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Holidays Wreak Havoc!


Whether or not evidence-based research supports the saying…some have quoted an average weight gain of 8-12 pounds over the holidays for Americans.  I suggest this weight gain is more like 2-5 pounds (accompanied by a ‘pudgy’ feeling)…still a devastating set-back to most weight loss plans.  Let’s look at some startling facts and a few ways to decrease the strain on your goals this joyous season.

One tablespoon of butter = 102 calories, one slice of ham = 91 calories, one heaping spoon of mashed potatoes = 128 calories.  Measure these delicacies against your basal metabolic rate (daily calorie need) and you have already eaten approximately 20-25% of your daily need in one sitting! Is it clear how easily you may underestimate your holiday treats and lose sight of your goals?

Problem is,  our treats are compounded by stress, busy schedules, and excuses.   “I would exercise, but…” Do you know what the word “but” stands for? -a weakness in your plan.

Here are the most common excuses I hear as a trainer and nurse – and how to bust through them.

“I don’t have time.”
This is the most common excuse I hear all year long.  Time will not fall into your lap…you have to MAKE time!  Some feel that morning exercise is best for a myriad of reasons (induced fat burn all day, decreased hunger during the day, etc) which may include getting it out of the way.  Others use group style classes for accountability and enjoyment.  Find a time when a class is held that you may enjoy.  Now, make the commitment to get into that hour-class 2-3 times each week.   One hour, 3 xs each week is literally 2% of your waking hours!  This is a reasonable goal during a busy time of year.

“I don’t want to miss out on special or traditional treats.”
‘Tis the season of splurges. Trouble is, when we splurge at every meal, we aren’t really splurging. We are just losing all control!

Give yourself safe limits.  Don’t restrict completely, but be aware of making the excuse about your diet — the excuse to go crazy.  Stay in control.  If you plan to eat several treats in one sitting, the rest of your day needs to be reasonable.  And…above all else, do not ‘save’ calories for one meal all day or all weekend! Your body will definitely hold onto each devastating calorie — keep yourself ‘fueled’ by snacking and monitoring your other meals.

Try tracking your diet during this time of year! http://www.myfitnesspal.com is an ABSOLUTELY FREE tracking tool that is a great help to assess your eating style this holiday.

“I’ll start in January.”
Postponing exercise just means you’ll have more fat to work off when you actually do hit the gym.  And you know what? You won’t start in January!  

Make your weight-loss efforts easier by getting out of your all-or-nothing mindset.  Commit to being aware of your eating habits this holiday, and plan your schedule each week to include 2-3 sessions of sweaty exercise.  Stay in control and you’ll be sure to have a healthier start to your 2013! 


October 30, 1955

Dear Diary,  Mom got me a nurse’s costume for Halloween this year!   I love it!


October 1, 1955

Dear Diary,

This new show started tonight and my dad just loves it.  I don’t get it, but daddy sure was laughing…wonder if that guy is really going to send his wife to the moon?

September 28, 1961

Dear Diary,

A new program is starting tonight, Dr. Kildare.   He is so dreamy!

Wrinkles, Aches and Pains, Anxiety … AGING!

We all do it — we’re doing it right now…AGING!
It’s inevitable, but are there ways to age gracefully? SURE! READ MORE.

#1: Exercise (STAY ACTIVE)!

Exercise has been regularly proven to be one of the best disease-prevention mechanisms we can utilize! Aging adults should focus on mild to moderate CARDIO training (heart rate elevated to 60-70% of Max Heart Rate for 30 minutes a day) PLUS STRENGTH training 1-2xs/week (resistance training, weight lifting). Cardio training improves cardiovascular health, decreasing your risk for heart attack, vessel disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, etc. Strength training improves bone density and lean muscle mass leading to less risk of bone fracture, osteoporosis, and decreased mobility.

Exercise, in general, also improves mind/body connection as well as decreases your risk for depression and (newly proven) DEMENTIA! By staying active and engaged, one may feel rejuvenated and alert.

#2: Eat well!

Diet plays a very important role in helping us to remain young. We must have a balanced diet. We are what we eat and this show in our body and our hair, teeth and skin.

Develop regular eating habits, eat at the same time each day (at 3-4 hour intervals).

Do not eat too late at night.

Also eat red meat no more than once-twice a week and use more white meat and fish. Cook with whole grain bread and cereals, whole rice and whole grain pasta. Eat raw vegetables and/or fruit at each sitting. Avoid fried food, loads of sugar, and loads of salt. Prepare foods raw, boiled, braised, roasted and steamed. Stick to simple and easily digestible food.

Caloric intake is important. The rate at which your body burns fuel decreases as you age, therefore, LESS calories are needed. (Basal metabolic rate is approx. 1200 calories/day for a woman, 1500 calories/day for a man over 50).

#3: ENJOY!

Depression risk is greater as you age. Fight depression with activity, engaging relationships, and proper nutrition. ENJOY YOUR LIFE! Go out and live it. The more you remain engaged the less likely you are to suffer from depression or anxiety.

-Hayley Chemski, MSN CRNA

September 24, 1961

Dear Diary,

Can’t wait to see Rocky and Bullwinkle on prime-time tonight.  I just love Natasha, but Fractured Fairy Tales is my favorite!

September 20, 1953 Dear Diary…

Dear Diary,

We watched a new television program today, The Loretta Young Show.  Gee, she is glamorous. Mom says I can get her cut-out dolls book!

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