‘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.

6 Don’t Drop While You Shop Holiday Survival Techniques

1.) Get out of those tight fitting shoes

Shopping long hours requires comfortable shoes. When your feet hurt, the pain shows on your face making you look tired, irritable and maybe frumpy. Keep low-heeled comfortable shoes in your car and wear them when you’re dashing around the mall looking for that hard-to-find compote Aunt Helen requested.

2.) Recharge your energy levels

The holidays are supposed to be fun-filled events that create long-lasting memories but if you’re too tired to care, why not fortify your energy reserves with a potent vitamin combination of Vitamin C and potassium. Grab a glass of orange juice and a banana before you head out and feel positively super-charged for hours.

3.) Stop thinking sugar

Sugary foods will sap your facial beauty causing you to look withdrawn and gray. Cookies, cakes and candy are in plentiful supply every holiday season and if you give in to these temptations, not only will unwanted pounds linger on your hips, you may not look as sensational in that expensive dress you splurged on months ago.

4.) Grab your mate instead of your plate

Marathon parties equal too many calories and rather than chowing down at every event, grab your sweetie and get away from the food. Hit the dance floor, engage others in conversation, or try a sing-along; any activity that will keep your fingers out of the food will keep your figure in check come January 2nd.

5.) Not another glass of holiday cheer!

Overindulging in adult beverages can really pack on the pounds not to mention when you look in the mirror, your face spells d-i-s-a-s-t-e-r. A whirlwind round of parties can make your face puffy and older looking so a good rule of thumb this holiday season: For every glass of wine, drink two glasses of water to flush out those simple carbs.

6.) Keep up your exercise routine

Madly dashing around the mall may add steps to your pedometer but are you slacking off much needed cardio and resistance training that positively shapes your hips, tummy, waist and thighs? And, what about facial exercises that keep your double chin and hooded eyes from showing? By exercising from head to toe, you won’t have to add “Start an exercise routine” to your New Year’s Resolutions.

Shopping – Holiday Gifts For Your Boyfriend Or Husband

People give gifts for some reasons – be it a congratulation gift, a birthday gift, an anniversary gift; a wedding gift or a holiday gift – this has been a very old tradition to commemorate a certain occasion. For many, this is an easy task as we are now enjoying the abundance of gift choices that are available worldwide. However, choosing gifts for a person who seems to have everything can be very hair-splitting. So how do you go about buying idea gifts for those people who are hard to buy for?

Finding ideal gifts for those people who are hard to buy for may fall into two categories. For the first category consider what he may want, while on the second one are things he might be needing. For you to be able to have a good start, the most important consideration you should take is to know what personality, hobbies, likes and lifestyle do they have.

Christmas is nearly coming and you want to be prepared when it comes to gift-giving. There are a lot of names listed on your list, and a few names of males are included. For your boyfriend or husband who seems to have almost everything, from gadgets, cars to branded outfits – this man can be very choosy. Women are quite easy to buy for, because simple but thoughtful gifts are already enough to captivate their hearts, rather than men whom can be very picky and meticulous when it comes to gifts.

If your man is into hi-tech gadgets or electronics, the person who has everything will most likely have himself indulged with the latest LCD TV, Mobile phones, iPod or stereo. With this situation, you will have to look for ideas that are generally given rather than something he would purchase himself. You may consider a digital photo frame or a digital key chain.

If he is a creative artist in nature, personalized art or craft is your perfect choice. Personalized gifts like a hand-made craft is often given as a surprise gift for anniversaries or special occasions. Look for old fun pictures of the two of you and turn it into a fun piece of art, a very creative gift that has a thoughtful touch from you!

Most men are wine or beer fanatic, and if your man is one of them, consider engraved barware. They might have plenty of beer mugs but he might never got one that has his name or initials engraved on it, showing that he is truly the owner of that mug. Other than beer mugs, you may also consider a personalized flask, bottle opener, wine stopper, shot glass and the like.

There are lots of gift ideas for the man of your life, and whether he already have them all kept and displayed, but he will surely appreciate something that is made personally for him. How would you see a great smile on his cheek, anyway.? Other gift ideas for men would include personalized sterling cufflinks, money clips, pocket watches and of course jewelry pieces. You may also look for other types of gifts that can make an excellent gift for boyfriend or husband this Christmas.