The National Institute of Health estimates that during the 6 weeks of Thanksgiving and New Years Day, Americans gain an average of 0.8 – 1.4 pounds. With the lingering effects of Halloween candy factored in, that range could easily be higher. According to the NIH, this eating free for all over 40 or more days accounts for the 51% of the typical American’s yearly weight gain.
One and a half pounds doesn’t seem a significant amount of weight to shed post holidays, but realistically the extra baggage doesn’t come off that easily. In fact, over a decade or two, at that rate of gain, an insidious 15-30 extra pounds could creep onto a person’s unsuspecting frame. Most are aware of the health challenges the holidays present, but what many people don’t know is how EASY it is to prevent weight gain with a few realistic and mindful strategies in place. With a few simple healthy alterations you can stop the holiday food hangover BEFORE damage is done.
Below are some of my favorite articles and resources to help you put these strategies to work and feel your best on January 1st. That way come the New Year, instead of focusing on damage control, you’ll be in a place to set new, exciting wellness goals. I challenge you to practice prevention and mindfulness while you enjoy the season and find balance. These practical articles aim to inspire you to put a “holiday pre-hab” program in place for yourself. With topics ranging from “Seasonal Stress Reduction” to “9 Healthy Holiday Eating Strategies”, I hope you will find something useful below. If you draw just one good idea or find a healthy recipe to share, I’ll have met my objective. Please let me know if you find this post helpful or if you have any healthy holiday resources you’d like to add to the list by leaving a comment below this post. In the meantime, if you haven’t subscribed to my YouTube Fitness channel, please do so at: http://www.youtube.com/user/TheCarolineinthecity?feature=mhee . It’s the perfect solution to traveling or seasonal workouts when you are short on time. And now without further to do, here are my favorite seasonal health resources:
Caroline’s Healthy Holiday Handbook 2012
Seasonal Stress Reduction:
- Tis the Season for STRESS Reduction. Beat stress and Breathe easy.
- 10 Health Tips for Surviving the Holidays
- Healthy Holidays: Stay balanced and Savor The Season
- Plane Travel The Healthy Way. Great infographic from Greatist, I am a big believer in flying health care.
- Healthy Holiday Food and Fitness: Diet, Stress, and Meal Tips for Healthier Holidays from WebMd
- Late nights out and long days shopping leave you feel tired and achy? Take 9 minutes to de-stress with this evening relaxation sequence.
Cooking Light and Eating Right:
- Holiday Menus, Recipe Makeovers, and Balanced bites for all your celebrations at Cooking Light.
- Nine Healthy Holiday Eating Strategies.
- Holiday Calorie Calculator. Total your holiday party calories and Christmas dinner calories to see how far you must walk in steps, miles and kilometers to walk it off from walking.com
- Thanksgiving Portion Control. Not an Oxymoron!
- Skinny Girl Cocktail Guide to the Holidays. Ah yes, I had to include this link for all you Bethany Frankel lovers.
- “Healthy” Holiday Food to Avoid (And Healthier Foods to Eat Instead)
Feel Good Fitness:
- Reader Q&A: Staying In Shape During the Holidays
- Free 10 minute circuit training video. Get fast results with this quick online exercise routine, consider it my holiday gift to you!
- Hot New Fitness DVDs for the Holidays.
- Festive Fall Fun: The TURKEY TROT Challenge
- Little Black Dress Workout.
- Healthy Holidays: Tis the Season to Stay Fit and Feel Fabulous.
- Holiday Vacation Fitness: Don’t leave home without it.
- Fitness In A Flash. Quick workouts you can do in a time crunch thanks to the American Council On Exercise
- Winter Motivation Secrets.
- Holiday HOTNESS Playlist. My merry music mix.
- Top 100 Workout Songs. Fitsugar put together quite the list!
- Holiday Running Songs. Too funny thanks jog.fm !
- My Favorite Smart Phone Apps to Help You Be Merry and Mindful. Nutrition, Fitness, and Stress Management Apps. Use the meal snap app to help identify healthy options at your next holiday party and the Nike Training App to help you stay fit while you stay at Grandma’s house.
From my little studio in San Francisco to your home, I wish you a very warm and festive holiday season (sans the extra pounds!) Looking forward to sharing this most wonderful time of year with you. Heres to a healthy, happy holiday that feels good from the inside out.