How To Avoid Gluttony & Excess This Holiday Season

How To Avoid Gluttony & Excess This Holiday Season

Okay let’s face it, the holidays are ALL about celebration. And with that usually comes a lot of excess and gluttony. That is part of the fun!

The problem occurs when we begin acting unconsciously and in turn consume too much food, alcohol, and sugar without really taking time to enjoy and savor it. Often when we start on this slippery slope, we don’t know when or how to stop. In our minds, we think “oh hey, it’s the holidays, why not?” But what usually ends up happening is one massive holiday hangover afterwards.

So, this year why not indulge and celebrate with awareness?

Here are some tips on how you might do that:

WATER – For each alcoholic beverage, drink one sparkling or still water in between. This not only helps to properly hydrate your body but it also reminds you to slow down. You’ll end up consuming less alcohol while still enjoying the social aspect of having a drink in hand.

LESS IS MORE – Put less food on your plate than you normally would. Often our eyes are bigger than our stomachs. You can always go up for seconds or thirds if you are still craving more.

SLOW DOWN – Eat more slowly and chew your food completely. The very act of slowing down and savoring each bite will not only make you feel more nourished, it will prevent you from over-stuffing yourself and feeling bloated later on.

MOVE YOUR BODY – Do your best to fit exercise in. Instead of deciding to take the week off, why not go for a family hike or continue your gym regimen in between the festivities. You’ll burn much of what you’ve consumed and you will also avoid that sluggish and unmotivated feeling that often accompanies too much partying.

LESS IMPULSIVE – Be more conscious. Ask yourself “do I really want this extra cookie or am I just acting out of impulse?” Then if the answer is yes, take it and enjoy every delicious bite. Otherwise, step away and get back to the socializing and festivities.

GE GENTLE – Stop judging yourself. If you decide that this is your week to break your healthy eating and exercise routine then at least do it fully and completely. Avoid beating yourself up and be totally in the moment. We get nowhere when we condemn ourselves so whatever you do, do it with love and self-acceptance and leave your critic behind.

You got this! Now go have a wonderful time during the holidays and enjoy yourself abundantly. Just do it in a new way, one that is more mindful and aware, and one that leaves you feeling empowered, satisfied and fulfilled when January rolls around.

 

Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness, Lifestyle Expert Living in Los Angeles. http://www.JayBradleyLifestyle.com

He is the Best-Selling Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!

The Holidays – Refrain, Re-Hydrate, Routine, Rest, Re-Ignite!

The Holidays – Refrain, Re-Hydrate, Routine, Rest, Re-Ignite!

If you’re like the majority of North Americans, you most likely gain weight during the holidays. Not everybody packs on the pounds during this time but it certainly isn’t uncommon for your weight to increase or for your favorite pair of jeans to feel just a bit tighter. Many people also notice less energy and vitality during this time mainly due to overindulging.

Too much celebrating and not enough discipline can definitely take its toll. While I am ALL for having a good time, especially during the holidays, there are some things to be more conscious of in order to lessen the negative effects of the season and to feel “merry and bright.”

  • Refrain – I am certainly not here to lecture and trust me, I allow myself plenty of indulgences during the holidays. But this year why not pay closer attention to how much you’re eating and more importantly, why? Often we gorge ourselves without much thought because that is just what we do this time of year. We are bombarded with awesome desserts and goodies that we don’t normally see and so we feel somehow obliged to get our fill before they’re no longer around. Prior to taking that next bite of Nanaimo bar, buttery shortbread or Christmas cake, take a breath. Ask yourself do I really want this? Am I truly craving more? If the answer is yes then by all means, ENJOY! If you answer no, put it down. It’s really simple. Most of us tend to eat out of habit and not with our intuitive senses. By becoming more conscious, you’ll find yourself eating less and in turn, feeling better.
  • Re-Hydrate – Most of us will drink more alcohol during the holidays but one of the best ways to slow things down is to make a decision to sip a soda or water between alcoholic beverages. This simple rule will give your system a break, fight dehydration, and will work on cleansing some of the alcohol from your system. You will probably also become aware that you don’t desire as much alcohol as you may have in the past. Also, try drinking more slowly and take time to thoroughly enjoy each sip.
  • Routine – A lot of people tend to neglect their exercise routine during the holidays. This is actually the worst time of year to do that. Our bodies desperately need physical activity to offset holiday stress and to assist our bodies in detoxing from the extra sugar and alcohol. It’s okay to workout less and socialize more but don’t skip it completely or it will be that much harder to get back into it in the new year.
  • Rest – Because most of us are consuming more sugar and alcohol it’s vital that we get more rest. The holidays are meant for you to relax and take a break from routine. So although you’ll still be doing regular workouts, make sure to allow extra nap-time as well, and give yourself permission to fully rest. The stress of the holidays can cause our cortisol to rise and in turn, may cause weight gain. Naps are similar to meditation in a way that they allow our body and mind to shut off leaving us feeling more centered.
  • Re-Ignite – The end of the year offers you a wonderful opportunity to go inward and contemplate your next steps. A new year always represents fresh new dreams, ideas, and goals that we would like to accomplish in the next 12 months. When we overdo our eating, drinking, and stress levels, we diminish this amazing time to look deeper and to re-ignite our spirits. After a year of running around and busyness, you owe it to yourself to use the holidays for greater good and to ensure that the year ahead is your BEST YEAR EVER!

