoy yourself while practicing moderation on Thanksgiving and most importantly get right back to your healthy eating habits the day after. Don’t forget to give thanks this year for your body and for your ability to lead a fit and healthy lifestyle!

Diana Chaloux
ACE/AFAA Certified Personal Trainer
WBFF Figure World Champion 2008
Kansas City Personal Training at Hitch Fit Gym
Online Training and Nutrition Programs

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

What's your Secret Sabotage Behavior?

What's Your Secret Sabotage Behavior? 
By Diana Chaloux

Alright it’s confession time. How many of you have a secret sabotage behavior that is holding you back from reaching your fitness goals? If I had to take a guess, I would say there are a lot of hands going up right now. I say “secret” because a lot of times we don’t do these things when other people are watching. Perhaps that is because we know these behaviors are detrimental to our fitness success but don’t want to admit it. Well I think it’s high time to get these confessions out in the open so we can stop the sabotage!  Here are a few of the classic cases of eating habits which can hold you back from achieving your weight loss goals.

Sabotage 1: The “Mindless Snacker”. These people typically snack continually throughout the day. A little taste here, a treat there, a bit of this and a nibble of that can add up to a LOT of extra calories at the end of the day. But since you didn’t eat them seated at the table as a “meal” maybe you didn’t count those calories into your daily total. The “Mindless Snacker” may not even realize that they are eating all throughout the day. One of the best tools for making a “Mindless Snacker” more accountable is an eating journal, if you struggle with this snacking behavior write down everything that you eat throughout the day. When you can see it down on paper it’s not such a secret anymore.

Sabotage 2: The “Evening Eater”. Now this one I know many of you can relate to. Maybe you are one of millions who succumb to boredom eating in the evenings. It’s very possible that you make healthy choices all day long, but when you are lounging on the couch unwinding in the evenings the urge to start munching gets the best of you. You may be consuming more calories during these late evening binges than you do all day. The “Evening Eater” usually isn’t hungry there is just the urge to have….something… while relaxing at the end of the day. You may not only be consuming excessive calories, but since your metabolism slows down towards the end of the day you won’t be able to use all of those calories for energy. So, you guessed it, they will be stored as fat. My tips for the “Evening Eater” are to eat plenty of veggies at your evening meal so that you will feel full. As soon as you finish your last meal of the day, brush your teeth or pop in a piece of sugar free gum so that you will be less tempted to eat again. If you feel that you must have something, drink some tea or flavored water, drinking low calorie or no calorie drinks such as these will help to fill you up and decrease your urge to eat more.

Sabotage 3: The “Starve and Stuff”. These people typically don’t eat breakfast. They don’t eat much of anything for as long as they possibly can. But then it happens, around early afternoon they are so hungry that they can’t stand it any longer. At this point their chance of making a healthy food choice is pretty much out the window. We’ve all been there before, those times when you’re so hungry you can hardly even think, so you just fill yourself with whatever you can find. Usually this leads to overeating since it takes 15-20 minutes for your body to let you know it’s full, and this little binge could result in hundreds, even thousands of calories in a very short period of time. If you eat this way, you will be on an energy roller coaster, your resting metabolism rate will decrease, your body will probably think you are starving and when you eat mass amounts of calories it will hold onto them as fat. The best thing to do to avoid sabotaging yourself in this way is to eat consistently throughout the day, starting with breakfast. It is so important to eat this first meal in order to fire up your metabolism. Eat small snacks or meals every 2-3 hours throughout the day. When you do this you won’t ever feel like you are starving and you will be less likely to stuff yourself.

If you are struggling with a secret sabotage behavior the first thing to do is recognize it! No matter how much you are exercising, if you are sabotaging your nutrition with these unhealthy eating habits you will never see the results that you desire. Take charge of those secret behaviors today and stop holding yourself back from fitness success!

For information on Diana’s online training and nutrition programs or one on one personal training at Hitch Fit Gym in Kansas City please visit