Eat, drink, and be merry!

By on November 29, 2008
As we head into the heart of the holiday season, a lot of calories will be ingested with far fewer burned. This is the most festive of seasons and we should enjoy ourselves. So is it contradictory to be promoting to eat, drink and be merry?! Not really. New Year’s resolutions are for seriously shedding those accumulated holiday pounds and setting a new course for the New Year. But you don’t need to wait until then to help yourself. Here’s the resolution dilemma – the average New Year’s resolution only lasts about 2 weeks, because humans are… well, human.

Prepare now to lessen the ‘after-holidays effect’. Say you gain a modest 5 pounds over the holidays and fat comes off at the rate of 1 pound per week, it takes a 5-week resolution (due to the avg. 2-week resolution) to lose them. Why not start now to take steps to keep from gaining 5 pounds? You know, “A few ounces of resolution for the prevention of pounds of cure.” Humans inevitably surrender to the easy way out while making excuses for it, balking and stopping short of doing what they know is right.People want to get in shape but don’t. They sabotage themselves ensuring they stay out of shape or carry too much fat. Most know what they need to do but they don’t. We know that a simple plan with the minimalist of discipline will pay huge returns yet we choose to stay unfit or fat and make excuses. How many people do you know who won’t give themselves 2 hours a week to exercise? Yet they go to clubs, restaurants, bars, and parties that total far more that 2 hours. Can you say, “priorities”?

Action plan

First, you must make up your mind to ‘exercise some control’ while still enjoying everything. If you really want to accomplish something, anything, you have to start with a proper mindset. From athletics, to business to losing weight, success is always predicated by a positive mindset. ‘Psychology trumps physiology’… always. Though common sense doesn’t seem to be so common at times, this common sense advice will serve as a basic formula to help you ‘tighten up’ your eating choices to prevent excess weight accumulation over the holidays.

The last thing you want to hear is a trainer burdening you with restrictions over the holidays. Follow these 4 very simple & do-able suggestions that will certainly make a big difference in weight management and make your ‘post-holidays’ much easier.

1. Reduce refined sugar intake…
Sugar really packs on empty calories and has zero value to good health.

2. Reduce refined / processed food intake…
like lunchmeats, hotdogs, sausages, canned foods, sweets. These are terrible, empty calories.

3. Reduce the volume of food you eat…
Don’t eat until you are stuffed. Eat 2 or 3 smaller meals rather than one huge one. And if you snack, eat the raw veggies, fruits & nuts during the days. Your body can really use them… and they’re low cal.

4. Reduce your alcohol intake…
by alternating with non-alcoholic, non-sugar drinks. This immediately reduces calories and volume to half. Refined sugar and processed foods destroy health while packing on calories just as liquid calories in the form of alcoholic / sugar-laden drinks do. Refined sugar comprises about 1/8 of a typical, total diet. This isn’t including alcohol intake either. Sugar calories are empty, void of nutrition and are linked with ill-health such as diabetes, cardio-vascular and other diseases. The typical American diet consumes 25% of all sugar consumption in the form of soda’s, with the average American ingesting about 170lbs of sugar per annum!! That’s pounds per day!

Drink                     Amount   Cals     Sugar        % of cals from sugar
Liqueur                  .7 oz         55-75  1.5 tsp.       33%
Dessert Wine          3.5oz        164     3.0 tsp.       35%
Canned Fruit Drink  8 oz          **       6.7 tsp.       89-100%
Tonic Water            12 oz        120     8.4 tsp.        98%
Sodas (Cola, Pepsi) 12 oz        155     8-11.8 tsp.   95-100%

These simple steps will reduce hundreds of calories daily and leave you feeling much better each day. In  addition, follow a 10-minutes-a-day hybrid exercise routine of two or three exercises using stretch bands (a great stocking filler) that taxes the whole body. This combined with the above four nutrition recommendations will keep you from gaining weight, and even put you into a great kick-start for the new year. Just as there is no such thing as getting rich quick, there is no such thing as fast, permanent weight loss. But there are measures that pay big dividends. Be safe, be healthy, and have a very merry holiday season!

Jeff Libengood, Founder of Jeff’s Fitness, has been serving Japan and the expat community for 20 years. Give yourself a kickstart by joining in one of Jeff’s New Years Resolution Boot Camps. E-mail or visit

About Jeff Libengood