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26 Tips To Fight Holiday Buldge

Holiday-Bulge 1

1. Start Strong: eat a healthy breakfast. If you don’t, you will tend to overeat the rest of the day.

2. Curb your appetite. Drink a glass of water before every meal. It will help you fill up faster & help you eat less.

3. Slow down. Eat slower & taste your food. Give your mind time to send the message to you that you’re satisfied.

4. Stay active. Exercise. Move more & eat less. Sorry you know it works! Eating & exercise go hand in hand. Kettlebells are one of the quickest exercises to get you to your goals.

5. Keep your food diary. Tracking your diet will help to point out your weaknesses. You will then be able to focus on limiting your intake of certain foods and spot when
you missed a meal & etc. What you measure you can manage.

6. Pick Healthier foods at least 80% of the time. Eat more vegetables & fruit and other healthy choices such as whole-grain foods, beans, and nuts.

7. Don’t go anywhere hungry. Try to arrive at any holiday parties having already eaten something healthy. That way you won’t be too prone to
digging into high-calorie party foods.

8. Portion Control. Pay attention to how much you put on your plate. Use smaller plates. Moderation is one of the most important elements in weight control.

9. Water over Alcohol. Drinking water in place of alcohol will keep you hydrated and keep your energy level high. It will also help to avoid tacking on unnecessary calories.

10. Don’t eat things if you don’t like them. If you put it on your plate and it doesn’t taste as good as you thought, don’t eat it. Why take the extra calories on
something, which doesn’t even satisfy you?

11. Bring something you like. When attending a party or gathering, bring a healthier dish and one you like and eat it! This is a good way to eat less tempting foods.

12. Don’t give up! Falling out of habits you are trying to accomplish for a few days, DOES NOT mean your effort is hopeless. Simply acknowledge that you overeat or ate
bad and get back on your plan. New day!

13. Decide how many drinks you are going to have before the party, choose light, and alternate between an alcohol beverage (if you have to drink)and water
(same goes for soda). This cuts 100’s of calories!!!!

14. More Vegetables. Make half of your plate filled with vegetables.

15. Wrap up Leftovers immediately. If you wrap them up, you less likely to eat them mindlessly when you are already full.

16. Say no to Leftovers. Unless they are healthy foods.

17. Use the dirty napkin trick. When you want to stop eating throw a dirty napkin over your food.

18. Throw the snack plate away. When at a party, if the plate is plastic throw it away. If it is a dish put it in the sink. The longer you hold on to your plate, the more you will eat.

19. Ask yourself is this good? And if not, don’t eat it!

20. Trim all the fat. If you are cooking it, do it before you cook it. If you didn’t cook it, just trim it off before eating.

21. Split a Treat. Half the calories. Or have a little piece.

22. Question yourself. Frequently ask yourself if you’re full and listen.

23. Read Daily. Stick to your goals. Look at them first thing in the morning, throughout the day and before bed.

24. Tricks. Brush your teeth or grab gum to stop you from eating more.

25. Leave the room. Don’t hang out by the food table at home or at parties. Too much mindless eating!

26. Don’t let the food own you, “you own you!”

Mississippi Cycling Coach Weighs In On Camelbaks

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Consider Other Options Prior To Using a Camelbak Pack on Your Summer Road Ride

By Tammy Thomas, JD, CPT, CSI

I am here to provide you with education to improve your cycling experience. The information provided herein is the result of data collected in a study of over 100 road cyclists, in addition to my expert level cycling experience. The study is in no way, shape, or form intended to qualify for scientific publication.

I have seen many folks out there riding a recumbent with a Camelbak in tow behind the seat, rather than attached to the rider’s back. However, the journeys of road cyclists, mountain bike cyclists, and recumbent cyclists vary greatly in distinction due to terrain, height of bike from pavement, and position (horizontal, upright, reclining, etc.).
Indeed, the distinctions are notable, although not covered specifically herein.

