Tackling holiday weight woes

Small gains can be big problem all year
NEW YORK (CNN) -- "The good news is it's not as bad as we thought," said Dr. Jack Yanovski, the study's principal investigator and head of NICHD's Unit on Growth and Obesity. "The bad news is that it's hard to take off that weight the rest of the year."
Although it's not easy to shed holiday weight gain, experts say there are ways to keep the pounds from piling on in the first place. Figuring out a game plan is the first and most important step, said Judith Stern, co-founder and vice president of the American Obesity Association (AOA). Small changes can make a big difference, Stifler said. Switching from regular to diet soda can result in losing 6 to 8 pounds in a year's time, he said. Using mustard instead of mayonnaise or walking even 20 minutes a day also can help. Using smaller plates (thus, having smaller portions) and getting rid of leftovers after grand holiday meals also help the cause, added Stern. Another key is resisting pressure from friends and relatives to eat unhealthy foods. "You have to decide what you want to do, you can't be sabotaged," said Stern. "It's an extreme way of saying, 'I am in charge, please everybody help me.'" Fink also cautions against people who are too restrictive or who swear off certain foods (for instance, no cookies or no pies). This can lead to a vicious cycle of restricting a certain food, then eating it, then feeling bad or angry about what you did and in turn eating to make yourself feel better..
Read the full story here at CNN.com

Periodized Training - And Why It's Import

Lately, no matter how hard or how often you work out; you just can't seem to progress any further. You’re stuck on a plateau. It turns out that the exercise you've been doing has worked so well that your body has adapted to it. You need to ''shock'' or ''surprise'' your body a bit. You need to give it a new challenge periodically if you’re going to continue to make gains.
That goes for both strength and cardiovascular training. ''Periodizing'' your training is the key. Instead of doing the same routine month after month, you change your training program at regular intervals or ''periods'' to keep your body working harder, while still giving it adequate rest. For example, you can alter your strength-training program by adjusting the following variables: - The number of repetitions per set, or number of sets of each exercise - The amount of resistance used - The rest period between sets, exercises or training sessions - The order of the exercises, or the type of exercises - The speed at which you complete each exercise
Periodized training will ensure that you continue to make measurable progress, which will keep you energized and interested in reaching your goals. To read the full story click here.
Fit Facts are reprinted from ACE FitnessMatters® magazine permission granted.

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