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Natural Awakenings Twin Cities

Enjoy the Holidays and Avoid the Weight-Gaining Pitfalls

Dec 07, 2018 02:32PM ● By Patricia Kelley


Many people look forward to the holiday season and everything that comes with it, from the twinkling lights to the snowy nights to the festive family gatherings. But if they are honest, they will admit that the upcoming stress and many demands on their time can feel overwhelming. The delicious party foods and cookie trays at the office can cause the scale numbers to climb. It is hard to stay focused and calm and gracefully glide through the season with joy. Here are a few tips that can be helpful.

  1. Manage your time. There are the same number of hours in a day for everyone; it’s how they’re used that matters. Make a detailed to-do list or calendar to plan each day or week. Analyze what can reasonably be accomplished and delegate the rest. Maybe that means creating a carpool to get kids to and from after-school activities. Hire a babysitter to play with the kids while tackling errands or shopping. Order meals from one of the many meal services like “Hello Fresh” to cut down on trips to the supermarket and make meal prep easier. This is basically buying time and it’s worth the investment.
  1. Avoid the drive-thru. To handle cravings between meals, keep dried fruit, nuts, tangerines, apples and water in the desk or car. These snacks provide fiber, vitamins and/or protein and will keep the energy level up. Limit the lattes! They contain loads of sugar and are sure to cause a blood sugar crash which will lead to more cravings for snacks.
  1. Eat mindfully. Eat what the body needs during the day to keep the energy level up but avoid grazing at night or while watching TV. It’s easy to lose track of how much is being consumed when focused on the TV screen.
  1. Stay hydrated. Staying hydrated helps with feeling full between meals, reduces cravings and plumps up skin for that holiday glow. A general rule of thumb for water intake is body weight divided in half. That is how many ounces of water one should drink in a day.
  1. Watch the alcohol intake. Before ordering that specialty cocktail or mocktail, check out the ingredients on the menu. Many are loaded with simple syrup or liqueurs (sugar) which add to the calorie count. Also, drink club soda or water between cocktails.
  1. Make one pass through the buffet table at parties. No seconds; no cheating.
  1. Sleep deep. Bodies need sleep to regenerate. A 2016 Center of Disease Control (CDC) study reported that nearly one-third of the adults reported sleeping less than seven hours in a 24-hour period. Researchers found that those who don’t sleep well tend to weigh more than the average person. Reduce the caffeine intake late in the day and establish a bedtime routine like soaking in a warm bath of Epsom salts or dabbing lavender oil behind the ears to relax. Turn off electronics at least one hour before slumber.
  1. Breathe! Try meditating or doing yoga at home or in a class. Both practices have been proven to reduce stress, blood pressure, anxiety and so much more. 

These tips can help all year long—not just during the holidays. Try one or all of them and see how great the season can be.

Patricia Kelley graduated from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition where she learned innovative coaching methods, practical lifestyle management techniques and over 100 dietary theories including ayurveda, gluten-free, paleo, raw, vegan, macrobiotics and everything in-between. Her education has equipped her with extensive knowledge of holistic nutrition, health coaching and prevention of common illnesses. Kelley works with clients to help make simple and sustainable lifestyle changes that produce real and lasting results. For more information, visit