Fact: Many Suffer from Stress and Gain 7 to 15 Pounds between Halloween and New Years!
Holiday tips: Both the stress and the weight gain of the season result from conditions you create.
That’s great news because if you create them you can change them.
Create the conditions for stress and weight gain…
Stress and weight gain happen.
Create the conditions for health …
What personality characteristics contribute to health? The 4 Cs: Control, Commitment, Challenge, and Connection say researchers.
Control, the absence of powerlessness, lies in the belief that you can influence your own experience. Granted, life brings experiences that you can’t control, but you can control your attitude and how you respond to them.
Commitment means getting involved and finding meaning for your life.
Challenge is choosing to approach change or problems as opportunities for learning and personal growth.
Connection involves creating positive relationships with others.
Using the 4 Cs, you can create the conditions for health this holiday season. Here are some tips to help you get you started.
Tips for Making Holidays “Healthydays”
#1: Give Thanks….Feel Gratitude.
All the great spiritual traditions teach the importance of gratitude in nourishing your soul. There’s always something you can be thankful for…even if it’s the simple miracle of your breath that fuels life.
Take time before eating to give thanks however feels right to you. Besides, giving thanks slows you down; it helps you be more aware…more mindful of eating. When mindful of eating you enjoy food more and eat less!
#2: Enjoy Holiday Treats, Just Eat Slowly, and Chew Food Well
You experience the most taste delight from the food you eat with the first few bites. Savor each bite, and chew it well. You will get a quadruple reward! You’ll:
- greatly help your digestion
- notice when you’re full
- enjoy your food more
- eat less
#3: Only Eat When Hungry
Sounds obvious, but the holiday season is not only tempting, it’s stressful.
Many have a habit of eating when stressed; others eat when bored or lonely. When reaching for a snack, ask your self, “am I stressed, lonely, bored, or hungry.”
If hungry, choose a healthy snack (fresh vegetables, fruit, humus, or low fat cheese on whole grain bread). Snacks with a low glycemic load are good for you, they decrease overeating at meals.
If stressed use a relaxation technique. If lonely, or bored, take a walk with a friend or do some other activity.
#4: Mix Super Foods into Holiday Meals.
Healthy foods like these, “help you extend your health span…the extent of time you have to be vigorous and vital…as well as your lifespan,” says Steven Pratt, MD in SuperFoods Rx: Fourteen Foods That Will Change Your Life.
- Pumpkin, Yams
- Wild Salmon
- Turkey (Skinless Breast)
#5: Feeling Down? Try Light Box Therapy
Sometimes feeling “down” or “depressed” isn’t a psychological problem. You may be one of thousands with seasonal affective disorder (SAD) who are sensitive to the decrease in light during the dark winter months.
#6: Know your Vitamin D Level and Take Vitamin D3
Experts now find a strong link between low vitamin D levels and a whole host of debilitating killer diseases from depression to cancer to multiple sclerosis to bone disease.
“Our nation is in the midst of realizing that over 90% of the population is seriously deficient in vitamin D,”
says nutritional expert Ray Strand MD in his Health Nuggets.
He recommends a vitamin D blood level greater than 50 ng/ml, then supplementing with 1,000 to 1,600 IU vitamin D3 daily.
#7: Give and Receive Love.
Make love the focus of your giving (not material goods). That’s what your friends and family want most. Sure, the kids want toys but they want love too!
Make a card or a favorite treat, give them a call, send a heart felt email…express your love in your own personal way.
Let them know in advance that you want love too. Take the pressure off buying things…give and receive love.
Don’t have family or friends? Look for ways you can connect with people. Are there neighbors you can introduce yourself to or groups you would enjoy joining.
Try volunteering or giving to a local cause, many people need help during the holiday season.
Choose to use the 4 C’s: control, commitment, challenge, and connection to avoid holiday stress and weight gain this holiday season.
Create the conditions for health and you’ll have health.
Gift yourself and those you love with these 7 tips this season. Make your holidays healthydays!