Categorized as: Gym News

5 Nutritional Tips to navigate the holidays

The holidays are upon us, and that means a few things; family, friends, feasts, and fear…the fear of unwanted weight gain and the feelings that go with it.  Every year millions of Americans work hard during the year to get in shape, only to approach the holidays and have all their results erased within 6 weeks because of a smorgasbord of dinners and desserts.  It does not have to be like that.

Luckily, unwanted weight gain is not something that has to happen and it doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the indulgences and company of those you love (moderation, not elimination).  It takes a few tricks and some conscious effort to help stave off the holiday season flub and keep your physical, and emotional, progress moving forward.

I am here to help you navigate that dinner spread and successfully conquer the dessert demons at your next family/work holiday function.  Remember, you are in control, not your family friends or food, and you have the ability to not only avoid the holiday weight gain, but use the foods you eat in your favor.  Let’s get started.

  1. Stay Active

You know in advance what parties or festivities you will be attending, so plan when you will get your workout in.  This does not have to be your regular routine, but even a 20 minute workout each day will help keep your metabolic rate up and ready for the increase calories coming its way.  Go for a short walk with a spouse, kid, family member after each meal, short bodyweight circuits in the living room (kids will join in), going for a run that alternates sprints with light jogs, jumping rope, or a short weight circuit in a hotel or globo gym.  You do not need an hour, a fancy gym, or to even leave your house.  Carve out 20 minutes a day, and stay in your workout routine.

  1. Limit drinking calories

Did you know a single glass of orange juice has 110 calories in it, 26 being carbs (sugar).  For most, that’s between 9-13% their daily caloric intake. Juices, soda, teas, and alcohol can lead you to ingesting over 1200 calories, without ever filling up your stomach with the foods you need to deliver the macro and micronutrients your body needs to function properly.  If you do indulge the alcoholic beverage, limit it to light beer and clear liquors with clear mixers.  You can also try to only drink 1-2 alcoholic drinks at dinner, sipping slow and not gulping them down.  For every alcoholic drink consumed, aim for 2 glass of water.  Another tip is to have a water bottle or jug filled with water that you will drink out of between meals, so you are not consuming liquid calories while “grazing”.

  1. Keep track of what you eat

Most of us are too enamored with hosting family, reminiscing with family, and watching holiday parades and sports games that it is burdensome to track what you eat.  What if I told you an easy way to track your food, and it requires no new equipment.  Reach in your pocket, unlock your phone, and snap a photo, not of the dog silly, of your plate.  An easy to track your intake is to simply snap a photo of the food you are eating, and evaluate the pictures throughout the day, to help see the holes in your macro intake as you go on.  Have a picture of a plate of crackers and cheese after lunch?  Your dinner plate should be higher in protein and lower in fats.  Your photo album is your friend this holiday season, not just for family photos but for your nutritional survival.

  1. 3P method (Proper Plate Portioning)

Proper portioning of your plate is a vital nutrition technique, but is even more vital when excess calories are abundant.  Aim to build your plate in a way that puts more emphasis on meats fats and greens and is filled in with carbohydrates.  An example of this would be to grab some vegetables first, then turkey, followed by a side of starch (potatoes, bread, pasta, etc).  With this plate portioning, size of portions come in to play.  A good rule of thumb:  For proteins, men should aim for two palm size portion size and women aim for one palm size portion.  For carbohydrates, men should aim for two cupped hands and women for one cupped hand portion size, and for fats, men should aim for two thumb size portions and women one thumb size portion.  Doing this quick glance each meal will help keep you in line with your regular body needs.

  1. Don’t Stress the small stuff

Stress can hinder digestion, which will lead to nutrient absorption and body dysfunction.  Do not let what you are eating, or what you are eating, stress you out.  This time of year is meant to be a time where you have fun with family and friends, so go ahead and have fun.  What was laid out above is just some tips to help keep you on track with your progress, not an end all be all.  So remember, be conscious of what you’re eating but don’t be obsessed.  Have fun, stay active, and know your progress is not made or ruined in a day or week.

