Extreme Newsletter—Diet and fitness tips, recipes, and motivation

Issue #057 STAYING FIT THROUGH THE HOLIDAYS!

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20 Secrets of Very Fit People

By Chalene Johnson, creator of Turbo Jam®

Here are a few helpful, healthy "TurboFired" tips. Read them, then print and post them so you have them as a daily reminder.

Group of People at the Beach

  1. Water BottlesKeep a water bottle with you at all times and drink from it often. Water is the drink of choice, but if you don't enjoy plain water, than liven it up! Try adding a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice to your water bottle. You can also drink Propel Fit Water®, VitaminWater®, or some other form of healthy enhanced beverage with zero or very few calories, but remember: pure water is best.
  2. Look at exercise as a pleasure and privilege, not a burden or chore. Think positively about the changes regular exercise will bring about in your body and your life. Rather than obsessing about your next meal, get excited about your next workout!
  3. Eat well-balanced meals and remember that excessive calories, even if they are fat free and high protein, will turn to excess weight. No matter what the latest fad diet is, extra calories always equal extra weight!
  4. Limit your caffeine intake and your exposure to smoke—even secondhand smoke.
  5. Couple Encouraging Each OtherFocus on short-term fitness goals with an emphasis on completing daily exercise.
  6. Keep a daily log of what you're actually eating. This includes grabbing a handful of chips here, the crust of your kid's sandwich there, and ALL your snacking.
  7. Enjoy an occasional (once a week) "unhealthy" treat, but never an "unhealthy" week or "unhealthy" vacation.
  8. Enjoy contributing to the health of others by having a partner or friends to exercise with, as well as recruiting others who have the desire to feel better and have more energy. Have a neighbor who walks every morning? Ask if you can join in!
  9. Avoid monotony by introducing new forms of exercise to your routine—in addition to your regular workout, try biking, hiking, swimming, or rollerblading to keep you motivated and inspired.
  10. Subscribe to fitness magazines to keep focused on health as an overall way of life.
  11. Man Doing Pull-UpsInvest in the right tools—new workout shoes, a portable MP3 player or iPod with great music, the right fitness equipment, a new series of exercise videos, etc.
  12. Make it your goal to do some form of exercise 6 or 7 days a week. If some days you exercise once in the morning and once in the evening, even better! If you're eating right, exercise will fuel your energy level!
  13. Don't compare your body to other people's. Instead, work to be your personal best.
  14. If your diet is unbalanced, work to balance it, and make sure you take daily vitamin and mineral supplements for total health.
  15. Work to take your exercise to new levels of intensity.
  16. ScheduleCreate an exercise schedule the day before, instead of leaving it to chance or waiting to "find" the time. Everyone from busy heads of corporations to mothers who work full-time to the President of the United States can make time to work out every day—you can make time too!
  17. Move beyond the boundaries of weight loss and into total fitness. Measure success by the way your clothes fit and not some number on a scale.
  18. Stick with eating plans you can maintain indefinitely. Remember that no matter how hard you're working out, if you're consuming too many calories, you'll never see the muscles that lie beneath the layers of fatty tissue.
  19. Man SleepingGet adequate amounts of sleep, but remember that people who exercise regularly fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly.
  20. Limit alcohol intake to special occasions.

Related Articles
"5 Exercise Ideas for Singles"
"5 Foods That Make Your Skin Glow"
"5 Things to Cut Out of Your Diet"

Questions about your workout program, diet, the latest newsletter, or anything wellness related? Chat with Steve Edwards, the overseer of Beachbody's fitness and diet development (who also serves as your Fitness Advisor on the Message Boards), in the Beachbody Chat Room on Monday, December 6th, at 8:00 PM ET, 5:00 PM PT.

If you'd like to ask a question or comment on this newsletter article, click here to add a comment in the newsletter review section or you can email us at mailbag@beachbody.com.

Check out our Fitness Advisor's responses to your comments in Steve Edwards' Mailbag on the Message Boards. If you'd like to receive Steve Edwards' Mailbag by email, click here to subscribe to Steve's Health and Fitness Newsletter. And if you'd like to know more about Steve's views on fitness, nutrition, and outdoor sports, read his blog, The Straight Dope.

