Sometimes we all need that extra push or kick in the butt when it comes to getting into shape. A healthy competition among like-minded individuals -- with a prize for the winner -- may be a great incentive to stay on track. And yes, why not opt for a weight loss competition around the holidays, when everyone else seems to go on a weight gain competition instead? You might be surprised who else might join you when you announce this challenge to your friends, colleagues or family members.
6) Skip the Sugar and Spice It Up
Sugar cravings can be a pain -- especially during the holidays, when there are sugary snacks all around you. So what can you do to avoid the sugar cravings? One option may be to substitute spice for sugar whenever possible. For example, try adding cinnamon instead to your cereal or oatmeal in the morning. The active ingredient, methylhydroxychalcone polymer, seems to mimic insulin function, increasing blood sugar uptake by cells. In short, cinnamon reduced not only blood sugar, but also triglycerides, total cholesterol and LDL (or "bad" cholesterol) in people with type 2 diabetes as a study found that was published in the journal Diabetic Care. And it gets better. How about blood pressure? Stress can raise blood pressure, which can be an issue with individuals with cardiovascular diseases. A study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition suggested that in addition to glucose metabolism, cinnamon may have a role in glucose metabolism and blood pressure regulation. In other words, adding cinnamon to the diet may have a positive influence on blood pressure.
7) Find Time for Exercise
Did you think I wasn't going to mention exercise? There's no escape from this one. Sure, you might have not as much time because of shopping, family... you name it. So work with what time you have! If you really do have little time, then use the 15-60 approach. How does this approach work? Take one strength exercise and repeat it 15 times. Immediately change over to a 60-second cardiovascular set, which can be as simple as running in place, running the stairs or jumping rope. Choose the level of intensity that feels comfortable to you. Then repeat the same thing with another strength exercise without any rest. Use one strength exercise for each of the large and small muscle groups.
Weight loss strategies are simple to implement during the holidays. A little focus and a little willpower will get you there. Don't be one of the people who just get fried by too much information and who know all the information but do nothing with it. Just pick one of the strategies above, and you will be on your way to a leaner, stronger and slimmer body.
Stefan Aschan is a leading expert on lifestyle, health and fitness who has helped more than 30,000 people get fit through advice on nutrition, fitness and lifestyle changes. For your free "Updates and Solution" newsletter and e-report on "How to have 10 times more success losing weight, staying on top of your goals, and accomplishing the change of body shape and appearance," visit www.theaustrianadvantage.com.