5 Ways to a Guilt-Free Holiday

  1. Stick to an exercise schedule:
  2. The holidays are going to happen whether you like it or not. Stores will be closed; leaving you no choice but to have extra time on your hands. You could either take the extra time to do nothing and eat or you could take a small portion of the time and exercise. 20 min. of a high intensity cross fit routine is the equivalence of running 2.5 miles. As long as you keep it moving, you don't have to feel guilty about eating a little extra this holiday season. This will help to maintain your weight throughout the holidays and stay guilt-free.

  3. Set up a daily yoga practice:
  4. The holidays could be a very stressful time. The media hammers the idea of shopping in to your head. Everyone feels a strong urgency to shop, and eat. Friends and family are expecting gifts, and time spent with them. There's a strong demand for your time. This could leave anyone desperate for some time alone to simply breathe. A daily yoga practice can give you that time you so desperately need. Start out with 10 min. of quiet meditation. Set a timer on your phone so you don't have to be aware of the time. Then do about 15 min. of yoga postures. Yoga Journal has some great virtual sequence builders that you could design yourself online. You can increase the duration once the daily habit is set. Yoga is a great way to build strength and flexibility at the same time. Yoga lowers the risk of a heart attack, relieves depression, increases lymphatic drainage, lowers cortisol levels, and fights against arthritis. It simply makes people feel good.

  5. Bring your own food:
  6. The holidays are very forgiving. On any other occasion, it might offend a host if you were to bring your own food to a dinner. The holidays encourages it. You could bring your own gluten free dessert without hurting anyone's feelings. Take a vegan potato salad and don't let anyone know it's vegan until after they try it. Taking your own food is the best way to ensure that you will enjoy your food without feeling guilty and without getting a stomach ache. Look for a great recipe, just make sure that you bring enough to share. Vegan desserts always run out faster, especially when everyone finds out that the raw agave nectar sweetener will not spike cortisol levels and tastes delicious. You will be surprised how many dinner guests will want to try your special food.

  7. Stay Hydrated:
  8. Water curbs the appetite. We often confuse thirst for hunger. Water is a great way to prevent us from over eating during the holidays maintaining a guilt-free state of mind. Staying hydrated prevents hunger spikes, headaches, fights the common cold and fights fatigue. Asthmatics benefit greatly from being hydrated since histamine levels increase with de-hydration. The kidneys flush with water, and water lubricates our joints. Our bodies are 75% water, and need water to function correctly. Drink more water daily and feel the difference. Drink water in-between holiday beverages to ensure hydration.

  9. Sleep well:
  10. Studies have shown that too much or too little sleep leads to a shorter lifespan. Sleep better and live better. Make sure to slow down enough to get a good nights rest. Cut out stimulants, cut back on coffee and sugar to fight against insomnia. A Stanford University study showed that football players that slept at least 10 hrs. had more energy throughout the day and increased their performance. The body can deal with stress better when it had a good nights sleep. Sleep better and you will be able to cope with the crazy holiday shoppers that swarm the cities this time of year. With better rest, you will enjoy the company of your family and stay guilt-free. Spend extra-time without leaving the event early and dance the night away.

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