Original post on www.fortworth.citymomsblog.com
With the holidays right around the corner, many of us are strapped for time. We seem to always run out of time to get everything accomplished before we have company or travel out of town; nor do we make time to take care of ourselves. When the holidays should be about celebration and quality time with family and friends, many of us are stressed and tend to let go of our health.
The Bad News: One study reported that 69% of people are stressed just by feeling that they lack time.
The Good News: A study from The New England Journal of Medicine actually showed that the average weight gain is only about one pound from mid-November to January.
Don’t set unrealistic expectations for yourself this season. Instead, focus on just maintaining your health and reasons why you are celebrating versus allowing media and society to be your standards to uphold.
Here are some secrets for avoiding stress and weight gain this holiday season.
• Get enough sleep. Not getting enough sleep can have detrimental effects on your health. Impaired thinking, weight gain, and symptoms of depression are just a few things that can occur when you don’t let yourself rest.
• Avoid the crowds. Get as much shopping done as you can online. You will probably get a better deal, keep your stress levels down, end up having more time to take care of yourself and spend time with your family. If you do have to get out, learn when the least crowded days and times are to go shopping, such as Mondays and Tuesdays for retail and Wednesdays for grocery.
• Schedule your exercise. Budget yourself at least 15-minutes a day for some type of physical activity. To maximize your time, do short workouts that combine high intensity intervals alternated with core and strength exercises. You can make it fun by chasing your kids around the backyard, playing a game of who can hold downward-facing dog the longest or race
each other doing walking lunges. Your workout doesn’t have to involved a long trip to the gym, it could just involve turning on a 15-minute workout from an app such as MASHUP® !
• Indulge in Moderation. Use the three-bite rule when sampling holiday treats. One study showed that individuals who only had a few bites of a food were just as satisfied as those who were given larger portions of the same food. Yes, you can still enjoy yourself while avoiding holiday weight gain.
• Learn to Say “No” and Plan Ahead. Don’t over commit yourself in volunteering to organize or host every holiday party
whether it is for your kid’s school class or at your home. In addition, never hesitate to delegate tasks or ask for help with holiday preparations.
• Eat One-Ingredient Foods. Try to stick to natural, unprocessed foods as much as possible. When you are grocery
shopping always look to see how many ingredients something has. Here’s a hint: Most of the one-ingredient foods will be found on the perimeter of the store. Also, when you are at parties stick to the veggie tray or handful of nuts.
• Relax. Take some time for yourself and soak in a warm Epsom salt bath or stop off for a ten minute chair massage while out running errands. Alternatively, sweet-talk your significant other or kids into a five-minute shoulder rub.
• Optimize Your Nutrition. Avoid starches and sugars by replacing them with lot of vegetables and healthy fats to
satisfy your hunger. Enhance your intake of Omega 3 fatty acids through grass-fed/wild-caught proteins or fish oil and Vitamin D either through 20 minutes of sunshine or a supplement. Stay hydrated.