The holidays are here and they are bringing lots of parties with them! If you have a get-together or two on your calendar, putting a few of these pointers to use could mean you finish out the season without gaining a pound! Here are some practical tips to avoid overeating at holiday parties: 

Create a Game Plan

Plan what you are going to eat and drink the night before the party. While the spread may vary somewhat, you will always have some general idea of what will be on offer and be able plan accordingly. Doing so will help you allocate your calories how you want to rather than “winging it” at the get-together. For example, if you know you want to have a cocktail then you know you’ll need to say no to dessert, or vice versa.

Take a Pew

Whenever possible, sit down to eat. The old joke that calories consumed when standing do not count is, sadly, not true; but they may not “count” in the sense that your brain isn’t registering what — and how much — you are eating when you are standing. Taking a seat and paying more attention to what’s passing through your lips will help you notice the sense fullness when it arrives, too.

Keep Temptation Out of Sight

We naturally tend to eat more when food is in sight. Even smelling savory fare could break down your willpower. Try to find an area of the room that ensures the buffet is out of your line of sight and then occupy your mind (and mouth!) by talking to as many people as possible. Distraction can be your best weight-loss ally.

Don’t Skimp on Snoozing

Get plenty of sleep in the nights leading up to the big get-together. The amount of sleep you get can have a direct influence on how much you eat, whether. Considering how busy as the holiday season can be, getting your eight hours can often be a challenge, but it’s worth shuffling your schedule to ensure you to get plenty of shut-eye: Research has shown sleep deprived people are more likely to overeat during the day than those who get adequate rest.

Start Over This Second

Don’t keep telling yourself that tomorrow is another day each time you slip-up. That is the holiday-season equivalent of saying “I’ll start my diet next Monday.” When you realize you’re overeating or drinking too much at a celebration, put a stop to it right away. Rather than looking at tomorrow — or January 1st — as the “start over” day, look at the next moment as the “start over” moment

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Did You Know…

Missing a morning meal is the worst thing you can do. It slows metabolism and depletes your body of the fuel it needs to function optimally. But what you eat matters as much as the fact that you eat something. Simple, unrefined carbohydrates signal the brain to release serotonin, a neurotransmitter that brings on calm when you most want to be full of energy. Also, your body digests simple carbs quickly, sending blood sugar soaring and then plummeting, resulting in an energy crash. Try to start each day with a breakfast that contains at least 5 grams of protein which activates the production of norepinephrine, a neurochemical that increases heart rate and alertness.

Quick Tip…

Have leftovers for breakfast! This will give you a high energy meal to start your day. Keep it healthy!

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Did you know that a massage strengthens your body, helps you heal faster, and increases your overall physical performance?  Whether you’re a weekend runner, enjoy taking an occasional exercise class or are a seasoned pro, a fitness massage is a vital part of your training routine to keep you performing at your best.

Pro Fitness

This brings us to Day 172 of 365 Things To Do In Pasadena and Pro Fitness Network.  Pro Fitness located next to Oba Sushi Izakaya on Glenarm in Pasadena offers Fitness, Swedish and Deep Tissue Massage.

I have first heard of Pro Fitness when my trainer at Women’s World recommended that I get a fitness massage to help me with some knee problems that I was experiencing.  I have been taking Group Power and Spinning classes and the repetitive motion of some of the exercises caused muscle strain.  In fact, even repetitive activities, such as sitting at a computer for long periods of time, or driving a lot can cause tight, sore muscles or even injury.

Pro Fitness - Massage RoomMuscles under strain, such as stress or exercise, can become “sticky”, causing pain and limiting their ability to perform optimally. Massage is one of the only techniques which will restore them to their proper performance. Regular massages will enhance and increase the effectiveness of your workout.

So… following the advice of Katina, my trainer, I scheduled an appointment with Vanessa, one of the  therapists at Pro Fitness Network in Pasadena.  I met with Vanessa about 15 minutes before my appointment and was very impressed with the way she tried to pinpoint the problem areas for us to work on.  She took her time to truly question and understand what was bothering me and focused on working on the specific areas in question.

I never really realized before that a massage is a great way to treat knee injuries because it can relax the surrounding muscles and tissues by taking the strain and pull off of the knee itself.  It also brings fresh blood and nutrients to the area which will facilitate healing.

Other Massage Benefits:

  • It helps to remove waste products such as lactic acid and encourage the muscles to take up oxygen and nutrients which help them recover quicker. It will also increase blood flow to tissues, allowing for faster healing and improved performance.
  • Stretching – Massage can stretch tissues that could not be stretched in the usual methods. Bundles of muscle fibers are stretched lengthwise as well as sideways. It can also help lengthen the sheath or fascia that surrounds the muscle, thereby releasing any tension or pressure build up and allowing the muscle to return to it’s optimal length, relieving pain and enhancing performance.
  • Breaks down scar tissue – Scar tissue is the result of previous injuries or trauma and can effect muscles, tendons and ligaments. This can lead to inflexible tissues that are prone to injury and pain. Massage can break up the scar tissue, allowing more fluidity and less pain.
  • Improves tissue elasticity – Hard training can make tissues hard and inelastic. Massage helps reverse this by stretching the tissues and lengthening the muscle thereby enhancing results of the workout.

Whether you are looking for a relaxing massage or a fitness massage in Pasadena, Pro Fitness owned by Carina Weston is definitely a place to check out.  Carina herself has suffered a devastating injury breaking her neck in 5 places.  It took her 2 years of intense physical therapy including rehab, weight training and massage therapy to fully recover.  She is committed to working with the best therapists in Pasadena to provide an overall well being to her clients.

Mention 365 Things To Do In Pasadena and you will receive a $10 discount on your first scheduled massage ($65 instead of the regular $75/hour).

Pro Fitness Network
183 East Glenarm
Pasadena, CA 91105

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Just one meal high in saturated fat and salt impairs the arteries so much that, in a controlled study, doctors could hear the arteries struggling to keep blood flowing, even in young test participants. Dr. Robert Vogel, a professor of medicine at the University of Maryland’s Medical Center in Baltimore saw fat discoloring blood that had been taken two hours after the heavy meal.

Arteries stiffened by just one meal high in saturated fat and salt “resemble the arteries of a person who has heart disease,” says Janet Wallace, a professor of kinesiology in the School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation at Indiana University in Bloomington. Regular exercise will help keep arteries supple, in addition to eating foods low in saturated fat and sodium, eating more fruits and vegetables and losing belly fat.

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The Benefits of Pilates

Swimmer Natalie Coughlin, winner of eleven Olympic medals, credits Pilates as part of the dryland training that has led to her success in the pool. Pilates has, “without a doubt,” improved her performance in the pool, says Coughlin, who began doing Pilates in 2000. “It’s been huge for my training because it’s all about strength with form and flexibility and engaging your core, things that are absolutely crucial when you’re in the water,” she said.

“It’s taught me more about my body and how it’s supposed to work,” she says. While chronic shoulder tension and the accompanying tension headaches are not uncommon among competitive swimmers, Coughlin said, those residual compaints vanished in her body because Pilates “helps me focus on the muscles that need to be working, and relax the muscles that don’t need to work.”

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