How to Indulge Without the Bulge: Thriving Through the Holiday Season With Your Waistline in Tact

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In all the years I’ve been consulting with patients on achieving vibrant health and boundless energy, I’ve always been amazed at how many people who’ve been experiencing dramatic improvements in their health allow themselves to get off track around the holidays and backtrack on the progress they’ve made.

It breaks my heart to watch folks backslide after they’ve been steadily improving their health, approaching their ideal body weight, and finally experiencing the energy to begin to really live their lives. Well, I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be that way.

I know it’s really easy to get so caught up in the frenzy of holiday shopping, parties and family activities that all the healthy habits you’ve spent months or years to establish fall by the wayside, with the promise of starting again after the holidays.

The problem is, starting again after the holidays is really hard to do when your waistline is bulging, your strength has diminished and you barely have the energy to get out of bed in the morning.

But what if you could wake up on New Year’s Day feeling slim, strong and energetic, ready to work on your life’s true purpose? Take a moment to really appreciate how great that would feel.

The winter holiday season is supposed to be one of joy and sharing. Yet all too often, you find yourself getting overly stressed by the magnitude of the tasks at hand. Cards, shopping for and wrapping gifts, decorating and making food are all a part of the sometimes overwhelmingly long task list.

And then there’s the food. Unfortunately, the traditional holiday fare is not consistent with achieving the level of health you want and deserve. And the pressure from well-meaning friends and family to indulge in the old favorites can be overwhelming.

How would it feel if you could indulge in delicious foods and still stay healthy and fit? Sound impossible? Those who’ve taken my Indulge without the Bulge Class know otherwise because they’ve learned amazing recipes and the 7 secret strategies for thriving through the holiday season and indulge without the bulge. Here are the secrets:

    Indulge without the Bulge

  1. Set clear goals about how you want to look and feel on January 1. Write them down and read them every day, especially when you’re tempted to stray from your healthy diet and exercise plan. I did a teleseminar about Goal Setting a few months ago.
  2. Keep Well Hydrated. Often when you’re thirsty, you perceive it as hunger. Start your day with at least a pint of filtered water. Drink a tall glass of water about 15 minutes before each meal to take the edge off your appetite.
  3. Start your day with a smoothie made from fresh whole fruit and add some leafy greens for extra vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. There are several green smoothie recipes in my blog post at Green Smoothie Recipes.
  4. Bring food with you whenever you go to parties, dinners and on shopping excursions and eat a healthy snack before you go to parties or out to dinner. Learn a few quick, easy and delicious living food recipes that are similar to traditional holiday favorite and easy enough to whip up in minutes.
  5. Breathe deeply several times a day to decrease your stress get the oxygen flowing, clear your busy mind and calm your nervous system. Your digestive tract is most efficient in the calm state.
  6. Simplify gift giving. The holiday season is supposed to be a time when we express love and appreciation to those we care about, so avoid stressing out about buying the right gift. You can donate to a favorite charity, and give health related gifts like CDs, DVDs, equipment and healthy food. Or give gift certificates for a service you can do for a loved one, or a place you can take them.
  7. Give yourself some wiggle room. If you strive for 100% and you fall short, it could trigger a defeatist attitude and cause you to stray even further. Instead, strive to stay on track 90% of the time and be kind to yourself if there are a few indulgences.

And don’t forget that exercise is vital to keeping you healthy at this time of year. Be sure to move your body, even if you only have time for 10 minutes a day.And treat yourself with dignity and respect. Connect with those you love and show appreciation and love to them and to you. Recognize the gift you are to the world and celebrate your greatness.

Love and Health,

Dr. Ritamarie

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