Have fun and snap that pic to post on instagram and facebook, hashtag your good times up, and enjoy this time off. Stay safe everyone!!

Community, Purpose and Vision – Yeah… Its about all that!

To some, this may just look like a green board with some names on it.  But to OPC, this is so much more.  This represents perseverance.  This represents standing up when you have been knocked down.  This represents letting nobody….. Absolutely no one dictate your fate.  It represents a strong community filled with good people.

June of 2016 things were looking grim at OPC.  A sweet, but over leveraged gym stood at the crossroads of greatness and disaster.   OPC, over the previous 18 months had grown into a powerhouse in the local crossfit community.  With 200 active members, we stood as one of the largest.  There were however a few problems: 1. We operated inside of our parent gym at the time and the overhead for the entire building was staggering.  2. The primary owner of our parent company decided that enough was enough and he wanted to stop throwing good money after bad, and who could blame him.

Within 30 days of the investor deciding he wanted out, there were plans to close the doors for good.  Jill and I had a huge pile of shit on our hands all of a sudden.  This was probably one of the hardest moments in our life, but there was a silver lining.  While we were minority owners in the parent company, we were the exclusive owners of Orange Park CrossFit.  We took a long hard look in the mirror and quickly realized that there was no choice but to push forward.   But the train was rolling already.  We had no choice but to close the doors.  Going from one of the largest membership bases in town one day to zero members the next is a humbling and terrifying feeling.  We did what we had to do though.  We could bitch and moan about how the rug had been pulled out from under us, or we could take ownership of a shitty situation and get to work.  I’ll save you all the financially frightening details and struggles that followed over the next few months, but I’ll share this.  We re-opened in our current location 90 days after we closed the doors to the old location.

We forced no one to come with us.  We did what was right and released everyone from their agreements they had with us.  We didn’t want anyone to feel forced.  After all, I can assume we didn’t look real stable.  Well… We weren’t.  We re-opened our doors October 12th 2016, 90 days after total catastrophe.  When we opened up, you guessed it…. 0 members.  Business was as far from booming as you could imagine.  We hung a cut olympic lifting platform on the wall behind the front desk to add some branding and color with our signature green.  As the first few people signed up and took a chance on us, we asked that they sign the board, pose for a picture and we quickly dubbed it our Founding Members Board.  Even though OPC has been around since 2013, this was a fresh start.  Our story was broadcasted loud..  Everyone knew what had just happened.  Everyone knew, but they still took a chance on us.  This green board with a bunch of amazing names on it may seem insignificant to many, but to us its everything.  It represents our community..  It represents who we are..  It represents standing the F up when life knocks you down.  It says that if you surround yourself with the highest caliber of people, anything is possible.  The OPCTribe means everything to Jill and I.  They are friends and family and we will always go to great lengths to show our appreciation for believing that the past was just that….

The reason Im writing about our board is because this weekend we will be moving it into the next chapter of our story.  We are no longer adding to our Founding Members as we have achieved our first big milestone.  This board will forever remain unchanged and sacred as it is being moved to its permanent location in the gym.  It will always be visible and will always be there to remind us of how, like a Phoenix, we rose from the ashes to become something special… Something More.  Something bigger than Jill and I or even our business.  When we rose…. We did so as a unit…  We rose with a purpose.. with a vision.  We rose as the #OPCTribe.

We Bleed Green

Well Hello 5am!

As of July 3rd 2017, Orange Park Crossfit will be opening up 2 additional class times.  This is very exciting for us as we have grown to a point that additional time slots are needed.   This will be the first time in our existence that we have offered a 5:00 am class.  We have given this a lot of thought and have had numerous conversations regarding this time.  So in an effort to help you get your gainz and not be late to work, the 5 am is born.