Archive for November, 2010

Healthy Holiday Eating Tips

Friday, November 19th, 2010


By: Amber Tebeau NASM CPT, Manager and Trainer CoachMeFit West Bloomfield

During the holiday season, CoachMeFit in West Bloomfield likes to have a weightloss contest.  The goal of the contest is for our clients to maintain or lose weight during the holidays.  Last year we only had one client that did not lost weight; our clients were really excited about their success.  The following is a copy of some tips that we give our clients to help them  get through the holidays without weight gain.

Here’s some scary food for thought: to gain five pounds from now to the end of January, all you have to do is eat an average of 200 calories per day more than you need — an ounce of fudge here, an ounce of gravy there, some pecan pie. If you need to ‘get a grip’ on eating splurges, the winter holiday months are key to your long range planning. The holidays typically encourage people to indulge in high-fat, high-calorie foods that are low in nutrients, and this is also the time we’re most likely to make excuses for skipping exercise.


One of the most significant diet dangers revolves around sugar consumption. Problems arise from riding on a sugar roller coaster. When you binge on sugar, you crave more and more and your body slows down. Along with sunlight deprivation, sugar binges cause a drop in serotonin, a chemical in the brain that regulates sleep and appetite. A lack of serotonin is often associated with depression. When you’re deprived of serotonin, you won’t feel calm and in control.

To help boost your serotonin level naturally, eat small but frequent meals that include complex, starchy veggies. You can also help control blood sugar levels by eating small quantities of protein three times a day. For example, eat two egg whites in the morning, some turkey at lunch and a small portion of grilled fish at night.


You should keep up your regular exercise during the holidays and accept no excuses. When endorphins are high, you’ll cope better with stress, and regular exercise boosts endorphins.

Here are some other holiday survival tips:

·         Exercise 30 min to 60 min a day during the holidays. Exercise to burn calories, relieve stress, and elevate your endorphins and mood such as a brisk walk, run, or bike-ride.

·         Avoid eating no fat. Eating moderate amounts of fat during the holidays will satiate the appetite and prevent overeating of carbs (about 35-65 grams per day will be sufficient for most people.)

·         Don’t skip meals. Hunger and low blood sugar lead to overeating.

·         Don’t pass up favorite foods or deprive yourself completely. Moderate consumption is the key.

·         Don’t tempt yourself by keeping trigger foods or comfort foods around the house. If you have them, it certainly increases the likelihood that you will overeat.

·         Plan meals by keeping in mind the demands you’ll have on your schedule that day.

·         Don’t go to a party starving. Before you leave home, eat something light or drink a protein shake. Also drink a great deal of water the day of the party.

·         When you attend holiday festivities, don’t station yourself near the buffet table. Make a clear-cut decision to distance yourself from all goodies.

·         If you do find yourself feeling depressed, soothe your spirit with a massage, manicure, pedicure, or facial. Men can enjoy this too!

·         When you shop, eat before you leave home so you won’t resort to cookie breaks.

·         To satisfy your sweet tooth, set limits. For example, you might allow yourself two desserts per week at 250 calories each.

·         Just because it is the holidays doesn’t mean you should give yourself the license to eat everything that passes by. Factor in the little extras into your daily intake.

·         Help out by saving fat and calories when it’s feasting time. Make or buy wild-rice stuffing, baked sweet potatoes and whole-grain rolls.

·         If you are staying with family or friends ask them if you can have a space in the refrigerator and keep foods on hand to snack on like lean deli meats, cottage cheese, nonfat cheese sticks, etc.

·         If you are at the mercy of the dinner host, eat modest amounts of the foods offered and fill up on foods with more fiber and fewer calories. Make a small plate and skip the seconds.



Thursday, November 11th, 2010

By Jessica VanReenen M.S. Clinical Exercise Physiology, Grand Rapids MI.

In about two weeks, Thanksgiving will be upon us! To most of us Thanksgiving is about food and family and something we look forward to and to others, it may be something we dread.  Thanksgiving is the day where the home cooks show off their mad cooking skills and the expectation of the people doing the eating to finish off the menu. So, the question remains, how do you keep your family’s tradition going when you are trying to stay healthy and are hindered with the staples of the Thanksgiving table such as fats and carbs? For one, you could help prepare the menu ahead of time in order to incorporate some healthy substitutes. Substitute olive oil to create the smoothness in the mashed potatoes instead of heavy cream, and cut down on the butter which you won’t even miss. For the sweet potatoes, instead of brown sugar, try using crushed pineapple to add the sweetness. For stuffing, try incorporating whole wheat bread instead of white bread and add broth instead of butter to hold it all together. And finally for pumpkin pie, try using graham cracker crumbs for the crust instead of the usual wheat flour because you will only be using oil rather than shortening. If you cannot use these substitutes to your holiday eating, remember portion control and choose wisely what you eat. But remember; above all be thankful for all you have!


In A Rut?

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

Kelly Kalbfleisch, NPTI Certified Personal Trainer

Manager of CoachMeFit Ann Arbor

I’m not going to lie….I’m a trainer and I’m in an exercise rut.  We all go through the ups and downs of an exercise routine.  As I was thinking about a blog, I thought I may as well write about what I’m going through to get some motivation while helping others who are in the same place as me!  I came across the article below.  It talks mostly about weight loss, but I am replacing the weight loss feel of the article to fit into what I need to get out of my fitness routines.  Whatever your fitness goal(s), you can use this article’s tips to get you back on track. 

To stick around and work, weight loss has to fit within the bigger picture — and then made into a daily priority. Like a movie extra struggling to be seen on a blockbuster film, if weight loss isn’t in the big picture, it won’t get watched.

Weight loss is a classic “out of sight, out of mind” matter. If you’re busy with big picture stuff (which hopefully you are), weight loss may feel forgotten and start to get in the way. Unless, of course, it becomes part of that bigger picture. Knowing the role that fitness plays gives you the motivation to keep going strong.
First, put weight loss up on the big screen. List the things that losing weight will help you do. Want to be a better parent? Improve your work performance? Stick around to see your grandkids? Are travel, horseback riding, racecar driving, home improvement and other high-energy activities important to you?
These reasons can be made into motivators. They’ll be more energizing than looking at the scale any day of the week.

Second, make fitness a daily priority. Some ideas:

  • Do your goal activities early before distractions hit.
  • Arrange your day and menu ahead of time and stick to the plan.
  • Create a reward system that’s related to your big picture. For example, if you’re in this to boost your confidence, reward yourself for small wins by putting $1 in a “stepping out” fund.
  • Pack lunches and avoid eating out.
  • Carry a picture of your main motivators.
  • Find reasons to be with and talk to positive, upbeat people with similar goals.

With the steps above, you help yourself realize that weight loss can have real meaning — that if you stop using smart fitness strategies or stop eating your veggies, you’re losing more than some weight loss momentum. You’re potentially holding yourself back from living the life that you love.

By: Mike Kramer, staff writer for