Fitness for Body, Mind and Spirit

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Fitness for the body, mind & spirit

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Thoughtful Thursday…3 tips to help you avoid gaining fat this holiday season...


Welcome to Thoughtful Thursday. This GreenNote Fitness newsletter mindfully gathers and distills useful information that is supportive to our journey. It is my mission to educate, inspire, and propel you into action that moves you towards your goals and life of purpose. Take control of your journey today.

Atomic Habits

It’s time. Grocery stores all over the U.S. will be packed full of people with lists in hand and carts over-flowing. Homes will be decorated and food and libations will be within arm’s reach at all times. Platters of food will tease your olfactory, imploring you to taste family dishes and wine glasses will never be empty, at least not if Uncle Leo can help it.

Fear not. I’m going to give you three simple tips to survive the holidays without adding to your waist line.

With all the holiday binging on turkey, trimmings, mashed potatoes, and casseroles, what do you think would have an effect on your fat stores? First we need to take into consideration that to store the carbs you ingest, which you typically ingest more on the holidays, your body has to transform the carbs into glycogen and then attach that glycogen to water molecules. There’s about three to four grams of water per gram of glycogen. So, you may find when you weigh yourself the next day that you weigh a whole lot more than you did before you binged. However, it turns out that a huge part of that is water weight.

#1.) Limit alcohol consumption to avoid increasing body fat

So if you indulge heavily on holiday food you will gain some weight but most of it will be water weight, very little of it is fat. The main thing to keep in mind during the holidays when it comes to fat storage, is the effects alcohol has on your microbiome, hormones, and belly fat. Say it ain’t so! Oh, it’s so. Your body so readily burns alcohol for energy to avoid the toxicity effects, it dampens the oxidation of fat. It also dampens the oxidation of protein and carbohydrates. It increases your appetite in the short term and decreases the propensity of your body to produce hormones that cause fat loss, it increases inflammation which shuts down the ability of adipose tissue to release fatty acids. If storing more fat is not on your wish list, you may want to drink in moderation.

#2.) Eat some vegetables and a little bit of fruit

Be sure to have eaten some healthy foods before the feasting begins. Some healthy snacks include: cabbage; celery; carrots; cucumbers; grapefruit; and tomatoes. Before sitting down to a huge meal, get some of these on your plate. It will be nutrient-friendly and will help to satiate you before the mashed potatoes and cheese are placed in front of you.

These types of foods are purported to have so little energy that your body uses more energy to digest and absorb the nutrients than the food actually contains. Basically your body’s response to the presence of these foods results in the production of digestive enzymes, which act like small engines to break up carbohydrates, protein, and fat. So load up on that celery. This will help you from overeating!

#3.) Time your walk right after your meal

We can improve our glucose levels and increase our glycemic variability by walking during the day. This is something I’m sure you are well aware of. However, it turns out that walking and the timing of when you walk in conjunction to a meal is important.

Walking does a great job of lowering your blood sugar. To have the most effectiveness for blood sugar control and for weight loss, the best time to walk when it comes to a binge or eating a lot of food, is to walk right after a meal. There is a significantly greater effect on insulin levels, on blood sugar, and on propensity for weight gain if you walk immediately after the meal. So after that big Thanksgiving meal, don’t go sit down for an hour or more, instead go for a 30 minute walk.

To improve the activity of your glucose transporters before a meal, it can be a high intensity interval training or weight training, either one works. You could do a Tabata set on bike or do some three sets of ten heavy deadlifts. Then after the meal, something aerobic.

Summary:

  • Limit alcohol to avoid storing more fat

  • Eat some vegetables and a little bit of fruit before the feast

  • Walk right after your big meal. Don’t go watch that football game, instead get outside and go for a 30 minute walk

During the holiday season set an intention to enjoy the people you are with, see the blessing in having food to share, and give thanks for this life we are given.

Enjoy your journey,

Lisa Schaffer

GreenNote Fitness

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