A Matter of Personal Preference?
If you feel comfortable with your Camelbak, stick with it. But think about it.
Your body is your engine. You want the weight on the bike and not on your back so that your body will be less stressed, providing more energy reserves for your long bike ride. It’s like having the right bike fitted to your body, and the right saddle and shoes. One person may be able to get by for a short period of time, but after mile X, all these things of comfort or discomfort can make or break your joy of cycling and cause your ride to be much harder than it should be.

In the road cycling environment a Camelbak is not a good idea because of the potential for overheating, back problems, gravity and stability, and excess wind drag. But in rare circumstances, it might be a good idea if the hydration needs require more water/hydration than can be carried on your bicycle.


Potential For Overheating:
Camelbak can increase your core body temperature, thereby negating the purported purpose and idea of using one altogether, even though the water in the camel stays cool due to insulation. With the Camelbak in place, you can feel hotter because the sweat has trouble evaporating while it is covered up with the Camelbak decreasing the airflow. The overheating increases perspiration, in addition to causing extra sweat on the back.


The Bent-Over Road Bike Position:
Due to road bike geometry, the body is forced into a near-horizontal position, and by placing a backpack (Camelbak) on your back while in this position, creates extra weight for the spinal column. “With mountain biking you are usually in a more upright position, so using a Camelbak isn’t as much of a concern. But on a road bike, with most riders being on their drops/hoods/aeros for extended periods of time, the Camelbaks can put a
strain on your back.” (Greg LeMond).

A 100 oz camelback can add up to 7 pounds of torture for your back. For larger cyclists, this may not be much of a problem, but it can wreak havoc on the back of a smaller cyclist. You may or may not notice the affects of the extra weight right away, but research indicates that carrying extra weight on your back may lead to a decrease in spinal health or aggravate preexisting spinal conditions, such as sports injuries or scoliosis.


Because the water is located way up high and away from the bicycle instead of low & near the crank (which is where the bottle cages are), the Camelbak changes the center of gravity. This matters when descending hills and maneuvering corners, turns, and climbing. So with the weight distributed in this area, the road bicycle is less stable. As you can imagine, this could potentially be problematic for the novice cyclist. And even as an advanced cyclist, I certainly do not want to work against gravity – I could use all the help with gravity that I can get.


Excess Wind Drag and A Comfortable Ride:
With the Camelbak on your back (some of the packs are quite large), comes an increase in wind drag/resistance, which means more effort to maintain your miles per average bragging rights. Additionally, the shoulder straps can either be too tight on the chest or alternatively too loose and swing back and forth. The more comfortable you are on your bike, the more miles you will be willing to pedal. Another complaint from road cyclists who have used Camelbaks is that the hose has a tendency to whip around and cause a distraction while cycling at high speeds, particularly downhill. Also, some cyclists reported that the increased weight on their back contributed to writs aches.


The Camelbak Water Bottle Alternative:
In 2009, Team Garmin-Slipstream began using CamelBak’s Podium and insulated Podium ChillJacket water bottles to stay hydrated and cool during the Tour de France and totaled more than 2,100 bottles used during the Tour’s 21 stages. According to Camelbak, the ChillJackets keep water cool twice as long as standard bottles. Other water bottle manufacturers make similar insulated products.


Pre-Hydrate, + During and After
When you pre-hydrate properly, you typically do not need to carry so many extra fluids. Electrolyte drink mix or gel should keep you hydrated. A regular Electrolyte mix in a Camelbak is not a good idea if you want to keep it clean, but Camelbak does market a tablet that can be dissolved into water in the reservoir. Personally, I find Advocare’s Rehydrate products to be highly effective. You can find them here:


Other options:
Keep ice cold bottles in a refrigerator or freezer prior to ride
Carry 2 large bottles in frame mounted water bottle cages
Carry 3rd bottle in rear jersey pocket
Carry 4th and 5th bottle in seat mounted double water bottle (if needed)
Water bladder inside frame bag?
Find a nearby water source, such as a park, school, service station, community center, or commercial building.

