Good Morning You Avid Fans:
No, I am not talking about being fans of the National Football League (or as I call it, the No Flag League)! I am talking about you avid readers of sensible training and nutritional information.
The month of October marks a time of many beginnings. On Tuesday, our National Pastime will begin its playoff season. Will the Dodgers rebound or drown? Will the Yankees play more than one game?
Now that Yom Kippur is over, our Jewish friends will begin celebrating Sukkot on Wednesday. The fourth is also the day Tracy and I, as well as our friends to the north, will be celebrating the start of the 2017-18 NHL season (Let’s Go Rangers and Go Kings Go).
Finally, by it’s end, October will mark our return to Standard Time as we “fall back” on November 5th. Boo! No, that is not for Halloween!
So, with all of that as a back drop…
For there to be an end, there needs to be a beginning. Heavy stuff, I know. But what does that mean? I mean, that if you are at the end of your health and fitness rope, it’s time to begin to make changes.
How much weight have you lost or gained this year? How was your diet? Did you need to diet? How much time did you devote to your exercise regimen these past 10 or 12 months? Did you even have an exercise regimen these past 10 or 12 months?
If you are satisfied with the answers to all of those questions, my guess is that you are NOT yet at the end of your rope. Mazel Tov! But even if that is the case, if we are all being honest, we all could have done at least a little bit better than we did. Right?
So what changes can we make that will make the changes we want?
Research shows that 75% of the work that goes into a successful health and fitness program revolves around nutrition. That means it is impossible to exercise away a bad diet. So don’t kid yourself, if you are used to having rich meal after rich meal, going for a casual walk with your sweetheart or dog (even if they are one in the same) won’t help keep your scale at bay. Nor is going for that random hike in the morning, swim before lunch and/or that iron pump prior to dinner. The real key to tipping the scale in the direction you want is to have a commitment to a reality-based “diet”.
Does that mean while on vacation or during the upcoming holidays I am suggesting you remain as faithful to your nutritional plan as you better be to your spouse? Not at all! I am saying that if you get your diet in order, a little “distraction” here and there is okay as long as you regain your “traction” in between.
Think about it though. In a week’s time, to gain a pound (whether it be muscle or fat), you need to exceed your caloric needs by 3500 calories. On average, that is an increase of just 500 calories a day. I know that may sound like a lot, but, especially when we are talking about poor food choices, 500 calories comes in smaller packages than you think. Just add one plain bagel with plain cream cheese or two regular sized Snickers or even just about any “danish” from your favorite coffee spot above your total caloric requirement to maintain your current body weight, over a seven day period, you’ll be one pound heavier. And it won’t be muscle!
So what does that mean as you eat out while on vacation or during the holidays? Well, according the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men who engage in “light activity” one to three days per week, burn 2,228 calories per day and women burn 2,053. So how much does the average American eat per meal? In a study focused in Boston, San Francisco and Little Rock from 2011-2014, researchers from Tufts University found that nine out of 10 meals in non-chain restaurants contained approximately 1,200 calories, which is more than a half a day’s worth of calories for each of THE TWO genders. While American, Italian and Chinese cuisines scored of the worst (averaging nearly 1,500 calories per meal), the studies also revealed that even a Greek salad contained nearly 1,000 calories. It is not hard to see that while celebrating time off one can easily be putting weight on.
Shackled with that information, what is the solution? I believe that when you begin an effective fitness program (one that includes moderate to intense exercise and a sensible diet), it is best to maintain it wherever you are and whenever you can. That way, your body will be better tuned to eating more sensibly (albeit not perfectly) when you are way or during the holidays; and you won’t derail your health and fitness goals by indulging in those extra appetizers, drinks or desserts.
So if you find yourself at the end of your fitness rope, whether you have been training consistently or not, and need a new beginning, please let me Tracy and I know and we will make sure you find yourself back on track.
As for me and Tracy the “Holiday Season” starts in October as it marks the beginning of another year for Tracy who will forever be 35! And yes, among other “cheats,” we WILL be eating birthday cake! Where? Not telling! Just know that we’ve been consistent with our effective fitness programs consistently enough that we may even have two pieces each! LOL!
Oh, in keeping with my new theme of offering you guys and gals a peak onto our dinner table and in honor of the fact that wincalendar.com lists Brussels Sprouts among the “Veges” for the month of October, here is my recipe of the month:
Par cook two packs of frozen Brussels Spouts in a microwave for 4 minutes each.
When finished, spread the sprouts evenly onto a large piece of tin foil. Then drizzle (or drench) them with sriracha, crushed black pepper and thinly sliced garlic. Wrap tightly and put on the grill for 40 minutes – flipping at the 20 minute mark. Results? Blackened, Spicy, Potato-like tasting Brussels Sprouts! And for a reminder of their benefits, check out Body Designs 156: Cabbage Patch Dining.
Thank you for reading and remember, “if they don’t salute, choose not to root!”
Ps. That’s mine too!