A Healthy Holiday Season is All About Extreme Self-Care!

The hectic holidays don’t have to be a disaster to your health and fitness routine. In fact, the average American only gains a few pounds between Thanksgiving and New Years. So relax, with a little planning you can start 2012 healthier than ever. Here are a few easy to follow strategies to look and feel your best this holiday season:

1. Enjoy your favorite traditional meals and treats…in moderation. Those pesky calories better be worth every bite, so be sure you absolutely love everything you choose to put on your mouth. Don’t worry about hurting other people’s feelings; instead, stand up for yourself and don’t feel obligated to eat everything at the party.  You may also consider bringing your own special treats, so you can indulge without having to worry if all that sugar or butter will end up on your hips. By keeping your eye on your health goals, extreme self-care can be contagious to others as well. What better gift to offer loved ones than the gift of your wellness rubbing off on those you care about?

2. Don’t skip meals. Be sure to eat breakfast and have those moderate snacks to stave off hunger pangs hitting later when the table is overflowing with dangerous temptations. If you start your day with a healthy mix of lean protein and complex carbohydrates, you will be more inclined to make the right choices as the day wears on. Keep your energy flowing and your blood sugar nice and level, with light bites between meals as well. Try some fruit and low-fat string cheese or an apple with a tablespoon of nut butter to keep your engine running cleanly.

3. Keep up with your workouts and keep your metabolism blazing. Exercise will lighten your step, make you feel more vital, sleep better and give you more energy. You will be less likely to reverse your prior hard-earned progress by scheduling regular workouts on your calendar. That’s right – write it in ink. Sneak workouts into your day as well, even if it means parking further away from your destination, opting for the stairs, or walking around the mall a few extra times to get your 10,000 steps. Take exercise bands on the road and try some squats, crunches and biceps curls or triceps kick-backs in your hotel. Make this the year that you don’t let your fitness routine slip over the holiday season. You will be so glad you did.

4. Try wearing your favorite fitted-clothing to remind you of how hard you’ve worked to get to where you are. For instance, by not wearing loose pants, there is not as much wiggle room to over-indulge without even realizing it. It will feel better to avoid feeling stuffed and you will not be as scared to step on that scale in the New Year.

5. Remember that there is more to life than food. Be sure to enjoy time with those you love. When surrounded by the family and friends that you love, and who love you dearly as well, you will feel happiness and support. Likewise, minimize the time you spend together with those that don’t support you being your best. Health and extreme self-care will bring you more happiness than eggnog or any cheese log ever can.

Happy & Healthy Holidays To Everyone!

About Lori Swanson, CHC

Lori Swanson is a busy mom and community volunteer who loves feeding her family good food to support their best health and wellness. Ms. Swanson studied Nutrition and Dietetics at California State University at Los Angeles and has rounded out her knowledge as a Certified Health Counselor at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. She currently serves as President-Elect for National Charity League of Ventura County, a national program where mothers and daughters serve their local communities together. Lori’s professional goal is to help her clients achieve their unique health goals around nutrition and wellness. For more information, please visit her website at Health Coach and her blog at Be Well Bungalow.

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