CategoriesBlog Nourish.

The Holiday  Survival  Guide 

The holidays are a busy yet wonderful time.  It’s the season for friends and family , holiday travels and delicious food and drinks. With so much going on, how do you stay consistent with your workouts and nutrition and avoid gaining weight during the holidays?   

We’ve created this Holiday Survival Guide to help you enjoy the season without wasting all the hard work you’ve already put in. With a little bit of structure and some planning, you’ll stay feeling your best this holiday season. 

Holiday Survival Tip #1Eat slowly, and to “satisfied” — not stuffed 

  It takes your digestive system 15 to 20 minutes to physiologically tell your brain: “Stop eating, you’re full!” Eat slowly and enjoy your food so your brain can catch up with your gut. This is your most effective yet simple tool  and will allow you to still enjoy all the food during the holidays.   

Imagine your hunger is on a scale from one to 10, with one being starving and 10 being “stuffed.” Aim to finish at a seven out of 10 on that hunger scale. This will allow you to enjoy your food and feel satiated — while saving you a ton of calories.    


Holiday Survival Tip #2: Use portion control, not calorie counting 

Counting calories during the holiday is usually a recipe for failure. It’s annoying, impractical and the last thing on your mind when you’re trying to celebrate. Instead of calorie counting, focus on portion control.   

This video illustrates how easy it is to create your own meal with the right portions using just your hand.   Your hand is proportional to your body, making it the perfect tool for measuring food and nutrients with no calorie counting required. 



For more details, check out this  article.


Holiday Survival Tip #3 Resist hitting the “pause” button 

One of the biggest issues we see is people embracing the “pause button” mentality during the holidays: putting their diet and exercise on hold with the expectation that they’ll make up for it in the new year. Sticking to your workouts will not only help you stay on track toward your goals, but can also be the perfect holiday stress reliever.   

There is never a “right time” to resume healthy habits. The truth is, you never want to stop any momentum you have; it can create potential roadblocks to restarting in the future.  Keep to your regular routine as much as possible to help balance out your food intake and boost your mood during this busy season. 


Holiday Survival Tip #4Limit alcohol consumption 

Drinking too much alcohol can affect your sleep, workout performance, mood, immune system and more. Not to mention, drinks are serious calorie bombs to your waistline.  

However, you don’t need to completely cut yourself off. Consider giving yourself a “drink limit”: e.g., two glasses of wine per meal. Another tip: If you know you’ll have a few drinks, space them out with a full glass of water in between; this will keep you hydrated and slow down your consumption. Lastly, avoid drinks that have sugary mixers, which can often double the calories already present in alcohol.   


Holiday Survival Tip #5Prioritizing “me” time  

Offset the stress of the season by making sure you set aside a few moments each day for self-care. This will help reduce anxiety and keep your mindset positive throughout the holiday hustle and bustle. Take a yoga class, do some meditation or buy yourself a massage!    


Holiday Survival Tip #6: Get enough sleep 

Most of us don’t get sufficient sleep. Too little sleep can leave you feeling anxious and fatigued, and can even lead to the overconsumption of calories.  

The added stress of the holiday season can compound the effects of poor sleep even further. Do your best to stick to your regular sleep routine,  and  make it your goal to get seven to nine hours of sleep each night.   


Holiday Survival Tip #7: Focus on what’s around you 

While people tend to think of the holidays revolving around food and drinks, remember the real importance of the season: family and friends. This is a rare time of year where you get to spend extra time with the ones you love, so take full advantage of that. Make time for special moments together, or start a new family tradition that involves healthy activities.  

Here are some ideas:  

  • Do physical activities such as a “Turkey Bowl” football game, round of cornhole or tossing the Frisbee.  
  • Break out the board games or cards.  
  • Go on a family hike, or go ice skating or skiing.  
  • Look at the neighborhood Christmas lights.  

There is no need for an “all or nothing” mindset during the holidays. With a little bit of moderation and by sticking to a fitness routine, you can enjoy the holiday season without taking three steps back. 

CategoriesBlog Move.

Seven Habits That Will Transform Your Life

Many of us set health and fitness goals to change the way we look — but transforming your health and fitness habits can also change every aspect of your life. Not only will you look better, but you’ll also feel and think better.

Follow these seven highly effective habits to become the best version of yourself:    

Habit #1 If you are not assessing, you are guessing. 

When it comes to health and fitness, ignorance isn’t bliss: It’s important to constantly assess and monitor your nutrition. In order to make a change, you need to know your starting point — which means tracking your nutritional habits. While counting calories may not be a long-term solution, it will give you your strongest weapon in any successful transformation: awareness.    

Pro tip:  If you are not assessing, you are guessing. 

When tracking calories, do keep in mind that too much restriction can lead to failure.  This is normal, and it’s why adopting a flexible approach is essentialA general rule of thumb is to eat healthy 80 percent of the time, while treating yourself the remaining 20 percent. By accounting for the occasional indulgence, you’ll be able to quickly get back on track.   

Habit #2 Follow the six-month rule. 

Create habits that are sustainable for at least six months. While shortterm fixes can lead to quick results, they are often unsustainable — and you’ll soon end up back at square one. When you are developing your nutrition or fitness plan, ask yourself: “Can I do this for half a year?” If not, it’s time to reassess.   

Pro tip: The best training program is one you enjoy and able to stick to in the long term while making consistent, measurable progress. 

Habit # 3 Eat mostly whole and minimally processed foods.

