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5 Tips for Keeping Holiday Cheer Cheerful!

5 Tips for Keeping Holiday Cheer Cheerful!

You can fully enjoy the holidays…and not gain even a pesky ounce!

Tis the season! And along with the trees and lights and parties are everyone’s favorite seasonal foods. Let’s face it: food defines the season; it is part of what makes the holidays special. Someone in my family had better make Aunt Rene’s Christmas cookies…and just to make sure, I make them every year.

Here’s how to make it through January 1 unscathed (no extra ounces attached!)

1. Start with GRATITUDE!

Gratitude could very well be the most important virtue we embrace and practice. It spans all religions and beliefs. True happiness is bound to the core of the human spirit through the practice of gratitude.

A great place to start is the age-old tradition of giving thanks before a meal. We need to be grateful for all we have, but when it comes to food and bounty, doubly so. It re-frames the meal from food to thanks, and for those trying to lose weight, slows us down (an important habit for “losers”). Not only that but being thankful for a meal is much different than giving thanks for a Twinkie. We might not eat the Twinkie if we pause and reflect on our appreciation for our blessings, our body, and our health.

The mindful observance of gratitude becomes a habit with time, repetition, and practice. Begin your mornings with the intention to extend grace and gratitude in all encounters for the day. With time you will be defined as a gracious, appreciative, positive, and supportive person.

2. Schedule it in: DAILY EXERCISE!

Early bird exercisers statistically have the best consistency adherence, but exercise at any time is great as long as it happens. It does not have to be complicated: walking is great. Variety during the week is even better. Everyone with a desk job should be trying to get 5000 to 10,0000 steps in per day and would benefit from some kind of strength training. It is wishful thinking to thing that you will “stay the same until January” and start exercising then. Through the month you will lose muscle mass and you will lose fitness. The consequence? A lower metabolic rate and fewer calories burned per day no matter what you do. It does not take much to stay on track; schedule in 3-4 sacred times on your calendar, turn off your phone and just do it.

3. Eat at regular intervals: DON’T STARVE YOURSELF!

Especially before a party. Parties are supposed to be fun, not exercises in exerting super-human dietary willpower, and certainly not occasions for you to feel ashamed or angry because you ate or drank too much. Go to the gathering with a small meal under your belt that was within about a 3-4 hour window; your body will be ready to join in on the festivities without feeling that you have to eat everything in sight. Another tip: drink plenty of water. Alcohol erodes your resolve, so limit yourself to a minimal amount of alcohol.

4. Share it! BRING A HEALTHY DISH!

If you are not the primary cook, bring a healthy, tasty addition to the gathering. Since holiday parties usually have a copious amount of sweets, a lovely casserole dish consisting of some seasonal veggies such as Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, kale/veggie salads, sautéed green beans, etc. is bound to be a big hit with the crowd, and sincerely appreciated by the hosts.

5. End with GRATITUDE!

Everyone has a story. Your gathering, whether it is with family, friends, colleagues or co-workers, includes people in all stages of life’s challenges. Since gratitude is a practice to be cultivated, if we go through the holiday season practicing “Random Acts of Kindness,” the habit will sustain us through the rest of the year. One by one, we can make the world a better place.

Happy Holidays! All of us at Pivotal Fitness and Eco Fitness hope that this holiday season is abundant in blessings and ushers in new cherished memories!

‘Twas the night before New Years and all through the house

Not a resolution was brewing since we gained not an ounce!

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