From the December 16, 2009 edition of the Lancaster News
I love this time of the year. No, not because people tend to gain weight, but because I get to eat lots of good old fashioned food. I especially like Mama’s homemade pies and macaroni and cheese. It seems no matter what you do, you can’t get away from fattening foods during the holidays.
It happens at work when the boss or co-workers bring in treats and goodies that are gobbled down until everyone is filled with holiday cheer. It’s expected when we enjoy meals with family and friends and doesn’t usually slow down until Jan.2.
Unfortunately, the added belly fat will sticks around a lot longer, waiting on you to adopt the same resolutions to get fit that you tried just about 12 months earlier.
Do you think your body does not know what time of the year it is?
Do you think you can fool such a complex and amazing machine such as the human body?
It can’t be done. Our body is a dynamic machine that is equipped with one of the most complex and sophisticated nervous systems on this planet. This nervous system can regulate body fluids intracellularly and extracellularly to the second and in some cases down to the millisecond. Yes, our bodies know that it is almost Christmas and Thanksgiving just passed. It has prepared to store extra fat calories all year long because it knows you are about to attack it with one of those New Year special diets which never work.
It has prepared itself for low calorie days of no carbohydrates. Yes, you may be 10 pounds lighter on Jan.15. And then, you will be 20 pounds heavier April 15th, and with some folks sooner.
Yes, the human body is just that smart. In fact, it’s so smart that scientists are constantly studying this prime piece of real estate. I often refer to the human body as real estate because both are investments. Shrewd real estate agents invest in prime tracts of property for several reasons.
Two reasons are because the property can, and will sell for a greater profit later or the property has the potential to bring greater value. At the end of the day, this will reap profits for the investor. Now, let’s apply these basic principles to fat loss to drive the point home.
The body is not different than a piece of prime real estate. It is at its optimal best when you are investing in quality foods that fuel the fat-burning process. If you do this, it will improve the gift of quality life. If you don’t do this, you are like a Realtor who gets stuck with a piece of property that just sits there.
You and I know if an empty house or building just sits and sits with no attention, it will continue to deteriorate. The quality of this property will actually start needing more attention than it would have needed if someone was occupying the space.
Now how strange is that?
Think about it for a minute. Imagine that you continue to make poor decisions on eating habits. Over time, you will notice serious changes in your health. The body will start to become a hub for onset adult diabetes, hypertension and other preventable diseases.
It simply goes back to the investment in your health. The quality of foods you are putting in your body reflects your quality of life. So at the end of the day, you will recoup your investment and then some.
Here are a few tips that will help you fight off the unwanted belly fat this holiday season:
- Don’t wait until Jan. 2 – This is why so many Americans fail. The body is waiting for you to try that same old trick. Try something different this year by starting all of these steps right now. Doing something now will help balance off some of those holiday calories, as well as trick your nervous system to respond a little differently.
- Drop the sodas and drink water – Start with a liter of water each day and build yourself up to two liters. Don’t eat processed foods. Excessive sugar and processed foods are just about the worst thing you can eat from any perspective. Quality supplements are a plus, but they won’t replace what occurs naturally. Natural organic foods are the best or just whole natural foods in general. Processed foods are usually high in sugars and fats, which is what contributes to excessive weight or belly fat.
- Start moving – Research shows that belly fat is the most metabolically active once the process begins. This simply means that belly fat is one of the easier places to start trimming down once you get the fitness ball rolling. Have you ever noticed once you start an exercise program, how within weeks you feel how loosely your pants are fitting around your waist? The key is eating properly on a consistent basis as well as exercising. Once the body recognizes this, it will go kick in so that lean body muscle can speed up your metabolism. While all of this is at work, you will continue to lose the weight.
- Hit the road – One of the simplest things I tell all of my clients is walk or jog your butt off. Walking alone is such a powerful tool that helps combat so many of those preventable illnesses.
Ask yourself is your health worth the investment?
I believe it is priceless; investing is just a word to help us recognize the value of such a beautiful gift. I hope these tips will illuminate a bright light bulb in your head to save you from a holiday season of unhealthy weight gain followed by an unhealthy new year of rapid weight loss.
Give life a chance by training hard and eat healthy.
– Fitness expert and bodybuilder Kennett Washington is president of Healing Strength Personal Training.