The saying “You can’t out train a poor diet” is 100percent true.  It doesn’t matter if you’re busting your butt in the gym: If you are eating poorly, it will be difficult to lose body fat. Focus on eating minimally processed, whole foods. 

What do we mean by “whole foods”? Follow these guidelines when eating: 

  • Stick to foods your grandparents would recognize. 
  • Shop the perimeter of the grocery store; for example, choose the produce section over the cereal aisle or the snack foods. 
  • Eat one serving of fruits or veggies (the size of your fist) with each meal, and eat a variety of colors when doing so. 
  • Replace calorie-dense and artificially sweetened drinks with water. 

Habit #4 Eat enough protein. 

Proteins are essential for repairing and building muscle, so make sure to eat one or two servings with every meal. It’s also the most important of the macronutrients; if you are going to overeat one of them, make it protein.  

Other benefits of eating protein include: 

It prevents muscle wasting: Muscle tissues are the most metabolically active tissues. Along with resistance training, consistently hitting your protein intake helps you retain your muscle while carving away fats — which will ultimately show off your muscle definition.  

It keeps you full:  When caloric intake is low and you have those cravings for carbohydrates, protein is your BFF.

It burns more calories during the digestion process:  Protein has been proven to be up to 30 percent more metabolically expensive than carbs or fats. This means that if you have 100 grams of protein, then your body will burn 30 calories simply by breaking the protein down into usable amino acids.  

Habit #5 Focus on building muscle 

any still believe that building muscle is only for bodybuilders. Strength training is for everyone, and has proven to help people be more active, keep fat at bay, live longer and improve self-confidence. 

The most efficient way to build strength and muscle is to focus on the main compound lifts. These lifts use multiple muscles in one movement, giving you more bang for your buck.  

Most of your compound lifts should include the following movements:  

  • Squat 
  • Hinge 
  • Push 
  • Pull 
  • Lunge 
  • Carry   

To build muscle, you also need to emphasize progressive overloadlifting heavy weights while properly executing each rep. Progressive overload also means you’ll need to challenge yourself by constantly adding weight. However, you should always emphasize form and technique over the amount of weight you’re lifting; piling on the weight with poor technique will do more harm than good. 

Habit #6 Drink plenty of water and/or calorie-free drinks. 

Proper hydration can have a significant impact on your health, performance and weight. Most of us know we aren’t drinking enough water, but we may not be aware of the potential problems that can arise from dehydration. 

The main reasons dehydration has as adverse affect on exercise and overall health are that it: 

  • Decreases blood volume and blood flow 
  • Decreases heat dissipation and removal of wastes from exercise 
  • Decreases metabolism  
  • Decreases body temperature 
  • Increases organ stress 

The general rule of thumb is to drink half your bodyweight (in pounds) in ounces of water. That means a 150-pound person should drink at least 75 ounces of water — about nine standard glasses — each day. Carry a water bottle, drink it up and refill it every two hours or when empty. 

Habit #7 Sleep like a baby again

Sleep is often the forgotten component of health. In fact, it’s equally important to your workouts and nutrition. As many as 30 percent of adults sleep less than six hours per night: the minimum amount necessary for proper health. If you think you can make do with less than six hours, think again.   

Pro tip: Both sleep quantity and quality are incredibly important for optimal health and fitness and for regulating our circadian rhythm. 

  Need more reasons?  A lack of sleep can negatively impact: 

  • Cognitive ability 
  • Recovery from exercise and injury 
  • Sex life  
  • Mood and dietary decisions 
  • Workouts 

Get six to eight hours of quality sleep every night. Without proper sleep, it’s difficult to see significant improvements in general health and/or fitness — and your body, your workouts and your performance will suffer. 

By sticking to these seven habits, you’ll transform your health and your life with results that really last. Come to Flow Fitness today to get started on your journey.   

CategoriesBlog Nourish.

Spring Healthy Eating Challenge

As we enter April, it’s time to breathe some fresh air into how you eat. With that in mind, why not challenge yourself to create a healthy new habit (or four!). Change your eating for the better, making small changes and, perhaps, invite your family and friends to join in the fun with you.

Here’s the challenge:
Pick one small healthy change to make each week (ideas below).
Put your entire focus on making that change happen. Set reminders — put visual reminders around your house.
Review at the end of each week. Did you do five-plus days of your change? Success! Tell everyone about it. If not, figure out what your obstacle is and plan to beat it.
If you were successful, pick another change to make the next week, but also continue your first change. By the end of the four weeks, you should have four solid changes if all goes well. If you weren’t successful, just continue the same change (or pick a different one if you didn’t like that one) and try again, but this time with a plan to get around the obstacle.

Small changes ideas:
Add a vegetable to lunch.
Add a vegetable to dinner.
Eat a vegetable or fruit for a snack.
Add fruit to breakfast.
Prepare a healthy snack for when you feel like snacking (carrots, grapes, nuts, banana, raisins).
Change a white grain at lunch to a whole grain.
Change a white grain at dinner to a whole grain.
Pick a healthy recipe and cook two to three days’ worth of it.
Eat a vegan meal each day.
Eat no fried foods.
Replace sweets with fruit.
Reduce alcohol to one drink.
Drink more water.
Create a daily meal plan.
Eat slowly and mindfully for one meal a day.
Eat whole food instead of prepared food for one meal a day.
Eat a salad every day.
Replace soda with tea.

Have some ideas?  We’d love to hear.
What will you do?