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Issue Date: October 2010 Web Features, Posted On: 10/29/2010


Tricked By Treats? Not This Year!

Look around and it is clear what time of year it is! The cobwebs, plastic skeletons and orange everywhere you look indicate that it's time for Halloween. This weekend, cute little kids in their little costumes will be ringing your door bells and asking for candy. Not too far after this, we will see turkeys, pilgrims and Indians all over the place. Not to mention the jolly guy in the red suit that comes way too soon. I don't have to explain in too much detail that three major holidays back to back for most people equals a larger number registering on the bathroom scale. Let's face it, it is hard not to want to enjoy ourselves during the holiday months with all of our friends, parties and great food everywhere we look.

As fitness professionals, it is usually our knee-jerk reaction to say "Don't do it!" What I have come to learn is, people will do what they usually want to do. So, to combat the overzealous desire to splurge and still allow your clients to enjoy the bounties of the holiday I offer three alternative thought processes we can deliver to our clients and hopefully add a little value.

Talk to your clients about portion control. It is better for them to enjoy a smaller portion of the delicious deserts than to dive in head first and eat their way out. I believe this is the reason many people fail to find success in dieting. They burn out from being so strict and do not allow themselves to have a reward for eating well. By the time they hit frustration, they find themselves ankle deep in chocolate pie!

Discuss healthy alternative dishes and or an alternative recipe for the holiday. Sometimes a dish can be prepared with different ingredients, such as using a natural sweetener, to help make the dish a little easier on the scale. Have them consider a desert made with fruit or granola. For Halloween, maybe even consider a different option than candy to give out to children trick or treating so we do not encourage the obesity problem that haunts the U.S.

Encourage a little extra effort in their workouts. Maybe adding a little time on to their cardio regimen or adding a cardio pump class in advance of the holidays will help combat the additional calories they will be bringing in. This is definitely the "plan ahead" tactic to what we know is coming. It only makes sense; we know the additional calories are coming, so let's combat what we can with a little extra effort.

Whatever creative things you can come up with to allow your client to enjoy the holiday and not blow their progress out of the water is the goal. The good news is, as long as people continue love the holiday foods, we will have job security! Wish your clients a wonderful holiday, encourage them to enjoy the festivities and educate them on how to be smart about it! Happy Holidays readers! Train hard and enjoy the season yourselves!


Mike McDaniel is an authority of leadership, goal-setting disciplines, sales strategies and corporate physical fitness. He has been a professional trainer for over 18 years and owned two health clubs, employing over 75 personal trainers. Mike can be booked for speaking engagements, sales training or consultant at www.askthewhyguy.com.


Topic: Career Builder Web Column

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