Happy holidays everyone, today’s video/article is about how to avoid excess weight gain and stay healthy and in shape during the holiday season.

From my observations training clients and my own personal experience I have found that the holiday season presents a unique set of challenges in regards to our physical and mental health.

We are bombarded during this time with celebrations and festivities, but often many of us have to continue working, partake in more parties and late nights, eat foods we are not used to, and may consume more alcohol.

The real secret to having a kick-ass bod still during the holiday season is this:

MINIMIZE STRESS!!

It is very easy to get caught up in a mindset of “I need to get this done” or constantly feeling like you are on a deadline. Oftentimes this is a symptom of disrupted neurotransmitter balance, adrenal fatigue, and just being run down.

When we are in this “get it done” mindset, I often find that clients come in saying things like “I need to focus my workouts on weight loss” or “I need to burn off last night’s cheat foods!”.

While exercise is a great tool, unfortunately the body does not work like this.

We need to balance the yin and the yang.

If the body is more stressed and out of balance from running around, processed foods, mental drain, and family gatherings, or even the financial stress of buying gifts during the holidays, why would we want to add MORE stress with a grueling workout?

This logic will simply lead to burn out or too much YANG.

What we need is more Yin, the restorative, the cooling, the calming, the relaxing, the rest, and the sleep.

So tip #1: Stop trying to beat your body into submission by Working out, in fact, you may want to stop “working-out” entirely.

Instead try going on some nice restorative and long walks, stretching and meditating, or continue exercising but simply scale back the intensity and duration.

It is not uncommon for me during this time to spend an entire session with someone working on breathing and calming their body down from running around and being exhausted.

 

Tip#2 Drink more water.

Processed foods, alcohol, caffeine, stress, driving, running around, staying up late. All of these things produce excess stress and heat in the metabolism and the body, leading to an increase in waste production within our tissues, including organs and muscles.

The best way to counter this and to cool the body with restorative energy is to ensure that you’re adequately hydrated. I recommend high quality filtered water or artesian mineral water. About half your bodyweight in oz per day or so.

Tip #3 Mind your mental and Adrenal health.

Pay attention to your thoughts and body. If you’re feeling that things are crashing down on you or you have a million things to get done, this is a symptom of the nervous system begggining to get burnt out.

The best thing to do during this time in my opinion is to take a day or two off of work, call out with a white lie and say that you’re not feeling well if you need to (nothing is more valuable then your health!). Taking a day or two to recharge or stay in bed watching movies and going for a hike can actually end up saving you hundreds or even thousands of dollars by avoiding pushing your body to the tipping point.

If you’re feeling burnt out or tired, again, DO NOT push yourself to workout extremely hard. Take it lighter than usual by performing less reps and taking longer breaks between sets.

Tip#4 Be mindful of substances.

During the holidays people tend to consume alcohol, caffeine, and sugar much more than usual. Be mindful of this and try not to abuse any of the above or any other substances for that manner.

Use these things mindfully as tools for enjoyment, but make sure that a piece of cake does not turn into an extra cup of coffee the next morning, and then a doughnut, and then a week’s worth of sugar consumption. This greatly stresses the body and leads to burnout.

Make sure to always make an effort to eat very clean and well the morning and day following any parties or occasions when you use alcohol or sugar. Try your best to limit caffeine and coffee use as this further fatigues the body.

 

Extra Tips:

Supplement 5,000 IU of Vitamin D daily, this can prove to be invaluable during the winter as mostly everyone is deficient.

Consider upping your dose of high quality fish or cod liver oil. When the body is stressed more we need to increase the amount of Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids for optimal neurotransmitter function.

Go for daily meditation walks.

Step outside for a few minutes of fresh air and deep breathing when you need a break from stressful people or just a bit of alone time.

Try your absolute best to get full nights of sleep when possible.