Embrace the Holidays and Avoid the Extra Pounds

I’m so excited about the change of season. The leaves are turning colors, the air is getting colder and the days are shorter!  

I find myself claiming each new season as my favorite, but I think Fall ultimately wins!  We are surrounded by so much beauty – GOTTA LOVE the Pacific Northwest! With so much to be thankful for and so many parties to enjoy, the holiday season is officially here!  I’m hopeful we can all embrace this season while staying on track with our health and fitness goals. Research shows that Fall is the hardest time of year to avoid weight gain.

We get to spend time with family and friends. The delights of the season are also filled with traditional food, seasonal goodies, and festivities that often result in a few extra pounds gained. These pounds are serious! The common trend is to gain a few pounds during the holiday season, lose a couple over time BUT research is showing that we tend to hold onto at least a pound each year. Gaining an extra pound or two a year adds up quickly over time.  With this in mind, let's embrace all the fun, laughter, love, and culture of the holiday season while avoiding the weight gain.
How can we face Diwali, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, Winter Solstice, Kwanzaa, New Year's, and all the other holidays and parties that occur without depriving ourselves of the delicious and traditional foods?  Plan ahead and set your intentions for this holiday season to be more about the people, traditions, and fun and maybe a little less about the food.  Here are some tips to get you started!

  • JOIN my Mindful Carrot Six-Week Program. Our focus is eating mindfully and moving more.  We pay attention to how much sugar we consume daily and work to keep it within the American Heart Association's recommended amount. Email me if you'd like to join!

  • Spend less time cooking sweets and more time planning games and fun adventures for your family and friends.  

  • FAMILY BOOTCAMP is one of my FAVORITE ways to hang out with my family on Thanksgiving and Christmas morning. You will remember this time together more than sitting around eating the cinnamon rolls. Sometimes it just takes one person to initiate it - YOU CAN BE THE ONE! The laughter and sweat it brings to your home is priceless.

  • Be creative this year and experiment with traditional recipes - find ways to make them a little healthier and share them with your friends and family. BE PROUD OF YOUR HEALTHY ALTERNATIVES.

  • Exercise is a must! Keep up with your workouts! If you're attending a party, be sure to get a good workout in the day of a party.  

  • Don’t go to a party on an empty stomach. Have a healthy snack before you leave home. It will be easier to enjoy small bites without the need to devour everything that is offered.

  • Watch what you drink! Cocktail calories add up fast. Sparkling water is a great way to enjoy bubbles without all the extra calories and sugar.  Be proactive and bring some fun low calorie cocktails to the party to share!  You can also use things like monk fruit, stevia, real fruit juice, etc. to bring sweetness to your glass!  

  • Browse the food table before deciding on what you're going to enjoy and then choose mindfully. Portion control and moderation are key!

  • Celebrate your holiday for what it is! EMBRACE the values, culture, and love that surrounds our community.

  • Try limiting the gifted sweets and baked goods for your loved ones, neighbors, and co-workers. Try giving something creative like a harvest fruit and veggie platter, handmade candles, soap, and/or essential oils.  There are so many great ideas out there on Pinterest. Start planning now so you have time. This is such a great way to get the kids excited about giving - they can help!
The holidays are not about depriving ourselves but it is important to be mindful and take care of ourselves and each other. Limit sugar, watch portion sizes, and keep moving!  Bring fun, energy, and adventure into your community this holiday season! It matters and makes a difference. One year at a time, we can avoid the extra pounds! 

Cheers to a healthy community!