How 8 Philly Fitness Pros Stay On Track During the Holiday Season

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It’s only December 8th, and I can already feel my lofty fitness goals succumbing to the demands of a busy holiday season. One peek at my calendar, and I can already see that my gym plans will get derailed more times than I care to admit in the next few weeks, thanks to the endless string of holiday parties, happy hours and gatherings.

Not that I’m complaining about my suddenly busy social life—Side note: Where are all these far-flung friends the other 11 months of the year? Couldn’t we get our annual hanging out out of the way in, say, August, when I have literally nothing going on, ever?—it’s just that I can’t help but feel guilty about the fact that all the hard work I’ve put in to attain my level of fitness during my more disciplined months goes right out the window come December 1st. And, well, that’s just frustrating.

So I did what I always do in these situations: I turned to the pros and asked what they do to keep on track during the holiday rush. I reached out to some of Philly’s top fitness pros to glean advice from their personal fitness routines in hopes that they would reveal something—anything!—to help me keep my eye on the prize. Hopefully I’m not the only one taking copious notes here.

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Real Food Rules, Diets Suck, Yale Researchers Say

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If you’ve tried every diet in existence, from Atkins to the Master Cleanse to the Cookie Diet (yep, that’s a real thing), I’ve got some good news for you: You can stop now. Researchers compared the health benefits of every mainstream diet and found that none of them beat chowing down on good old-fashioned real food.

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Is TIME’s New Diet Quiz Total Crap?

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Taking TIME Magazine’s “Find The Best Diet For Your Personality” quiz is kind of like taking Cosmo‘s “What Kind Of Female Are You?” quiz: You suspect that the results might be worthless. But still, how can you resist? TIME‘s three-question quiz (suspiciously short, no) determines your ideal diet, matching your personality to one of five popular diets like Mediterranean or gluten-free. I’ll give them this: The concept is pretty neat. I mean, with 2,798,749,218 diet options out there, who wouldn’t want to be paired up with their perfect match? So it’s too bad that you can’t actually count on this quiz for any real dieting insight.

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Former Vegan Says She Got Death Threats When She Started Eating Meat

You read that right—death threats. Check out this interesting segment from a recent HuffPost Live interview in which former vegan Alexandra Jamieson, co-creator of “Super Size Me,” explains why she’s back on meat and how diet labels of any kind can be a tad, well, stupid. (Side note: Thanks for the heads up on this, Green Philly Blog!)

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“You Will Be Hangry”: 5 Things Beyoncé and Jay Z Need to Know About Going Vegan

Jay-Z and Beyonce before the start of an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Los Angeles Clippers in Oklahoma City on Nov. 21. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

Jay-Z and Beyonce before the start of an NBA game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Los Angeles Clippers in Oklahoma City on Nov. 21. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

On Tuesday, hip-hop’s favorite power couple, Queen Bey and Jay Z, announced that they will be embracing a vegan diet for the next 22 days. The hip-hop mogul described his decision to go meat and dairy-free on his blog saying, “One day before my 44th birthday, I will embark on a 22 Days challenge to go completely vegan…It just feels right!” And then Beyoncé Instagrammed the this photo of four meat-free dishes she’s ostensibly eaten, and, well, the Internet basically exploded.

As a pescatarian 20-something who can’t actually afford fish or cheese, like, ever, I’m pretttttty much de facto vegan. (I actually do make a conscious effort to maintain a dairy-free diet but sometimes, after a few too many margaritas, pizza just happens.) So with a little help from some vegan friends, I’m here to give my favorite famous couple some frank advice about what to expect during their 22-day experiment. Do you have any advice for Beyonce and Jay Z? Let us know in the comments.

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Weight-Loss Surgery Better Than Dieting—Wait, What?!

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“All it takes is a little hard work and dedication.” I’m sure someone has said this to you at some point in your life. And sure, yes, it can apply to a great many things: learning the guitar, mastering painting, becoming an Olympic athlete. But apparently, it’s not the case when it comes to weight loss. According to HealthDay, a new study shows that weight-loss surgery is more effective than diet and exercise when it comes to shedding unwanted pounds.

The study analyzed nearly 800 people who’d either undergone weight-loss surgery or tried nonsurgical weight-loss treatments, and found that weight-loss surgery patients lost significantly more weight than the nonsurgical patients (an average of 57 pounds more) and reported greater reduction in medication use along with greater improvements in quality of life. Also, those who went under the knife had a WAY higher remission rate of type 2 diabetes—22 times higher (!!!), to be exact.

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