You've been through this before, right?
The holiday season sends you into an eating tailspin, but you stand firmly next to the bowl of eggnog and tray of cookies and declare that January is going to be your salvation for the rebirth of your fitness regimen.
The new year, and more than a few extra pounds, arrive before you know it, and you've joined a gym or purchased a plethora of exercise DVDs and you're excited to begin your forage into fitness and sculpt your body back into pre holiday shape.
Optimism is high, but results could be at an all time low. Does that kind of feel like last year all over again?
If the answer is "yes," then you're part of the millions of people who have plenty of positive attitude filling the January air but come to realize that they're bored, busy and just plain not prepared for the exercise, eating and fitness challenge that lies before them.
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That's not an uncommon place to be find yourself. A very small percentage of the population actually belongs to a gym or health club. Even when you count those weeknight and weekend fitness warriors and their array of at home exercise moves, the general consensus is that actually sticking with a workout is hardly simple.
Most success stories you see or hear come from those participants in fitness that employ the services of a personal trainer or nutritionist, someone to help keep them accountable. But beyond just calling to make sure you arrive on time for your appointment, trainers and nutritionists take into consideration a myriad of other factors once you hire them: your goals, your exercise history, how you eat and, most importantly, adding variety to your diet and exercise.
The last aspect is paramount to putting down the weights and discontinuing the cardio by mid March after your holiday binge eating and drinking turns your laughter into lethargy during the holiday season. If you're the one hosting the holiday party, you've got to avoid succumbing to fatty, sugary foods and instead plan for variety and taste, minus the guilt.
Heather Wilson is a nutrition expert and created The East West Essentials product line, including cleanses and fat flushes as part of your foray into health and fitness. Celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez swear by their effectiveness, and Wilson is adamant that The East West Essentials aren't just for the famous but also could be quite beneficial during the holidays and thereafter.
"Before the festivities come, do the 5-Day Optimal Cleanse from East West Essentials," Wilson suggests. "It is nutrient based and eliminates toxins and increases your metabolism."
Wilson also disagrees wholeheartedly with the notion that not eating before the holidays to help "save calories" makes sense. All that mentality does is slow down your metabolism, which is the exact opposite of what you want to happen.
As far as food and eating, Wilson wants you to eat, just wisely.
"Always consume 10-20 grams of protein within 30 minutes of waking up," she says. "During the holidays, when you have more food around you … try minimizing foods with gluten, sugary and dairy. These foods are hard to digest and eliminating helps your metabolism as well."
The unwritten rule about the holidays when it comes to exercise is that the months of November and December typically are ones that are "optional" and most simply overeat during those months and simply wait for the new year to arrive before they make the most common New Year's resolution of them all: lose weight.
Exercising throughout the holiday eating and binging season should be commonplace, however. There's a good chance you're going to ingest more calories in the coming months than you would during the course of the entire year, so exercise, at the very least, can offset some of that food. Typically, exercise is pushed to the proverbial back burner, mostly due to time constraints of prepping those aforementioned meals and holiday shopping. The easiest path to maintain your fitness is to incorporate some type of exercise, even if it is only moderate or around 30 minutes in length.
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