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Overcome Overeating

Gain muscle instead of pounds with some helpful holiday hints from a seasoned pro.

Article by Chris Watson

Photography by Terry Fravel

Originally published in Canton Lifestyle

This Thanksgiving, navigate the dinner table with your health in mind. Personal trainer Donny Lucas is here to share a few tips that help him and his clients stay fit.

Start your holiday festivities early and enjoy several smaller meals throughout the day. Prioritizing greens at each meal means filling up on nutritious food first. He says it’s not tryptophan that makes you sleepy, but the blood sugar spike from eating too many carbs. So load up on lean turkey, but perhaps go easy on the sweet potato casserole. Finally, try the following three free weight exercises to help keep yourself in shape.

Donny Lucas is a champion bodybuilder and personal trainer with two decades of experience in the fitness industry, guiding anyone from professional athletes to those simply interested in a healthier lifestyle. Visit donnylucastraining.com to learn more, or call 330.933.4708 to schedule a class.

Exercise #1: Medicine Ball Russian Twist

Begin seated with knees bent and holding a medicine ball at your chest. Keeping your body centered, twist the ball first to your left hip bone, then your right. This is one repetition; try doing sets of 8-12 reps. For added difficulty you can lift your feet off the floor.

Exercise #2: Dumbbell Split Squat

Begin standing in a split stance (take a large step forward with one foot) while grasping dumbbells at your sides. Position your back foot on a bench or pad. For one repetition, steadily bend your front knee to descend until your back knee touches the ground, then return to starting position. Try doing sets of 10-15 per leg.

Exercise #3: Dumbbell Military Press

Begin seated on a 90-degree incline bench with a dumbbell resting on each thigh, keeping your shoulders and back straight. Carefully raise the dumbbells to shoulder height, palms facing forward. A single repetition is lifting the weights until arms are fully extended overhead, pausing, and returning to shoulder height. You can start with sets of 10-15.

Load up on lean turkey, but perhaps go easy on the sweet potato casserole.

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