Diet, health and fitness tips for average women. Site created and maintained by Ann Chihak Poff.

Challenge: Get those abs in while watching calories

nov challenge

Holidays can be an easy time to get back into or start bad habits. Let’s hit the ground running and tackle those bad habits with good ones. 

Wow, can you believe that it is already November? Halloween is over. Do you have candy lingering? Before we know it it will be December and Christmas and then a new year. 2014!

Go Fit Girl’s November Monthly Challenge ideas come from many Go Fit Girl! readers/friends.

Nicole M. asked for something abs related and a good challenge that has to do with resisting holiday overrating! She meant to type overeating.

Others concured on the stress eating. There was a request for maintaining food diaries.

Jen C. said, I would second the holiday eating (I’m trying to plan WW-friendly stuff already) and stress eating. Maybe … take a walk or finding healthy alternative instead of stress-eating?

Let’s explore Nicole’s typo: Resist holiday overrating. The holidays are supposed to be joyful and fun and full of spirit, right?

But for so many it is a depressing, sad, unfun, stressful time. How do many of us deal with those kind of emotions? Well, I drink (usually too much) and I definitely eat like crap. Bad choices and too many bad choices. And sometimes my great exercise routine goes out the window.

I have to say when I regularly exercise and eat healthy I feel good. But I usually don’t realize that until I am eating like crap and neglecting my exercise regimen.

Nutrition: Leftover Halloween candy; Thanksgiving turkey, ham, mashed potatoes; Christmas tamales … (What else do people eat for Christmas?); wine, beer, mixed drinks, sparkling wine …

I pretty much eat everything. Which is a problem. One thing that clearly sticks out in my mind when I used to attend Weight Watchers meetings was that piece of pie, candy, cupcake, scalloped potatoes, insert unhealthy food item here … is not going to be the last piece of pie, candy, cupcake, scalloped potatoes, etc. you will ever eat in your life. And we all know what it tastes like. So you aren’t missing anything by missing it, right?

There are friendly recipes to follow for our favorite holiday meals. Weight Watchers has all kinds of great alternatives. And some of their recipes are available to even non-members. Hungry Girl also has a lot of great recipe alternatives. Sometimes you just want the real deal. So have it. But just have one serving. Or if you just have to have three servings of that dressing (aka stuffing) then only have one glass of wine and skip the potatoes.

Focus on not overdoing it. Think before it goes in your mouth. Are the calories worth it? How will you feel after you consume it? This is where the idea of a food diary is great.

A great way to keep track of your caloric intake (eating and drinking) and output (exercise) is to journal it. I lost 30 pounds on Weight Watchers and really it was about tracking my food and exercise. I know most people don’t balance a checkbook these days. I still do. So think about when you did balance your checkbook, once you were done you usually had less money than you originally thought, right?

Journaling your food is the same idea. Look at what you have eaten today. At dinnertime you may need to make a much healthier choice to balance out your day. Or you may be able to have an ice cream after dinner or a glass of wine with dinner if the day has gone well.

If you feel stressed and want to eat something unhealthy go for a quick walk. If you are at work, get up, go talk to a fellow co-worker, fill up your water glass. Eat an apple or carrots. Drink some water. Do a set of jumping jacks. Do a set of crunches. Whatever!

Exercise: Get in ab exercises for a total of at least 45 minutes a week.

OK, who knew there were so many articles and videos catered to abdominal workouts during the holidays? We have Pre-Holiday Burn Workout #2: Simple Ab Workout.

OK, a lot of the videos I am finding are more advanced and require something to be able to do pull-ups with. And so far the Youtube videos I have found don’t seem to have a holiday theme–it’s just in the title of the video. What a rip-off!

Staying on TRAC: Holiday Abs Workout was designed to get you prepared for Thanksgiving and not a single crunch is included, unless you count bicycles as crunches. The video includes two regular dudes. OK, this is funny.

Real Simple has an easy to follow 15-minute ab workout. There is only one exercise that requires a piece of equipment: a stability ball. But you could really do the exercise without it.

If you are on Facebook, you can find this 30-day plank challenge.

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With keeping sugar and alcohol intake to a minimum (and other unhealthy foods) and a regular exercise routine in we can avoid the overrated holidays, the stress and the blues that come with all of that.

And maybe instead of grabbing a beer or eating some chips go for a quick, brisk walk or drop to the floor and get some abs out of the way. I can guarantee you will physically feel better (you just burned calories) and mentally (no guilt!).

Update on your progress and outcomes here or on the Go Fit Girl! Monthly Challenge Facebook group page.


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