Nutrition – Muffin Top

It’s mid December and you’re getting ready to head into work. Lately you have been really consistent with getting your morning workout in, but today you decided to skip it—you want to get to work early because you have a pile of papers to get through before you duck out early to head to a client’s holiday party on your way home. Skipping a workout here and there…its no big deal…it’s the holiday, right!

The drive in is cold and dark…you decide to stop at Starbucks. As you stand in line waiting to order your drink you think “Gingerbread Latte?” now you can’t get one of those in June, why not…it’s the holidays, right! Being the health conscious warrior that you are, you opt for no whipped cream and pat yourself on the back.

Once at work you keep yourself energetic and clear-headed by following your well-honed habits of food and water and, while you skip the peanut brittle at the secretary’s desk, twice you swing by and take a handful of roasted almonds. It’s not what you normally would do, but it’s the holidays, right!

As you head out of the office to go to your client’s party, you commit to yourself that you are not going to over-indulge. Just a quick stop in, a couple bites to eat and you’ll head home to dinner. Once at the party, you grab a glass of wine and a plate of cheese cubes and crackers. That’ll tide you over. You skip a second glass of wine and have a seltzer, engage in some small talk, and hit the road. You’re impressed with how well you stuck to your commitment.

Not bad, eh! You have done a pretty darn good job with amidst the minefield of holiday treats. Well done!

….so where did that “muffin top” (you know that part of your belly that creeps over your pants) come from?

The Muffin Top Facts

You have done well. And the “muffin top” is the perfect example of how small things can add up.

Here’s the scoop: one pound of fat is approximately 3500 calories. That means, if you eat 3500 calories more than you burn, you’re going to put on weight. Let’s look at your “c’mon it’s the holidays!” day:

• You skipped your morning workout, so you’re missing your 300-500 calorie buffer.
• 16oz Gingerbread Latte (2% milk, no whipped cream) = 250 calories
• Two handfuls of roasted almonds (1/4 cup each) = 430 calories
• One glass of red wine = 120 calories
• Four one-inch cubes of cheese and four club crackers = 346 calories

Grand total of muffin top expanding calories? 1026

Dang! Two more days like that you can add one more pound to the Holiday Muffin Top…and how many days are there between Thanksgiving and New Year’s?

I feel the sag in your spirit as you gently pinch your Holiday Muffin Top and wonder if the only answer is to become a holiday hermit. Naw- the holidays are for celebrating and part of the celebration is food and beverage! Life isn’t “all or nothing” and neither should your approach to Muffin Top Management. Here are some ideas on taking an approach that honors you and your goals as well as the season:

1. Keep Moving. If you don’t have time for a scheduled work out, get up from your desk and walk around the building. Park farther from the door. Take the stairs. Small things add up on this end of the equation too!
2. Be Aware. Know what the high calories tickets items are and decide if they are something you’re really going to enjoy or just eat. Check out nutritionaldata.com for a great database of foods and their nutritional content.
3. Ask the Right Questions. “Do I really want that?,” “How will I feel if I eat/drink that?,” and “Could I have less and still feel satisfied?”
4. Be Kind. To you, that is. Self-battery is fuel for the “why should I try at all?” fire. Don’t fan those flames. Do your best, honor your health as the asset it is, and allow yourself the deference of your own self-kindness.

Samantha Watts
V3 Outdoor Fitness

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