Ask the Coach
I have been working hard on getting back in shape since the New Year. Now Mardi Gras is coming and I have barely lost the weight that I gained for the holidays. What can I do to have a healthier Mardi Gras for 2017?
Pack lots of healthy meals and snacks for you to eat while you are enjoying the parades. Some ideas: rotisserie chicken vs fried, beef jerky, fresh fruit or fruit salad, veggies and hummus, protein bars or yogurt, etc. Try to eat small meals every few hours. Make sure the food is easily accessible. Use a plug in ice chest in the car (no mess) or a smaller one to transport to the parade route. This will help you stay away from purchasing fast food or fattening snacks from street vendors.
Don’t be afraid to park further away from the parade route and get in some much needed steps. Try to stand more rather than remain seated too long. Move more! Stick to your fitness routine as much as possible and make up missed sessions.
Stay hydrated, so drink plenty of water. Bring water. Sports drinks should be sugar free, you don’t need the extra sugar from a beverage. Standing outside for hours during parades, especially if it is warm, could mean you are losing more fluid than you realize. Drink up!
Check the weather report to dress appropriately. Layer clothing, wear sunscreen, protect your eyes, rain gear (if needed) and wear comfortable shoes that cover your toes. Wear bright clothing at night that can easily be seen. Protect your hands and feet from rambunctious parade throw enthusiasts. Reducing the chances for an injury increases your chances of achieving your goals.
Indulge in lower calorie alcoholic beverages (wine, lite beer, or alcohol mixed with a diet mixer). Drink water between cocktails. Avoid excessive alcohol use. Not only does it contribute to dehydration and more of those empty calories, but it can sure make walking back to the car more difficult. Local orthopedists say that over consumption of alcohol is the main reason people fall and hurt themselves during Mardi Gras.
Lastly, get your rest! Losing sleep can lower your immune system, and you are getting exposure to lots of people on the parade route. Wash your hands or bring hand sanitizer and by the way, “Throw me somethin mister!”