Fit Tips 3, 4 and 5 for a Healthy Holiday by Susie Rahaim

We continue our Holiday Fit Tip Series to keep you happy and peaceful this season. Tip 1 was Start Your Workout Week on a Sunday. Tip 2 was Meditation for Beginners from self-development expert and author, Kimberly Novosel. Now, Susie Rahaim, Advocate for children’s nutrition and creator of the popular blog Real Food, Real Fitness, offers her 3 top tips. Following Susie’s advice over the years has helped me shed weight and feel better all around. – CC

3 Tips to keep your health on track this holiday season!

 The holidays are officially here! It’s such a fun time with family, friends, fellowship, parties and celebrations.  But with this also comes the dreaded holiday food scene.  In many ways its good and traditional foods only made at the holidays are enjoyed.  For most of us also comes tempting seasonal drinks, desserts, and party food.  I’m here today to tell you that these things can all be enjoyed in moderation! With a few exceptions and tips you will keep your health and waistline on track this holiday season!

Susie Rahaim, creator of the blog Real Food, Real Fitness, and her family.

Susie Rahaim, creator of the blog Real Food, Real Fitness, and her family.

1. Skip / minimize the grains.

Do your best to avoid all wheat products including breads, crackers, and cereals from here on out.  All wheat types have a high glycemic index (GI) which can increase your glycemic load and blood sugar.   High glycemic foods contribute to that “never ending hunger” feeling and tendency to keep snacking and eating more to fill up.  Eating just 2 slices of whole wheat bread will raise blood sugar more than a Snickers bar.

Wheat has gliadin which is an addictive opiate that stimulates appetite throughout the day.  It also impairs our ability to say no to high carbohydrate foods. Yikes, this will for sure spell trouble at the annual Christmas work party!

Most of today’s grain based foods such as breads, crackers, and cereals are all processed in one way or another.  Whether they say whole wheat, whole grain, or natural just don’t believe the hype!  It’s best for our digestion, weight loss purposes, and overall health to minimize and avoid today’s commercial grain products.

Bottom line- JUST SAY NO TO GRAINS! Instead think clean protein from healthy pastured animals and eggs, healthy fats (coconut oil, olive oil, pastured butter) and fruits and veggies on your plate.  Fiber can be abundantly and easily obtained from fruits, vegetables, and nuts.  This will provide lasting energy and satisfaction in between meals.  Also leading to less calorie consumption overall and better weight maintenance!

2. Take Probiotics daily and eat fermented foods

This is such a critical component of healthy weight maintenance and often overlooked.  Your intestines manage the digestion and absorption of the foods you eat.  Taking probiotics helps to reduce intestinal inflammation and aids in digestion.  Research is showing this could help prevent the buildup of body fat.

Multiple studies are also showing that most people do not have the optimal balance of good and bad bacteria in their intestines.  This imbalance can wreak havoc on your health and contribute to being overweight or difficulty shedding excess weight.  If you have an unhealthy gut the excess bacteria can cause gas and bloating, fatigue, sugar cravings, nausea, and even headaches.

Establishing a good balance of probiotics in your gut will also help in numerous bodily functions such as digesting and absorbing certain carbohydrates, producing vitamins, absorbing minerals and eliminating toxins, and keeping bad bacteria under control.

To get more probiotics into your daily diet try eating more yogurt and sauerkraut but skip the conventional brands.   Eat the traditionally made unpasteurized raw versions (pasteurization kills the naturally occurring probiotics). You can find these easily at farmers markets and smaller health food stores.  Some other great options are fermented milk such as kefir, Amasai milk by Beyond Organic, and various pickled veggies such as turnips, cucumbers, onions, carrots, and natto (fermented soy).

A good probiotic supplement is a great choice. These can mostly be found in the refrigerated section of Whole foods or other smaller health stores.

BOTTOM LINE: Probiotics and fermented foods keep digestion running smoothly in case you do overindulge at those holiday parties! Good for overall health and weight management!

3. HIIT – high intensity interval training

The holidays are busy and who has time for long daily workouts.  Instead this holiday season take just 20 min 3-5x a week for effective workouts that work!  This form of interval training burns up to 3x more fat than regular moderate exercise.

Research shows you can achieve more progress in a mere 15 minutes of interval training (done three times a week) tha jogging on the treadmill for an hour.  Not only do you burn more fat and calories doing HIIT but it creates an after burn effect that causes metabolism to skyrocket!

So how do I do it? First you take a bodyweight exercise and perform it at maximum exertion (90% maximum heart rate) for 30 seconds.  Repeat this with another bodyweight exercise of your choice for 30 seconds than you rest for 30 sec.

An example looks like this: 30 sec running in place as fast as you can. 30 seconds of full pushups as many as you can. Rest for 30 seconds. Repeat cycle with different exercises 3 times.  Please note that these intervals are FULL OUT to the point of complete exhaustion like you can’t do anymore.  The results come when you do these intervals full out.  But don’t worry you always include a rest time in between.

So basically you are doing three 1 minute high intensity intervals each with 30 sec res.  Repeat this workout 4 times ideally to equal 20 minutes.

Confused?  To see this done in action watch here: Axe  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VmWEseYN90.

BOTTOM LINE: HIIT IS EFFICIENT, BURNS MORE FAT, NO EQUIPMENT IS NECESSARY, YOU WILL LOSE WEIGHT NOT MUSCLE, INCREASE METABOLISM, AND YOU CAN DO IT ANYWHERE!

Follow these 3 Tips this holiday season and you will be a step ahead come New Years! No more excess holiday weight gain, easy weight management, and better health overall! – SR

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