Drink nothing and risk heat stroke/heat exhaustion (not recommended)


Tammy Thomas is a fitness expert, former US Cycling Team member, and cycling coach. She owns MS Fitness Pro, LLC in Ridgeland, MS. If you’re looking to improve your cycling performance or fitness level, contact Tammy at 601-559-5577 or at tammy@msfitnesspro.com to get started on your new program today. For more information, visit http://www.msfitnesspro.com.

©Copyright. MS Fitness Pro, LLC. 2012

What Should You Eat Before, During, and After Prolonged Training Sessions?

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New and experienced exercisers alike are always looking for the most rapid results and the easiest way to attain them. In addition to the role of training, most exercise enthusiasts recognize the relevance of proper diet in health and physical fitness goal attainment. This helps explain the extreme proliferation of the supplement industry. Although most supplements have not demonstrated any efficacy during clinical investigations there are strategies that use energy yielding nutrients for optimal returns.


The three energy yielding nutrients (carbohydrates, fats, and proteins) have varying roles and functions in the diet. For instance, proteins serve over 50,000 different functions in the body and interestingly energy metabolism is not a primary role. Carbohydrates function to maintain the central nervous system and fuel work, while fats serve to spare glucose and fuel low level efforts and resting activities. Due to the role carbohydrates, fats, and proteins serve in exercise and recovery, gaining a thoughtful understanding of each will promote the desired outcomes of the training.



The goal of pre-exercise nutrition is to ensure the participant has adequate energy to perform at optimal capacity during an entire training session or competitive event without premature fatigue or catabolic activity. As a generality for resistance training, pre-exercise nutrition should be geared toward proper blood glucose and amino acid levels and the promotion of protein synthesis and recovery. For prolonged endurance training or competition, optimizing energy storage before the event is often most crucial.


Carbohydrate – Prior to prolonged endurance training, it is recommended to ingest approximately 140g-330g of carbohydrate (CHO) in a meal 3 to 5 hours beforehand to increase glycogen storage and improve performance; particularly if the training occurs after an overnight fast. This quantity would be the rough equivalent to a large plate of pasta. CHO intake 30-60 minutes before exercise can elicit a phenomenon known as reactive hypoglycemia due to high levels of insulin combined with cellular changes associated with exercise metabolism. This causes rapid fatigue shortly after the onset of exercise; primarily caused by simultaneous hyperinsulinemia (from the CHO ingestion) and rapid glucose uptake stimulated by muscular contraction. Some individuals are more prone to this issue than others, so if a participant feels it is necessary to eat within an hour before training feeding strategies should be based off of personal experience and control for both glycemic index and load. The latter often has more potential for problems.

Consuming adequate carbohydrates prior to exercise with an appropriate processing time aids in performance. CHO-loading strategies have also been shown to be effective. Research has indicated CHO-loading over time can increase time to exhaustion in prolonged events by an average of 20%, and reduce times to finish a race by 2%-3%. A moderately aggressive format for CHO-loading would involve a reduction in training over the 6-day period before competition (with complete rest on the last day before) while simultaneously increasing CHO in the diet over the same 6-day period from 50% to 70% of total calories consumed.


Protein – Prior to resistance training, ingestion of a complete protein source and CHO approximately 1 hour before the session has been shown to promote enhanced protein synthesis. Ingesting about 6g of essential amino acids with 35g of CHO appears to be optimal within research studies. This would be roughly the equivalent of an average-sized bagel with cream cheese or a single serving of cereal with a half a cup of milk.


Fat – Focusing on fat intake prior to training does not offer improvements to performance in most cases. Chronic high-fat diets do increase fatty acid utilization during training, but little evidence illustrates that this provides significant performance benefits.


During Exercise

The primary goal of food intake during an exercise session is to maintain optimal blood glucose (approximately 1g/L) to limit central fatigue. Ingestion of calories is primarily beneficial during prolonged activities; shorter-duration, high-intensity training does not usually require caloric intake during the event to maximize performance.


