Avoid Vacation Weight Gain | The Healthy Vacation Guide

Eat and Exercise the Right Way, Away From Home

how to prevent vacation weight gain Atlanta Personal Trainers

Vacation season is here! You deserve a break, after spending the last few months becoming a fitter, healthier you, right? While vacation is a time to relax and take a break from work, stress, and the usual routine, it shouldn’t be a break from your healthy habits.

With a little planning, you can enjoy your vacation and still maintain your current weight and fitness level. Whatever your plans – a family road trip, a tropical cruise, a sightseeing tour, or relaxing on the beach – you can avoid packing on those dreaded vacation pounds by packing some healthy foods and workout gear instead.

Roadies
If you’re traveling by car, you’ve already spent a lot of time planning your course. We all want to make good time, but it’s also important to schedule several breaks into your itinerary, especially if you have kids:

  • Pack a cooler full of healthy snacks, and even complete meals such as Fit Chow. Chopped veggies, fresh fruits, bottled water and LaCroix (my favorite), Greek yogurt, low sodium turkey/beef jerkey, air popped pop corn, and nuts/seeds.
  • Don’t skip meals, and try not to go more than 4 or 5 hours without eating. Being famished at mealtime may hinder your ability to make healthy choices and trigger overeating. Plus, constant energy levels will keep you alert at the wheel.
  • Avoid eating full meals in the car. Take time to stop, relax and enjoy your meal. This way, you can pay closer attention to your hunger and satiety signals.
  • Plan exercise and stretching breaks as well. Just three 10-minute pit stops add up to 30 minutes of activity. Go for a quick jog or walk, stretch and run around with the kids. Back in the car, you’ll be more alert and energetic.
  • Avoid coffee and caffeinated drinks. While they do give you a short energy burst, the drop when caffeine wears off can make you even more tired. For stable energy levels, drink plenty of water and eat healthy, whole foods that keep blood sugar levels from spiking and dropping.
  • Be wary of fast food and roadside restaurants. If you have no other options, choose the healthiest possible items and keep portion sizes small. One way to avoid excess calories and fat is to hold the mayo, special sauces, cheese and dressings. Also opt for non-breaded and non-fried items and kid-sized portions.

 

Frequent Flyers
Despite appearances – a plethora of fast foods, snacks and lots of sitting around – flights and airports offer plenty of nutritious food and opportunity for activity, if you know where to look:

  • Try to eat a healthy meal before you arrive. You’ll be less likely to munch on high-calorie snacks just because they’re around or you’re bored.
  • If eating in an airport, it’s worth it to spend the time searching out healthy foods. Look for salads, fresh fruit, vegetable-based soups and baked chicken.
  • While trekking through the airport, take every opportunity for extra movement. Use the stairs, pass on the people movers and carry your own luggage.
  • Instead of sitting around before boarding the plane, use the time to walk. You’ll arrive early enough to fit in 15-20 minutes of walking, so take advantage of it. After all, you’re about to sit for an entire flight.
  • Call the airline 48 hours in advance to see if a meal is offered. Typical in-flight dinners can have as many calories (over 1,000) as a fast food meal, and even more fat! Special order a diabetic, low-fat, vegetarian, child, or religious meal. Or, pack your own lunch to ensure you get exactly what you want.
  • Flying can easily dehydrate you, so drink plenty of water. Drinking one glass per hour in flight will ward off dehydration and jetlag.
  • It’s okay to get up and walk through the aisles a few times when you are feeling antsy during a long flight.

Cruise Control

Cruises offer so many opportunities for fun and exploring. But they are also known for their rich, gourmet food that is available round the clock. You don’t have to totally deprive yourself to stay in shape. Moderation, along with participation in the many opportunities that cruises offer for fitness, will keep you sailing smoothly:

  • At buffets, fill your plate only once. Load 50% of your plate with vegetables and choose small portions of other foods you want to try.
  • If you splurge and eat a rich meal, try to balance it out with a healthy, vegetable meal. Eat lighter the rest of the day.
  • If ordering dessert, don’t make it a daily habit. And when you do, split it with someone else.
  • Most cruises offer a healthier “spa menu.” Order from this when you can. And, when ordering at any meal, be very specific about what you do and do not want. You can omit ingredients and specify how you want something to be cooked (steamed instead of fried).
  • Plan for fitness every day. Cruises usually offer complete gyms, aerobics classes, trainers, running tracks and pools. Go dancing in the disco in the evening and play plenty of beach games when docked. Take a morning walk around the track while enjoying the sights and fresh air.

