Healthy Habits For The Holidays
mtl Note: We love Thanksgiving for so many reasons—the festivities, the time with family…the food. But what we don’t love is the guilt and weight gain that comes with it. Phil and Amy Parham, former contestants on NBC’s The Biggest Loser, provide informative and motivational advice from their book, The 90-Day Fitness Challenge, that will encourage readers to permanently transform their lives and live their dreams of being healthier, happier and more fit—even during the holidays.
Ideas for Traveling
“Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.” – Alan Lakein
A Note from Phil
Amy and I travel often for speaking engagements. While it’s more difficult to maintain your healthy diet when you travel, it’s definitely still possible. You don’t have to blow it when you’re away just because you’re not in the safe comfort of your own home. You just need to be prepared before you leave on your trip. We plan our food and workouts before we leave the house. Here are some suggestions for you based on the traveling habits we’ve acquired.
To start, try to book a hotel with a gym. If that’s not possible, call ahead to see if the hotel is close to quiet roads for walking. The closer everything is to the hotel, the easier it will be for you to stick to your routine. You don’t want to spend thirty minutes driving to a nearby gym or hiking trail because, chances are, you’ll find an excuse not to go.
Remember, you can always work out in your hotel room. I always pack resistance bands and a jump rope in my luggage. Or put some music on and dance around for thirty minutes—that will burn as many calories as a brisk walk. Here are some other ideas for exercising in your hotel room:
jumping jackslungespush-upssit-ups and crunchestriceps dips
As far as your diet, accept that you will probably be eating out a lot. Apply the same guidelines for eating out that we’ve given you in the “Eat to Live” chapter. Before you leave, pack a few baggies of snacks to help keep you eating as healthy as possible. Bring some nuts, protein bars, or apples. If it’s a quick trip, bring some yogurt, celery and peanut butter, or mixed fruit. Here are more tips:
Instead of bread, use lettuce. Even if you have to eat at a fast-food chain, ask for a grilled chicken or roast beef sandwich with lettuce on the side. Then eat your protein wrapped in lettuce, tomatoes, and onions without the bread.Order a grilled chicken salad. Watch out for creamy dressings, though. Always ask for oil and vinegar or use light dressings. Salads can be found in almost any airport.Traveling can be stressful. Don’t use the stress as an excuse to treat yourself with unhealthy foods. Use travel as an opportunity to stick to your healthy plan by making good choices and staying flexible.
Mini-Challenge of the Day
Look at your calendar and find the next time you will travel. What are three things you can do to prepare now to keep your diet on track? For example, how many baggies of snacks do you think you will need to prepare and take with you?
Tip of the Day
Eating healthy doesn’t mean a bigger budget. Clip coupons every weekend. Buy the poultry, fish, or meats that are on sale this week. Look for the “Buy 2 Get 1 Free” specials. Don’t worry about the brands that much, focus on the ingredients instead. Usually the generic or supermarket brand is just as good as the popular brand.
“Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.” – William Penn
A Word from Amy
How many times have you said to yourself “I don’t have time to exercise” or ”I don’t have time to cook all my meals” or “I just don’t have time…period.” I hear these statements all the time. I even used to say these things myself. But everyone has the same twenty-four hours in a day. I have twenty-four hours in a day. You have twenty-four hours in a day. The president of the United States has twenty-four hours in a day. No one has more time than anyone else. The amount of time we have isn’t the issue; it’s how we use our time.
We spend so much time on things that aren’t producing any positive results in our lives. I used to spend hours every night watching television. My life revolved around the nightly TV schedule and what I was going to eat while watching. I wasted hours of my life that could have been spent more productively. I could have been exercising during that time or getting the right amount of sleep or reading books on health.
Think about your own life. How are you spending the twenty-fours each day that God has given you? I read that the average American watches four hours of TV a day. Four hours is a lot of time that could be used to do things that are life-giving or life-changing, not just sitting in front of a screen being entertained. Maybe you spend your time doing other things that aren’t productive, such as surfing the web, shopping, reading tabloid magazines, or chatting on the phone. Be honest with yourself about how much time you spend doing things that only waste time.
Have you ever had a friend call you up at the last minute and invite you to come to their vacation home for the weekend? Isn’t it amazing how quickly we can rearrange our schedules, get the dog taken care of, pack a suitcase for every member of the family, straighten up the house, gas up the car, and hit the road because it’s an invitation to do something fun?
Well, guess what? I have a ticket to a new life waiting for you. You just have to rearrange your schedule a little and make a few changes. How badly do you want to make the change? How badly do you want to be in better shape? How badly do you want to be in better health? Make time by eliminating the things you know you don’t need to be doing. Use your day wisely.
Mini-Challenge of the Day
Keep track of your time today. From the minute you wake up to the time you go to bed, write down everything you do and how long it takes. At the end of the day, review what you have written down and see where you can make some changes. Notice where you are wasting time and make a commitment to stop doing these things.
Tip of the Day
Take containers of flavored yogurt and put them in the freezer. Frozen yogurt is a delicious and healthy substitute for ice cream.
Taken from: The 90-Day Fitness Challenge. Copyright © 2010 by Phil and Amy Parham. Published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, OR. Used by permission.