Carbohydrate – During prolonged endurance training (≥45 min) it is recommended to ingest 70g of CHO every hour (1.2g/min) to improve endurance capacity and thwart the progression of hypoglycemia. Potential sources to provide this quantity that could be easily ingested on an hourly basis include:

1 liter of a well-designed sports drink (e.g. Gatorade)

600 ml cola drink, 1.5 Power bars

3 medium bananas

Approximately 3 energy gels

Protein – Protein ingestion during prolonged endurance or resistance training does not offer significant improvements to performance in most cases. Note that protein use during exercise usually contributes to only around 5% of energy expenditure unless the participant is in a relative state of starvation.


Fat – Fat ingestion during training does not offer significant improvements to performance as commonly ingested fats can only serve as a minimal fuel source due to a slow digestion rate and the transporter by which they enter circulation. Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) however (a lipid not commonly found in natural food sources but commonly sold as a supplement with protein) digest very quickly and enter circulation in the same manner as CHOs – which may allow them to contribute as a significant fuel source during exercise.



The primary goal of post-exercise nutrition is to optimize recovery and re-establish energy stores depleted during the training segment or competitive event.


Carbohydrate – CHO intake should be the primary focus after any form of training as CHOs are the chief fuel source for all mechanical work. Intake after prolonged endurance or resistance training should occur immediately after the event, optimally within 45 minutes, as active tissues are particularly receptive to nutrient absorption during that window of time. Immediately following exercise a high glycemic food containing 60 g of CHO should be consumed. In total around 1.0-1.2 g/kg of body weight should be consumed in a few frequent meals (again preferably high-glycemic sources) after prolonged endurance training; the quantity ingested post-resistance training should reflect the total calories expended. This timing and quantity can optimize recovery and re-synthesis of fuel storage. A small quantity of protein in the feeding appears to optimize absorption by acting as a permissive with insulin when at a 3:1 CHO:Pro ratio. The following recommendations can help to provide for optimal daily glycogen maintenance:

Daily recovery from moderate duration, low intensity training: 5-7 g/kg of BW

Daily recovery from moderate to heavy endurance training: 7-10 g/kg of BW

Daily recovery from an extreme training program: 10-12 g/kg of BW

Protein – As previously mentioned, post-exercise protein should be consumed with a CHO source (e.g. chicken and rice) in a 3:1 CHO:Pro ratio for optimal absorption. Research suggests around 20-25g of essential amino acids (Whey protein preferred) should be ingested within 1-3 hours after training to ensure protein synthesis is enhanced. The following recommendations can aid in promoting optimal recovery from intense training:

Daily protein intake for endurance athletes: 1.2-1.8 g/kg of BW based on training volume; up to 2.5 g/kg of BW in extreme cases (Tour de France)

Daily protein intake for strength athletes: 1.6-1.7 g/kg of BW; up to 2.0 g/kg of BW with extreme bodybuilding

Fat – Ingesting a specific quantity of fat intake after training is not a primary concern as CHOs and proteins are the macronutrients used for recovery. Fat is the primary fuel source during resting conditions or low-intensity training (~60% VO2max), but its rate of metabolism or ingestion is not usually the limiting factor to training duration, energy storage, or recovery unless intake is below normal healthy ranges.


Consuming adequate nutrients throughout the day has demonstrated much better results in recovery than most other supplementation. Athletes and fitness enthusiasts who train at higher volumes need to manage their energy yielding nutrients for optimal recovery and energy stores for subsequent bouts of training or competition. An individual engaging in weight loss using lower levels of exercise intensity do not need to completely replace all calories expended but may benefit from smaller quantities of similar ratios for recovery. Whey protein is recommended due to its high absorption rates and high bioavailability. If protein is consumed before sleep, casein is a better choice due to its prolong digestive process. As many athletes are aware low-fat chocolate milk is likely the best choice following exercise as it contains 27 g CHO to 9 g protein at a cost of approximately $0.99.

National Council On Strength and Fitness (NCSF)