Everybody loves holidays! The family gathers, the food is good, there are no practices, no games and everybody is enjoying a portion of good food and drinks.
If you are an average athlete who is having at least one practice a day, then you must be aware that the amount of food that you are having in a single day is considerably bigger then the person that has the same body as yourself that has no training in its life. This person is burning fewer calories because there are no extracurricular activities involved in one person's life.
What is the most common thing among the professional athletes after they end their carrier? They all get fat! Why? Their life contained 6 hours of practice, both basketball, and the gym. The average calories that a pro player need on a daily basis are around 5000. The normal, semi-active person needs 2500 max. The problems start when there are no more training and eating habits stay.
The thing that helps with getting fat is the combination of the winter season and the genetics that we all have.
As the weather gets colder, our body is changing our metabolism by slowing it down and preparing it to store some fat in our body. Our ancestors didn't have food on demand as we do nowadays. They had to hunt for it in hard and long winters so this was the defensive mechanism just to keep them alive.
The problems that we, basketball youth coaches, is the bad eating habits of our kids. We all know they love to eat junk food which is rich in bad nutrients such as carbs and bad fats.
Same goes for some older players because as they get older they eat both good and bad food, and usually, those are the years that they start to consume beer.
During the holidays there are no sports activities and the majority of the gyms do not work, so the environment for getting chubby and out of shape is good as it gets.
Therefore, The Hoopsking team acknowledged this problem that everybody has and came up with the plan that is going to keep our players fit during the holidays. We are going to present our 6 ways that will keep the fat off of the body, and then, we are going to analyze a kickstart gym program that will help you with getting back in training process.
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It is really easy to give up on practice when the days are shorter and cold, when you feel sore a bit from all those games and training done during the season and when there is no sense of urgency to do some drills. In this time of year, when all the old friends are in the neighborhood and everybody is in a party mood, everybody tends to just rest and have a good time.
With that said, you’re closer to the temptations that await you in the kitchen and a reduction in physical activity can be the main contributor to winter weight gain.
Even if the gyms are all closed or you just want to give a break from lifting weights, you can still stay active. You can always try ice skating, indoor or outdoor wall climbing, going for a long walk or even go jogging for 20 minutes.
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Eat Seasonal Produce
Keep it natural. It is a perfect time of the year to bulk up your diet with the vast amount of fibers which are really good for your metabolism. You can always Add to your chicken soup some of the sweet potatoes and carrots and kale, and use more of the spices to substitute those heavy creamers and oil in your paste. Use some cottage cheese and eggs to satisfy your protein needs and keep your fingers off of the pork meat. You really don't need that extra cholesterol in your daily diet. We recommend that you favorize chicken and turkey in this part of the year because they contain almost no fat.
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Lighten Up Winter Sweets
It is very difficult to keep your diet clean during the cold days. It seems that everything you touch in these cold days, from the morning tea or coffee to evening desert has and extra calorie in it. Be aware because there are plenty of calories and fat in the form of cream, sugar, and butter, but that doesn’t mean you are forbidden to eat a peace or two of your favorite cake. Make some smart adjustments to lighten up your deserts: substitute the mayonnaise and creams with some Greek light yogurt, use almond or cashew milk in hot chocolates and flavored-lattes, use less sugar or substitute it with some stevia or other no calories sweetener, use dark chocolates with more cacao. The taste will remain while the calories will drop.
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Have a Plan
This time of year is not a one-day event. If you think it's over with the New Years Eve, you are all wrong. There is still Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, and even Super Bowl Sunday, and all of these are new opportunities to gain some weight.
What you need is a good eating plan covered with a vast amount of physical activity. First, eat something small, yet let it be something you like, with both protein and fiber an hour or two before the meeting. You’ll feel full at the event so you will be less likely to overindulge. Give yourself a break, allow yourself a complacency or two. You can always eat a small piece of some delicious treat. Research suggests that the forbidden fruit is the sweetest, so if you deny yourself expect that your mind is going to play games with you. So, do not look or think of food, it is best to go and get into some "serious" conversations and make the time fly
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Manage your fridge
If you do not have bad food in your kitchen then you can't eat it? Right?
It is important to do some rearrangements in your kitchen. Fill the fridge with some fruits and vegetables, fish and chicken. Do not buy anything that is challenging. You really do not need all those cookies and chocolate, soft drinks or beer. Always try to make a healthy shopping list. This way you’re less likely to waste money on some of the unhealthy snacks. Stock your basket with healthy snacks that you can actually enjoy eating and that will. It is important to have a plate filled with fruits on the table at all time. This way the healthy food will alway be under your raidar when hungry.
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Today, we have a great number of apps that are counting our calories. You can do this on the piece of paper also. Whatever technique you decide to use it is important that you do it. People react differently when they see the actual number, rather than keeping the things in our mind. We tend to forget and we like to comfort ourselves that we didn't eat that much. Be strict on yourself, get an app and you will see that you are going to act differently when you see the amount.