The New Year is a tough time for people who are trying to maintain their fitness. The holidays have been around, and everyone tried to feed us as much as we could eat. In many cases, the foods, themselves, are high in fat, salt, simple carbs… Because of the pressures to get things done, all the shopping and running around, we didn’t always have time to get to the gym or do our workout. It wouldn’t be so bad if this just went on for a week, but the latest way of “doing the holidays” seems to start in mid-October, and lasts right through the first of January! — And so, because I know that you’ve been rushed, I’m going to keep this short.
First, let’s look at the food situation. This is a really great time to change the way you’ve been doing things. Our minds are on our Resolutions, but hey, let’s be reasonable about it!
Diets don’t work. I don’t care how many friends you have who swear by Atkins, or anybody else. In the final analysis, diets don’t work. They are artificial ways of eating which are, by design, non-sustainable. Yes, you may lose some fat while you’re doing them, but when you go off the diet, that fat comes back, often even more than before. So, NO DIETS!!
Watch your fat and salt!
Simple. Don’t slather your mashed potatoes with Aunt Jane’s Cream Gravy. Don’t eat french-fries, or, for that matter, anything which comes out of a deep fryer. Bake, broil, steam. That’s the mantra. If you must fry, use a light dusting of an olive-oil-based cooking spray, instead of a half-cup of bacon grease.
If you’re a vegetarian, life in the low-fat lane is a bit easier for you. But if you’re not, then try to stay with the good stuff. Eat the white meat instead of dark (and I don’t mean pork, characterized as “The Other White Meat”, but still high-fat, high cholesterol). Try introducing some new dishes into your new year fare. Baked or broiled fish is wonderful. There are many varieties, and you’re almost certain to find something you like. Experiment with different spicings – I like simple stuff like basil and oregano, but some fish, like red snapper, can be made really terrific with the application of some garlic, too.
Baked potatos are fine, as long as you keep away from too much butter and/or sour cream. Again, try one of the low-fat or non-fat salad dressings, along with some chopped chives, minced garlic (to taste), and other spices.
And while we’re baking things, how about yams! Fantastic sources of fiber, antioxidant vitamins, and mighty tasty, these goodies are really good for you! Don’t be too fanatical about fat here – a single pat of butter, whipped into a large baked yam with about a teaspoonful of brown sugar, makes a low-fat, high-taste treat. Add a bit of cinnamon or clove for another taste sensation!
here are many, many foods out there that you haven’t tried, and maybe it’s about time you did!
Motivating yourself to get into the gym might be a bit in the New Year. There’s post-Holiday shopping to do, running the kids around, all that stuff — when can you find time!?
Start with shopping. You’ve heard it before, but it is no less true for repetition — park at the far end of the mall lot, and walk in. If you don’t have joint problems, use stairs instead of the escalator or elevator. Get a pen and notepad and walk the entire mall without buying anything. Instead, write down what you really liked and wanted to buy. Then trim the list to practical proportions, and walk back to the shops where you found things, and get them.
Visiting relatives? Use the opportunity to go for a long walk. Check out the scenery. Go to a museum and wander around for a few hours. Take the kids to an ice-skating rink. You skate, too! Go boogie all night with the folks at a local dance factory. In short, have fun while you keep moving!
Winter vacation plans? Why not make it a ski vacation, where you actually spend more time on the slopes than in the lodge? Chasing summer? Swim, run, snorkel, walk a quiet beach — Keep Moving!
Whatever you do, don’t let the fact that you missed a few workout sessions, make you feel bad. Everybody needs a vacation from work and working out. Just don’t go off the deep end when it comes to indulging yourself, and you’ll be right back on track in short order. It’s new year, y’all, time for you to hit the weight racks and aerobics room.
And a New Year’s Wish from Bill and the Gang at World Fitness
We wish you all a happy, safe, fun, exciting, pleasurable, and fulfilling Year. Don’t forget the folks who have less than we do, and give generously to the charity of your choice. If you need us, we’re here for you – as near as the Experts Page – and we genuinely want for you to be fit, healthy, and happy!