 

Staying Inn Shape
As the demand for healthy eating and exercising rises, hotels are responding to their guests. There’s no reason not to work out or eat right just because you’re away from home. Calling ahead and working with the concierge will help you find all the things you need to make your vacation a healthy one:

  • When checking in, refuse the mini-bar key. Not only are the prices outrageous, but the choices are not the healthiest. Instead, find a nearby health food store or grocery and stock up on good-for-you snacks. If your room/floor has a fridge or microwave, you can also get enough foods to prepare healthy meals. If a coffee maker is all you get, buy instant soups or oatmeal and prepare them with the hot water.
  • If ordering room service, be specific about what you want, whether or not it is on the menu. Most places will accommodate your healthy requests and substitutions.
    Before leaving home, find out what fitness opportunities the hotel offers. While most will have a pool, others may offer tennis, walking paths, bike rentals and full gyms. Then, pack the appropriate clothes, shoes and gear.
  • If your hotel does not have a gym, ask if they are affiliated with a nearby local gym. Many will offer day passes at a discount for hotel guests.
  • Ask the concierge about healthy restaurants, markets, parks, trails and maps.
    Design your own hotel room workout. All you need to pack is some lightweight, cheap equipment: resistance bands, a jump rope and a sticky mat. Most bands will come with illustrated exercises. You can also do push-ups, crunches, lunges, squats and triceps dips on a chair.
  • Remember to pack walking shoes, a swimsuit, exercise equipment and loose, comfortable clothing. And with all that time in the sun, don’t forget shades, a hat and plenty of sunscreen.

It’s worth the time it takes to plan ahead for a healthy trip, but be realistic. You probably won’t lose weight on vacation, but maintenance is possible. Remember, vacation (like exercise) should be fun! Try new things, sightsee on foot, go rock climbing or surfing, and definitely enjoy the good food without total deprivation. Being healthy is a lifestyle, not a quick fix. So, follow these tips to return home with plenty of memories and souvenirs, not extra pounds.

Adapted from,

Nicole Nichols

http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/nutrition_articles.asp?id=231&page=3

Atlanta Personal Trainer | How to Fight Belly Bloat

Belly Bloat: What You Should and Shouldn’t Eat and Drink

Top Atlanta Personal Trainers

Every year as swimsuit season approaches, one of the most common questions we’re asked as personal trainers and fitness nutritionist is what can be done to avoid feeling and looking bloated. Everyone wants to know which foods to eat to flush out the excess fluid in the abdomen that makes us feel like leaving the t-shirt or cover-up on rather than freely sporting the bathing suit. And while there are a few key bloat-reducing foods worth sharing, it’s equally as important to remember that some foods can have the opposite effect. Here are four foods that can help you to look and feel light and svelte, and four foods to watch out for that can make you feel water-logged and get you into “bloat” trouble.

4 Foods to Avoid

1. Watch your coffee. You may grab yours before heading out for a day at the beach, but beware. Certain dairy items, even coffee creamer, can bloat the stomach, particularly in those who are lactose intolerant. And soy milk, which many people add to lighten their coffee, causes bloat for some, so take note and see how you react on days when you aren’t heading to the beach.

2. Nix carbonated drinks. All of those bubbles create gas in your stomach, which causes bloat. Our clients have confessed to us that they used to skip meals and fill up on a diet soda—thinking it would fill their stomachs and make them look lean. Instead, it actually left them ravenous later in the day and bloated at the beach. Instead of carbonated drinks, choose a beverage that actually helps to beat the bloat (see some choices below).

3. Avoid snacks that feel light and airy. Although you may be drawn toward snacks that feel light like chips, salt is a top enemy when it comes to bloat. When you consume too much salt, your body holds on to water to dilute it. This creates extra water in your tissues that feels heavy and makes you look puffy.

4. Give sweet frozen temptations the cold shoulder. Sugary flavor ices can be tempting for cooling off, but it’s easy to have a few ice pops and swallow a lot of sugar. The body responds to sugar much like it does to salt by holding on to water to dilute the concentration. Again, this will make you feel water-logged.

