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Friday, December 11, 2015

How to Have a Healthful Holiday

Here's an excellnet position for relief from holiday overindulgence: A pose to Help You ‘Stomach’ the Holidays .......:
 
Between American Thanksgiving, which just passed, and New Year's, there are almost 6 weeks when North Americans tend to overindulge and let their healthful habits fall to the wayside. It doesn't have to be this way!  You can still enjoy the holidays without remorse or negative health consequences come January 1st.

Here are some tips:

  • Avoid all or nothing thinking - Most people decide that if they can't adhere perfectly to their usual routine, they might as well just let it all go completely.  Hogwash!  Do the best you can and that's all you can ask of yourself.

  • Do something active every day - You don't have to get to the gym, but try and move your body for at least 15 minutes every day.  Make it a challenge and enlist the participation of coworkers or loved ones.  Exercise is critical, not only for health and fitness, but for mental health and stress management.

  • Don't drink your calories - The easiest way to gain excess fat is by consuming liquid calories. If there are desserts and other special foods that you only get at holiday time, spend your calories on those items and forgo the alcohol, etc. which is around all year round.  If you have to have egg nog, have just a wee bit.

  •   Manage stress using active coping strategies - Too often we use alcohol and/or food as an avoidant coping strategy.  Unfortunately, these are neither healthy nor effective ways to manage stress or solve problems. Instead, exercise, talk to a friend or therapist, meditate, practice yoga or some other mindfulness-based activity, or write/paint/colour/sing/dance or use another creative outlet for your feelings or to help you relax.

  • Avoid the See-Food diet - Just because food is available, it doesn't mean you have to eat it.  Try to stick to your regular eating plan (i.e. 3 meals + 2 snacks, etc.) and don't eat if you aren't hungry. 

  • Resist social pressure - Loved ones pushing you to eat or drink are not doing you any favours even if they mean well.  Politely decline what you don't want or need.  If you can, be honest that you are trying to stick to your health goals.  Nowadays people should be understanding about this.  If they're not, screw 'em. Just kidding...sort of.

  • Be forgiving - If you mess up or overindulge...Bigones! Tomorrow is another day.  Just get back on track as soon as possible.
This weekend is sure to be full of temptation.  Both Adam and I have family visiting. We have our huge annual Hannukah party, plus another Hannukah party the same day, plus dinner out the night before at a nice restaurant. 

I hope you have some fun plans for the weekend.  Enjoy this holiday season healthfully and happily!