holiday stress

How can you maximize your health and minimize your guilt and holiday stress this upcoming holiday season?

Simply follow these 6 steps.

1. Give yourself some grace

No need to punish yourself for what you did or didn’t eat, exercises you did or didn’t do, sleep you did or didn’t get.

The holidays are a time to be enjoyed and celebrate being surrounded by those you love and care for.

Remember it’s more about what you do between New Year and Christmas than it is what you do from Christmas to New Year.

2. Fill up on protein

Traditional holiday meals are generally stock full of processed carbohydrates like bread, cookies, cakes, and more.

But if you look close, you’ll find the savior of your holiday meal plan.

The meat.

Focus on protein first. Get your fill of the turkey, ham, or roast beef, and only then, start adding the other yummy, once or twice a year treats (don’t forget the cranberry sauce and gravy!).

These higher protein choices will reduce hunger-signaling hormones and keep you full ensuring you don’t overdo it on the desserts.

Still unsure about protein. Check out this blog:

3. Plan ahead

Do you already know you have some parties coming up?

Come up with a plan of attack in advance.

Target the meat and cheese tray and drink water, even if you’re choosing to drink alcohol, this will help keep you hydrated and curb some of the strong temptations.

4. Ditch the all-or-none mentality

Most people think that they will inevitably gain weight over the holidays, which contributes to the ‘all or none mentality’.

A few off-track days are not permission to extend them to weeks.

In fact, this 2012 study looked at 34 men and women over a 6-week holiday period and found that while four subjects gained over 5 pounds, the average for the entire group showed there was no body-composition change.

The majority of subjects maintained their weights or even decreased.

Avoid falling into the all-or-none trap.

Don’t assume you’re going to gain weight and give up all self-restraint.

You wouldn’t slash all your tires after finding a single flat one!

5. Stay active

We’re not saying that you can out-train weeks of holiday meals… but there are some important benefits to maintaining some form of exercise.

Maybe you won’t have time for your regular, longer workout routine?

Pick consistency over volume.

Find a time every day to move, stay active and if you can, place your toughest workouts of the week on days you’ll be feasting.

6. Stay hydrated

Focusing on improving your water intake will not only make you feel full sooner but also help with the cocktail hangovers.

Water intake will also ensure that you consume fewer calories overall.

Research shows drinking mostly water with your meals decreases your overall calorie intake by almost 10% or 200 calories, on average (

7. Give fasting a shot

It’s never going to hurt to delay your first meal by a few hours and in turn, reduce the total time available to be filling your belly with food.

You may find that you like it so much, it keeps a spot in your healthy lifestyle routine after the holidays are long gone.

From everyone at Beverly Family Chiropractic best wishes this holiday season and remember…

You’re worth it!

Dr. Derek Gallant has committed himself to helping others live the best life possible. After graduating from Wesleyan University, he received his Doctor of Chiropractic Degree from Life Chiropractic College West where he finished 2nd in his class. He is the owner of Beverly Family Chiropractic and co-founder of The Well Family Foundation. Dr. Gallant is certified through the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA) in the Webster technique, an analysis focused on assisting pregnant women in a healthy pregnancy and natural birth. He has inspired thousands of people to take control of their own health using the Life By Design method. Apart from full time practice you can find Derek at the parks and coffee shops around Beverly with his family, training hard at the gym, or at the beach surfing.

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