5 Bloat-Reducing Foods

1. Water—with a twist of lemon

Beach days are the perfect time to opt for water. Although it seems counterintuitive to drink water when you’re worried about feeling bloated, retaining water is actually your body’s way of holding on to fluid to prevent dehydration. Drinking water will allow your body to let go of any extra fluid it might be retaining. Flavor it with a twist of lemon, which is a natural diuretic. You’ll get the benefits of hydration without excess calories or sodium. Plus, lemon provides a boost of potassium, which helps to counteract sodium. Potassium helps to restore normal fluid balance so you’ll rinse out any excess fluid that your body may be storing.

2. Watermelon

Hold a cup of watermelon and a cup of potato chips in your hands. Watermelon feels heavy, but that’s just because it’s made up of 92 percent water, so it will help your body to release any water it’s retaining. Plus, watermelon is a great source of potassium to balance out any salt your body may be storing that’s causing bloat. You can even add some watermelon to your lemon water.  The best time to indulge in the watermelon is post workout with the addition of your protein shake.

3. Blueberries

First, blueberries are packed with fiber. Often when you’re bloated, it’s because you’re constipated. Consume some fluid along with fiber and push out the waste from your colon. Blueberries are a great source of fiber, fluid and potassium (to counteract any possible bloat you may be experiencing from salt). Blueberries also contain the phytochemical C3G, which research shows may help in weight loss by enhancing the production of both adiponectin, which enhances fat metabolism, and leptin, which suppresses appetite.

Try adding blueberries to your morning smoothie or Greek Yogurt.  For weight loss the best timing to consume fruit is first thing in the morning or after your workout.

4. Iced Green Tea With Mint and Lemon

Tea is hydrating and will help flush any excess sodium that’s contributing to bloat. Mint aids digestion and will ease stomach discomfort that contributes to belly expansion. Furthermore, both mint and lemon contain potassium, which helps to restore normal fluid balance and flush out bloat. Make your iced tea at home, keep it in a large water bottle, and sip away on the sand. An added bonus? The tea contains the amino acid theanine, which brings on a potent combination of mental calmness and alertness that helps to thwart stress and the stomach upset and distention that comes with it. Plus, feeling calm and alert will help you to be in your groove and to feel confident on the beach.

5.  Dandelion Root Tea

Many people use dandelion root to detoxify, relieve constipation, soothe an upset stomach, and help shed water weight, among many other health remedies. In fact, tea made from the dandelion’s root or leaves has been used in traditional Chinese and Native American medicine for centuries; now, even Dr. Oz has jumped on board, recommending dandelion tea as part of his 48-hour cleanse to help your liver release toxins while you sleep.  Find a reputable brand (try Yogi Detox or Traditional Medicial’s Roasted Dandelion Root) and get a great detox as well as eliminate your bloat.

 

Adapted From:

http://www.acefitness.org/acefit/healthy-living-article/60/5350/belly-bloat-what-you-should-and-shouldn-t-eat/

 

Personal Training Client of the Month | May 2015

LIVE LIFE FIT
CLIENT OF THE MONTH

Top Atlanta Personal Trainer
Allie Lindeman
May 2015

We’d like to introduce you to the May 2015 Live Life Fit client of the month, Allie Lindeman! Allie, 28, has been training with top Atlanta personal trainer, Madeleine Conti, at Brad Kolowich Jr. Fitness Studio since December of 2014. Over the course of five months, Allie has developed a perfectly balanced physique, while also profoundly improving her cardiovascular and muscular endurance and strength. In addition to her physical development, she has grown to love exercise! She has yet to be unenthusiastic about her workouts – even when she’s performing weighted burpees and pushing the sled with 150+ pounds added.

This enthusiasm to dedicate every waking moment to improving her health and fitness didn’t appear out of thin air – Allie is walking down the aisle on May 24th! For the past month, she has been meticulously following her nutrition plan in order to achieve optimal results by the time her wedding day arrives. Allie also arrives 30 minutes prior to her training sessions to run sprints, and often times gathers up some other ladies at work to do a quick arm workout on their lunch break! Allie is the epitome of determination and consistency, and we’re thrilled to see her hard work has paid off at Brad Kolowich Jr. Fitness Studio!