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A 10-Point Plan for Holiday Diet Success: Give Your Body Something to Cheer About

By Steve Edwards

Good ol' "holiday cheer" doesn't always leave you feeling cheerful, especially when you can't fit into your little black dress or fancy-occasion suit for New Year's Eve. Here's a simple 10-step plan to help make your New Year's something to celebrate. Let's start with the big picture, then count down toward a healthy New Year.

Couple Wearing Loose-fitting Pants

10.

Woman Lounging on BeachVisualize. This first step won't take long. In fact, do it right now, before reading step 9. Close your eyes for a moment and visualize yourself in a place you want to be sometime next year. This is a fantasy, so make it a good one. Imagine looking and feeling a way you've always dreamed of. Now hold on to that vision.

9.

Target an event for next year. Think of something to focus on as a day for looking and/or feeling and/or performing your best. It can be anything from a class reunion to a triathlon to a trip to Cancun. Your goal is to find something to look forward to that will motivate you to improve between now and then.

8.

Plan a training program. Begin by finding a monthly calendar and figure out how much time you have until your event. Next, make a loose training program. You don't have to decide exactly what to do right now. Maybe start with progress you'd like to make each month leading to the event. Then pick an exercise program (or series of programs) that'll help you achieve your goals over that time.

Be realistic. It might be difficult for you to focus on exercise and diet during the holidays, so you might want to schedule yourself a bit of flexibility for now. At this point, your aim is to plant a seed in your mind to keep you focused on a bigger goal as you go through the holidays. This little extra bit of motivation will be enough to keep your holidays from becoming one long binge.

7.

GivingIt's better to give than to receive. It's time to get busy. You've planted an image of success in your mind and on paper. Now you've got to get practical. Just how are you supposed to stick with an exercise program when temptation looms around every corner? Start by becoming proactive about the season. Become a giver. Instead of letting the holiday festivities come to you, where you'll have little control over them, plan them yourself. Organize your Thanksgiving dinner, help out with the company Christmas party, or plan your friends' New Year's get-together. If you're the organizer, you have a lot more control over the relative healthiness of the event. You must be reasonable, of course. You won't get the gig again if you turn Thanksgiving dinner into a tofu-and-broccoli Zen-fest, but being in charge allows you to make healthy options available. Plus you'll be busy, which'll leave you less time for indulging.

6.

Couple CookingLearn to cook. The easiest way to eat healthy is to cook food yourself, because that way you know exactly what's in it. There's a wealth of information out there about healthy cooking. Once you start, you might find it easier than you ever imagined to cook decadently tasty yet healthy meals.

5.

Plan to snack. Let's face it, over the next month your workplace is going to be filled with temptation. Willpower alone might not be enough. Since the easiest way to avoid these things is to be full, plan to snack throughout your day. Head to the market and fill your cart with healthy snacking options like fruit and raw veggies. OK, this probably sounds boring, but these foods are loaded with fiber and have very few calories, so they'll fill you up without filling you out. A large apple has about the same number of calories as a tiny square of chocolate. By munching on fruits and veggies all day, you'll keep your stomach full, which will make you far less likely to dig into the Christmas cookies. And if or when you do choose to indulge a bit, it'll be far, far easier not to overdo it.

4.

Woman Drinking WaterDrink water all day long. Another way to ensure that your stomach feels full when workplace temptations present themselves, drink a glass of water an hour during the workday. This won't just help you resist treats—it'll also keep you hydrated, which will help reduce the effects of that apr�s-work holiday "cheer," alcohol.

3.

Rise and shine! Begin each day with a few minutes devoted to yourself. Lie in bed, breathe, visualize, and contemplate your goals. By focusing each morning on something you really want, you'll get out of bed with a better outlook on the day. Then you'll be more apt to make positive choices throughout your day.

2.

