I find that the holidays are a challenging time to maintain my weight and keep my stress levels in check. Do you find that too? As I’ve shared before, when it comes to exercise (which helps with both of the aforementioned issues), I’ve always been faithful, but I am definitely not a fan. When there are excuses out there not to exercise and eat right, I will jump right on them and ride that struggle bus right on down the street. Sigh. In an effort to help myself (and with the hope that it will help you too), I reached out to my friend, Wendy Howard, for guidance and encouragement. Wendy is an author, and a registered, licensed dietitian in private practice. She is an energetic, dynamic person and a tireless advocate for health, fitness, and good nutrition. In addition, she is an empty nester, and she and her husband, Steve, have raised four daughters. Read on and get inspired, my friends!
(Suzy) It’s hard to find the time to work out and cook healthy during the holidays with so much pulling us in so many different directions! Why is regular exercise and good nutrition especially important during the holiday season?
(Wendy) Two of your main goals during the holidays should be to stay healthy and not gain weight. I encourage everyone to “maintain, don’t gain.” Following a plant-based diet with lean protein and allowing for a few extra sweets each week (not each day!) is a great foundation for immune support and weight maintenance. Rather than throwing your exercise routine by the wayside, it is now more important than ever to burn off those extra sweet treats. I recommend adding an extra day or 10 extra minutes to your regular routine. It works!
With all of the temptations out there during the holidays, it’s difficult to stay on track and maintain good habits. Sometimes I think we all fall for the “Oh, just this once…” or “It’s a special occasion…” mentality. Help!
Sweets and treats are inevitable from Thanksgiving to New Year’s. Make them count when you have them and don’t nosh all day long on something tempting you have at home. Put it away and bring it out every other day, for example. Don’t “waste calories” on something that’s not really your absolute favorite. Save up for Grandma’s Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies!
What can women do to avoid gaining weight and to combat stress during the holidays?
Exercise, Exercise Exercise! Let it be the first thing on your calendar and schedule everything else around it. Period. It’s great for your weight and it’s great for stress busting!
Are there any resources or products you would recommend to help us get over the hump of the holidays?
I recommend that all my clients and patients get on Juice Plus which is a whole food fruit and vegetable supplement backed with research from 35 scientific studies. It’s a proven immune builder and great for heart health and disease prevention. It’s excellent for adults and kids of all ages. My family has been on it for 16 years and we are hardly ever sick! I would love to offer your readers a holiday discount/rebate if they want to get started before the new year. Juice Plus and our new Tower Garden both make excellent gifts. Give the gift of health this Christmas! People can contact me at email@example.com or 214-543-5095.
Thank you, Wendy, for your guidance and encouragement! Want to read more about Wendy? I did a profile on her earlier this year. In it, she shared insight into the metabolism of women (and how it tends to slow in midlife), guidance for good nutrition, and workout tips that will get you off the couch. You can read it here.
Need some new workout wear to get you motivated? I’ve linked below to my workout must-haves. We turned an extra bedroom in our house into a home gym (#emptynestblessed!), so I exercise at home right after I get up in the morning. Since I’m at home, I only wear a sports bra and shorts to work out, along with my awesome, cushy socks and my trusty Aasics. My latest obsession is workout skirts (with built-in shorts!). Sometimes I wear them instead of my running shorts, and I also like to add them over leggings if I’m out running errands for a more modest look. I figure, if the tush is covered, any short tee or sweatshirt will do on top – no need to look for a long tunic, right? 🙂
I’d love to know how you stay motivated and keep your stress in check during the craziness of the holiday season. Leave me a comment and share your tips!
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