 

Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Coach living in Los Angeles. http://www.jaybradleylifestyle.com

He is the Best-Selling Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!

Are you Depressed or is it Just the Holidays?

Are you Depressed or is it Just the Holidays?

We’ve all felt down from time to time. Emotions are an integral part of what makes us human. Sometimes the low times can magnify the ups, so they’re not always that bad.

I have struggled with bouts of depression throughout my life. It began from a young age and has carried into my adult years. However, I have learned how to cope by taking great care of my physical health, doing the inner spiritual work and by being innately aware of what is going on with my thought process. But depression is a disease and sometimes it’s difficult to figure out when we are truly and chemically depressed versus feeling down because of outside circumstances or events.

This happens a lot during holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas. Holidays, while supposedly fun and social, can also bring out deep-routed sadness. There are a multitude of reasons we get down with too much spending, family dynamics, and overall fatigue from lack of sleep or overeating topping the list.

Of course, always seek professional help if your depression lasts for extended periods or if you are unable to cope with day-to-day activities.

If you suspect your low mood is due to an external source such as the holidays, here are some useful tips to get you through it while minimizing possible depression and feelings of being overwhelmed:

  • Reduce Sugar
    This is a tough one especially during the holidays but sugar is a known depressant. Desserts and alcohol while initially causing a high, will lead to an ultimate crash in blood sugar, insulin levels, and overall energy. Allow yourself to binge a little bit during the holidays but know when to say enough is enough. Don’t feel the pressure to eat everything on your plate and drink one glass of water or soda between every alcoholic beverage to offset its effects. If something doesn’t tantalize your taste buds, don’t finish it.
  • Find a Friend
    Being around family for extended periods can bring out a lot of stuff from our past. Emotions can run high and toxic memories that we hold deep seem to surface quickly during the holidays. If you’re feeling emotional or drained, find a good friend to talk to. Decompress with somebody who knows you well and can remind you that you are in fact, sane, wonderful, and balanced and that family can bring out our worst. Friends can act as a therapist when we need them the most.
  • Take a Time Out
    Creating a morning practice is something that I recommend to all of my clients and friends. Journaling, prayer, meditation, and reading uplifting material every day, WILL change your life and your mood. It’s more important than ever to continue carving out this time during the holidays. Even if you have to get up 15 minutes early, it’s worth the commitment. This solo time will create a haven for you where you can get centered before the craziness begins.
  • Watch Your Wallet
    If you’re a giver, then this definitely applies to you. Many of us feel pressured to buy extravagant gifts during the holidays especially if others have done the same for us. Take the time to write down how much money you have for gifts (if any at all) and then create a budget for yourself. Carry it with you while you’re shopping and take notes in order to stay on track. Remember, the size or price of our gift in NO WAY reflects our love for somebody. A beautiful card with sincere words goes a long way, often meaning much more to others then a present. Don’t feel the pressure to give back. If you don’t have the money for gifts, learn to receive without the stress of having to return the favor. Those who truly matter will understand.
  • Keep Up with Exercise
    It’s totally fine to take a short break from your exercise routine during the holidays but don’t go too long. The longer you’re away, the more difficult it is to return. Also, exercise creates endorphins, which are the “feel good” hormone. They are more important than ever for those who are prone to depression. Push yourself to do short, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) which takes less time but with better results. HIIT also acts as a wonderful detox from sugar and alcohol.
  • Learn to say NO
    So many parties, so little time! It’s easy to get caught up wanting to be social and to visit with all of your favorite people. You must learn that it is okay to say no. If you’re not a “hell yes” to an event, party, or get together, consider turning it down with a polite response. People who love you will not take it personally. It is always best to put yourself first because if we are drained and feeling down, we have nothing left to offer others.