Posts Tagged ‘fun’

11:59 am - Posted by Gregg

Halloween Diet Survival Techniques

If you hear a blood curdling scream this week, rest assured that it’s not an extra from The Walking Dead or someone watching a scary movie marathon. That’s me walking near the candy aisle while at the grocery store during this time of year. And like me, many of us with a dieter’s mentality fear the Halloween season with the same kind of dread we do a visit to the dentist or (gulp!) getting on the scale after a weekend of gastronomical debauchery.

But fear not! All Hallows Eve actually has no power over us or our waistlines… Unless we give it said power. And for the record, this is the year we’re taking back Halloween and making it more treat than trick.

For starters, let’s remember we’re talking about a 24-hour period. And guess what? Even if you’re on a diet plan and committed to getting rid of your excess weight, a few pieces of candy eaten in moderation (key word!) is not going to harm you at all—especially if you combine the munching with an extra lap or two around the block (and/or shopping mall if the weather outside is frightful).

As dieters, it’s our denial of foods we love that often leads to excessive bingeing. So if you really want to indulge in some sugary goodness, then choose some well-made candy (meaning it’s full of all-natural ingredients as opposed to a list of additives that would make even a mummy unravel). When I took off over 250 pounds of excess weight over a decade ago, it was through moderation as opposed to starvation or denial. Too often we turn favorite foods into a forbidden fruit that we then become obsessed with eating.

Another tactic that makes Halloween more spook-tacular is focusing on non-food related enjoyment. This is easy given that most people enjoy dressing up. And no, you don’t need a costume party to do so. A lot of workplaces allow employees to dress up for work when Halloween hits on a weekday. Or just throw on a pair of vampire fangs when you’re running your errands to suck up a whole bunch of smiles (if not second glances).

If you need an actual party as an excuse to don a costume, then throw a last minute soirée yourself. Get inventive with the theme: ’80s TV shows? Favorite movie detectives? Inanimate objects? Make October 31st more about the fun than the food. And if you’re throwing the party, you can schedule nutritionally sound games like bobbing for apples or pin the tail on the werewolf.

And believe it or not, actual trick-or-treating can scare away fat itself. Volunteer to go along with a group of neighborhood kids. Or take your own kids to the mall and be willing to make several rounds with them. Kids’ energy is high on Halloween—and not just due to the potential sugar rush. It’s fun to dress up. It’s fun to say “Boo!” And it’s fun to walk and walk and walk. (Remember the rules for even healthier walking: suck that tummy in, pump those arms and maintain a healthy posture.)

Last but not least, go easy on yourself. Even those strange, mythical “I can eat anything I want and not gain weight” creatures (much more unexplainable than zombies if you ask me) will be complaining on November 1st that they overdid it on the candy. The difference between them and us (the ones with a dieter’s mentality) is that they don’t feel compelled to keep eating the candy on the day after Halloween. They did it. They enjoyed it. They regret the extra nibble or two and now they’re moving on, mentally—just like we can do, if we give ourselves that kind of freedom.

Besides, November 1st heralds a whole ‘nother eating holiday’s approach. So it’ll be time to stop thinking about the season of the witch and wondering how we are going to construct a healthy game plan for gobble-gobble day. Although I’m here to tell you that as is the case with Halloween, the only thing to fear is… Well, you know the rest (in peace).

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July 30, 2012

Vacationing 101

8:57 am - Posted by Gregg

If you’re like me, sometimes the thought of stepping away from your normal routine (even if for a vacation or relaxing getaway) can inspire fear because it means being away from “normal” dieting eating patterns. But don’t panic! You deserve to get away just like everyone else. And these easy-to-remember vacation tips will make going away on a summer trip both easy and fun – and will certainly help you to avoid wrecking your dieting efforts (and success thus far) while you’re away.

Dine Wisely

Believe it or not, you can indulge while on vacation. Have as close to a diet-like Breakfast and diet-like Lunch as you can, depending on what’s available from the room service or restaurant menus. Then, have what you really want for dinner. Just make sure you limit your portions. A general rule to follow is to eat half of what is served. Yes, that means you can enjoy even richer foods that you’d normally avoid when at home, sticking to your commitment to healthier eating. In this case, portion control is key! You can even have some fresh fruit with whipped cream for dessert every other night (make it a treat!). And after dinner, try taking a walk to help digest your food.

When wanting to order healthier options, look for fish or meat dishes that are grilled or broiled. Stay away from anything sauteed or fried.

Try eating a handful of raw cashews before going out to eat to help curb that “starving” feeling before ordering. Entering a restaurant when you’re ravenous can often spell trouble (not to mention overindulgence).

Move Daily

Call ahead to find out if the hotel you’ll be staying at has a workout room or gym. And be sure to pack appropriate workout gear. Make sure you don’t have any excuses not to workout while away.

Try working out first thing in the morning to make sure you squeeze it in without missing out on any of the fun your traveling companions have planned for the rest of the day.

Dive in! The hotel swimming pool is great place to get exercise. Try swimming as many laps as possible – even if you’re just “Doggy paddling.” The water provides a sort of ‘resistance training’ for your muscles and thus can help tone and strengthen your gorgeous bod (yes, I’m talking to you)!

Also try renting bikes and taking your own tour of the area you’re visiting.

Snack Safely

The key to not over-indulging while away is to eat regularly and never starve yourself. This means scheduling healthy snacks and having them available the instant you need them. You can plan ahead and take them with you, or plan to hit a grocery store once you arrive at your destination. (Bring small plastic bags in your luggage for dividing snacks into proper-sized portions.) Try these healthy options while you’re away:

Raw Cashews or Raw Almonds from Health Food Stores (easy to pack, easy to snack on).

Fresh fruits (much healthier than dried fruits, which are sweeter, more concentrated and easier to over-consume. Also, a lot of dried fruit contains added sugar, which increases its already high calorie levels).

Don’t Forget the Water

Too often while away from our normal routine and/or environments, we forget to drink as much water as our bodies need. Let’s face it, it can be hard enough remembering to drink water while at home. So this difficulty only increases when away from home, on vacation. Plus, bottled water can be super pricy when getting it from your hotel room’s mini bar or even from the hotel’s convenience store. Thus, whenever I travel, I make it a point to stop at a local grocery store (where I can stock up on affordable bottled water that I can drink throughout my stay) as soon as I arrive to town. Sound like a hassle? Too bad! Your health is worth the extra step (and expense)!

Most Important? Have Fun!

The whole point of getting away is to detox the mind. Enjoy yourself and don’t be too obsessed with what you’re eating or when you’re eating it. The more relaxed you are, the more in-tune you’ll be to your senses (and even your hunger). Make choices that feel good, taste good and don’t leave you feeling stuffed and miserable (mentally or physically). After all, the last thing you want to deal with while being away is having clothes feel too tight or the feeling of “Being stuffed” keeping you hidden away in your room and from enjoying your surroundings.

Do you have any tips or tricks in regard to vacationing without guilt – and without ruining your dieting efforts up-to-now? I’d love for you to share them by commenting below. Until then? Wish you were here! (Oh, wait — you are! And I sure do appreciate that!)

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