‘Tis the Season to Binge and Stress; This Year Avoid the Holiday Worry and Pounds

The holiday season is a time full of joy, cheer, parties, and family gatherings. However, for many people, it is also a time filled with anxiety, stress, and weight gain. Unfortunately, many people often use the busy holiday season as an excuse to reduce exercise or put off starting a new program. Often these people have the intention of coming back with a vengeance after the New Year. “The New Year is just around the corner and I’m going to lose weight and get in shape”; this trusty New Year’s resolution declaration is also conveniently used to justify holiday overindulgence. Researchers at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) have shown that for most people weight gained during the holidays is not lost and accumulates on a yearly basis. Says NICHD Director Duane Alexander, M.D; “These findings suggest that developing ways to avoid holiday weight gain may be extremely important for preventing obesity and the diseases associated with it.” Maintaining a regular exercise program throughout the holiday season provides benefits on many different levels.

The demands of shopping, parties, family reunions, and house guests can contribute to feelings of tension. According to The National Mental Health Association, (NMHA) this tension can illicit stress responses such as: headaches, excessive drinking, difficulty sleeping, and the ever-popular over-eating. Exercise has been shown to be a tremendous tool to manage stress. Exercise will give you energy and the mental strength to deal with the mad rush of holiday shopping, holiday travel and holiday visitors. Managing stress with exercise can also help control cravings for those comfort foods that adorn the holiday tables. Regular exercise also increases metabolism, thus reducing the detrimental effect of an occasional extra cookie or glass of eggnog. Experts at NMHA claim, even more people experience post-holiday let down after the New Year than suffer holiday anxiety. With this comes lack of motivation and comfort eating. Its no wonder those New Year’s resolutions are rarely successful.

Parties, large meals and extra calories are almost unavoidable during the holiday season. Weight maintenance rather than weight loss through the holidays is a much healthier goal. Exercising regularly and enjoying the few extra calories will break the vicious cycle of guilt, feelings of failure, and more eating. Getting a head start on exercise prior to January 1st will give you a healthier and happier holiday season as well as make those New Year’s resolution goals far more attainable.

Healthy Holiday Tips:

1. Focus on weight maintenance not weight loss – Parties, large meals and extra calories are almost unavoidable during the holiday season. If you are currently overweight and want to lose weight, this is not the time to do it; setting difficult or unrealistic goals can lead to a vicious cycle of guilt, feelings of failure, and more eating.

2. Get moving – Regular exercise will increase metabolism and allow you to enjoy a few extra calories without putting on the pounds. Exercise will give you energy and the mental strength to deal with the mad rush of holiday shopping, the holiday travel or holiday visitors and the party hopping.

3. Get Plenty of Sleep – Lack of sleep impairs our ability to handle stress (which there is usually no shortage of during the holidays). Chronic sleep loss can also affect various components of metabolism that influence hunger and weight gain.

4. Substitute healthy recipes – Use applesauce in place of oil; use egg whites in place of whole eggs; try plain nonfat yogurt in place of sour cream. Magazines and healthy cooking cook books are full of reduced calorie and reduced fat holiday recipes that taste great.

5. Don’t go to parties hungry – Going to a party on an empty stomach is a recipe for disaster. Starting your day with a healthy breakfast and eating sensibly throughout the day should help you control your appetite and avoid over-indulging on the typically high fat and high calorie holiday fare.

6. Eat slowly- Make one plate of the foods you really want. It takes about twenty minutes for your brain to register that your stomach is full. Take your time to enjoy the taste of every bite, and you will realize you don’t need to go back for seconds.

7. Limit alcoholic beverages – Liquors,wines and mixed drinks can contain 150-450 calories per glass whereas, water and diet sodas are calorie-free. If you choose to drink, try light wines and light beers, and use non-alcoholic mixers such as water and diet soda. Limit yourself to one to two drinks.