SaladHow to eat your holiday meals. You're almost certainly going to overeat, but here are a few rules you can follow to stack the odds in favor of your figure:

  • Drink a large glass of water 30 minutes prior to the meal.
  • Begin with a salad. Go light on the dressing, and eat as much as you can. You probably see a pattern but, again, water and fiber are going to fill space in your stomach and make it much harder to overeat.
  • Don't be shy. These meals were meant to be social and the more you talk and listen, the less you'll eat. Have you ever had a meal where you've been so involved in a conversation that you've forgotten to eat? Try making it a goal.

1.

What to do if you "blow it." Because at some point, we all do. And you know what? It just doesn't matter. If we were perfect, life would be boring, right? Anyway, one day isn't going to hurt you. What you need to avoid is one day turning into two, then three, and so on. So on those days when you've backslid, try this nighttime ritual that'll have those little gaps in your willpower filled in before you wake up:

  • Have a cup of herbal tea or drink a glass of water before bed. Herbal tea is great. It's both hydrating and calming. If you've been drinking alcohol and fear a hangover, take vitamins and drink some electrolytes (P90X Results and Recovery Formula® works well). Don't worry about calories at this point. Offsetting the effects of alcohol is more important. The most common effects of a hangover result from dehydration and lack of sleep. You need nutrients and water to fight these off.
  • Woman StretchingStretch. A few minutes of slow and easy stretching will relax you and help you begin the process of recovering from the day's activities. A scant 2 minutes is a million times better than no minutes.
  • Relax and reflect. Lie in bed, focus on relaxed breathing, and take a minute to reflect on yourself and your future, and then let it go. Don't think too much. You don't want to get excited, because you might lose your ability to sleep. You just want to center your thoughts and get them away from your negative associations of "blowing it." Tomorrow, as Scarlett O'Hara famously said, is another day.

Related Articles
"The Beachbody® 8-Step Game Plan for Dining Out"
"8 Tips for Avoiding the Holiday Pounds"
"Tailgating: 8 Tips for Surviving the Football Season"

Questions about your workout program, diet, the latest newsletter, or anything wellness related? Chat with Steve Edwards, the overseer of Beachbody's fitness and diet development (who also serves as your Fitness Advisor on the Message Boards), in the Beachbody Chat Room on Monday, December 6th, at 8:00 PM ET, 5:00 PM PT.

If you'd like to ask a question or comment on this newsletter article, click here to add a comment in the newsletter review section or you can email us at mailbag@beachbody.com.

Check out our Fitness Advisor's responses to your comments in Steve Edwards' Mailbag on the Message Boards. If you'd like to receive Steve Edwards' Mailbag by email, click here to subscribe to Steve's Health and Fitness Newsletter. And if you'd like to know more about Steve's views on fitness, nutrition, and outdoor sports, read his blog, The Straight Dope.

Submit A CommentTell A Friend Bookmark and Share

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Pull-Ups with Tony Horton

They're part of any of Tony's fitness programs, and they're the exercise many people find the most difficult. But fear not, Tony's here to help you conquer pull-ups. Click here to watch the video.

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Recipe: Apple-Raisin Coffee Cake

Apple-Raisin Coffee CakeGot relatives staying with you over the holidays? Here's an easy breakfast recipe, chock-full of healthy fruit and nuts, that'll serve a small army.

  • 5 cups cored, peeled, and chopped apples
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2-1/2 cups whole-grain flour
  • 1-1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 13" x 9" x 2" baking dish or pan
  • Large mixing bowl

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 13" x 9" x 2" baking dish or pan with cooking spray. In a large mixing bowl, combine apples, raisins, sugar, and walnuts, and mix them together well. Allow mixture to stand for 30 minutes. Then stir olive oil, vanilla, and egg into mixture. Sift flour, soda, and cinnamon together, then slowly stir into apple mixture, making sure it stays moist. Fold mixture into pan and bake 35 to 40 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool slightly before serving. Makes 20 servings.

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 35 to 40 minutes

Nutritional Information (per serving):

Calories Protein Fiber Carbs Fat Total Saturated Fat
164 3 g 3 g 28 g 5 g 1 g

If you'd like to ask a question or comment on this newsletter article, click here to add a comment in the newsletter review section or you can email us at mailbag@beachbody.com.

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