regards to calorie consumption for 5 consecutive days. Atlanta and its sponsors rolled out the red carpet for attendees, as any city does for ASAE, and we greatly appreciated it. Alone, it wasn't a big deal at ASAE 2013 or at any other event, however, when you look over the course of a year at how many conferences, seminars, meet & greets, lunch & learns, and site visits we experience, it's a wonder we haven't exploded (no pun intended) under the pressure we put on our bodies from the excessive calorie intake.
It took me back to my late 30's at my first association. Over a 12-week period I gained 30 pounds quickly, as a result of participating in numerous networking/legislative all-you-can-eat and drink functions. I didn't even realize it until I went to the grocery store, and stood on the scale, that something was seriously going on with my weight. After 12-weeks, I had gained 30 pounds, and the ONLY thing that was different in my life was the all-you-could-eat and drink calorie in-take at my association functions.
Studies show upwards of 80% of healthcare costs come from behavior lifestyle choices that people make. These choices include (but are not limited to): poor diet, lack of exercise, smoking, lack of sleep, and/or excessive drinking. These behaviors can lead to obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, heart attack, and metabolic syndrome, just to name a few. Now, I'm not trying to throw fear around lightly, but rather, trying to be real about the consequences of our habits and choices when it comes to the serious over consumption of calories in the association "lifestyle".
www.fitinyourpants.com shared with me the fact that over two-thirds of American adults are considered obese. It made me think: "How healthy is the association and hospitality industry, given how many calories we consume over the course of a year?" ...and I don't see very many execs in the workout room when I'm walking past it, so we aren't burning the calories off.
Over my 18 year career, I have found it amazing the amount of calories, we as association professionals, and even the hospitality professionals, consume in the course of our conference/meeting. ...and one of the biggest reasons is, it comes so easy to our fingertips, and in unlimited fashion. This is how a typical day can be for many at conference:
- Full breakfast (or worse, just pastries and bagels)
- Morning break (with sodas and cookies)
- Lunch (with bread and dessert)
- Afternoon break (with more sodas and cookies or ice cream)
- Sponsored evening receptions
- Hors d'oeuvres before dinner
- 4-course dinner
- Desserts to die for
- More post dinner networking receptions
- After hour hospitality suites
- 80% of weight loss comes from the kitchen (what you eat)
- You can NEVER workout more than the calories you consume
- To get to the weight, and have the toned body you desire, you MUST do both: disciplined eating and fitness
much now." You can, but with some slight shifts in conference consumption habits, and moderate fitness training.
- Eat…don’t skip meals, BUT chose wisely (think vegi’s, and lean proteins)
- Pack your own healthy snacks to carry in your bag. This will help you to avoid making bad choices because of low blood sugar.
- Chose vegi’s and fruit over other less healthy choices (bread, pasta, dessert)
- Eat dessert, BUT only have a bite or two.
- Drink like a fish…WATER.
- When drinking mixed drinks, let the mixer be water.
- Take your vitamins (especially your B12)
- Try to get 8 hrs. of sleep.
- Make time to sweat everyday (even 15-20 minutes of exercise is better than nothing)
- Have a glass of water in between each “adult” beverage
- Avoid the high calories/high carb breakfasts (bagels, doughnuts, pastries)
- Say “No” to the bread and butter on the table.
- Skip the high calorie/high fat snacks.
- Don’t do soda…not even diet.
- Avoid the temptations at the booths (candy, cookies, and other junk food)
- Don’t do “seconds”…only one pass through the buffet.
- Say “No” to the floating appetizer trays (or at least only have one)
- Avoid the sweet, “fluffy” mixed drinks (there can be as many as several hundred calories in EACH drink)
- Don’t sit for long periods of time (you burn more calories standing and walking)
- Don’t go with the attitude that you’ll eat, drink, and be merry with reckless abandon for several days…it WILL be waiting for you when you get home and step on the scale.