8. Get rid of leftovers – Some foods are more fattening than others, however, no food will make you gain weight unless you eat too much of it. Often we eat beyond our body’s physical hunger simply because food is there.

9. Keep it in perspective – It takes days of overeating to gain weight; one day won’t make or break your eating plan. Nothing is more destructive to a healthy eating plan than the negative feelings of failure and guilt. If you over-indulge at a holiday meal or party, don’t beat yourself up; simply return to your sensible healthy diet the next day.

Sudbury – Suffolk For a Relaxing Shopping Holiday

Sudbury – Suffolk is located 60 miles from London. Rich in Saxon history, it is known for its relaxation and shopping experiences as well as its love of art and varied out-of-doors experiences. For a boat ride that covers some of the coast from Sudbury, Ballingdon, Great Cornard and Great Henry, the River Stour Trips gives you a scenic ride. They have a river side tea room to enjoy the atmosphere of the river with the convenience of a restaurant. Take a day to enjoy the river front on this relaxing tour of the countryside from a unique perspective.

The Polstead Camping and Caravanning Site let you enjoy the outdoors, with modern conveniences like WiFi and showers. The many footpaths surrounding the ancient woods allow you to enjoy seeing the countryside while camping in the open air. Family friendly, this site is one of the best in the UK. The childhood home of Thomas Gainsborough has been turned into a museum the holds a large collection of his art. The Gainsborough house features an art gallery of other local artists and offers a print workshop for you to enjoy as well.

For those of enjoy horse riding, Paso Finos at Rancho Pavo Real allow you to do so and provide all the equipment necessary to ride their well mannered horses. For the experience writer, they can enjoy the Suffolk countryside and the inexperienced can take courses to learn to be an effective rider here. They also offer courses on how to do Reiki healing to the animals, giving you more then just your usual riding establishment.

Sudbury – Suffolk has something for everyone to enjoy from the art lover to the rugged outdoors man. They combine a love of nature with pleasant amenities which makes this an all around great destination for holidays.

Finding the Best Value With Online Product Reviews

When you are planning to buy an item or product, a common gesture done by most consumers is to ask their friend or family members for opinion about a given product before buying to generate information.This applies for all type of products,whether it be appliances,clothing, or any other items. Anyone wants to gain more information about a certain product before they go on to pay for it. same thing applicable for online product reviews are the best tool that online shoppers can use to help them out in finding the best product out there.

If you have tried online shopping before, you probably have noticed a star rating provided next to each product as you are browsing through your possible options. Although not all online shops offer this feature, most of them do and you have to take advantage of this feature. In most cases, those ratings provide direct link to online product reviews that you can read to gather information about a product and learn what others’ opinion of the product is.

Although these reviews provide valuable information about a certain product, you must not take 100 percent of the information as it is. Most of the reviews written for products found online are legitimate, such that they are written by industry experts who have tested the product or consumers who bought and have tried it. You need to be wary about fake reviews though that were written with product promotion as its hidden agenda. These types of reviews provide positive assessment of the website and serve to shadow the negative features just to convince buyers to purchase it. It is therefore important to have an idea of what to look for in a given product before heading out to do your online shopping.

Although they are of help, star ratings placed next to the product do not offer anything. You can be more confident with reviews written by actual users or consumers of the product. It will provide a more realistic and effective insight into the product, especially issues concerning user functionality. Going back to the above statement, knowing what your needs are and specific characteristics that you want, reviews you read can potentially impact your buying information based on your buying priorities and intended use. You have to admit it; product descriptions provided in online shops do not offer much, so these online product reviews should be generated to the fullest.

To conclude, online product reviews enable the consumer to identify the advantages and disadvantages of buying a certain product. Hence, many online merchants have invested on the business of writing reviews knowing how much it affects the buying decision of certain individuals. Indeed, they double as a promotional or marketing strategy knowing that consumers rely on the validity of information provided to ensure that they have made a great choice.