‘Tis the Season to Binge and Stress; This Year Avoid the Holiday Worry and Pounds

The holiday season is a time full of joy, cheer, parties, and family gatherings. However, for many people, it is also a time filled with anxiety, stress, and weight gain. Unfortunately, many people often use the busy holiday season as an excuse to reduce exercise or put off starting a new program. Often these people have the intention of coming back with a vengeance after the New Year. “The New Year is just around the corner and I’m going to lose weight and get in shape”; this trusty New Year’s resolution declaration is also conveniently used to justify holiday overindulgence. Researchers at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) have shown that for most people weight gained during the holidays is not lost and accumulates on a yearly basis. Says NICHD Director Duane Alexander, M.D; “These findings suggest that developing ways to avoid holiday weight gain may be extremely important for preventing obesity and the diseases associated with it.” Maintaining a regular exercise program throughout the holiday season provides benefits on many different levels.

The demands of shopping, parties, family reunions, and house guests can contribute to feelings of tension. According to The National Mental Health Association, (NMHA) this tension can illicit stress responses such as: headaches, excessive drinking, difficulty sleeping, and the ever-popular over-eating. Exercise has been shown to be a tremendous tool to manage stress. Exercise will give you energy and the mental strength to deal with the mad rush of holiday shopping, holiday travel and holiday visitors. Managing stress with exercise can also help control cravings for those comfort foods that adorn the holiday tables. Regular exercise also increases metabolism, thus reducing the detrimental effect of an occasional extra cookie or glass of eggnog. Experts at NMHA claim, even more people experience post-holiday let down after the New Year than suffer holiday anxiety. With this comes lack of motivation and comfort eating. Its no wonder those New Year’s resolutions are rarely successful.

Parties, large meals and extra calories are almost unavoidable during the holiday season. Weight maintenance rather than weight loss through the holidays is a much healthier goal. Exercising regularly and enjoying the few extra calories will break the vicious cycle of guilt, feelings of failure, and more eating. Getting a head start on exercise prior to January 1st will give you a healthier and happier holiday season as well as make those New Year’s resolution goals far more attainable.

Healthy Holiday Tips:

1. Focus on weight maintenance not weight loss – Parties, large meals and extra calories are almost unavoidable during the holiday season. If you are currently overweight and want to lose weight, this is not the time to do it; setting difficult or unrealistic goals can lead to a vicious cycle of guilt, feelings of failure, and more eating.

2. Get moving – Regular exercise will increase metabolism and allow you to enjoy a few extra calories without putting on the pounds. Exercise will give you energy and the mental strength to deal with the mad rush of holiday shopping, the holiday travel or holiday visitors and the party hopping.

3. Get Plenty of Sleep – Lack of sleep impairs our ability to handle stress (which there is usually no shortage of during the holidays). Chronic sleep loss can also affect various components of metabolism that influence hunger and weight gain.

4. Substitute healthy recipes – Use applesauce in place of oil; use egg whites in place of whole eggs; try plain nonfat yogurt in place of sour cream. Magazines and healthy cooking cook books are full of reduced calorie and reduced fat holiday recipes that taste great.

5. Don’t go to parties hungry – Going to a party on an empty stomach is a recipe for disaster. Starting your day with a healthy breakfast and eating sensibly throughout the day should help you control your appetite and avoid over-indulging on the typically high fat and high calorie holiday fare.

6. Eat slowly- Make one plate of the foods you really want. It takes about twenty minutes for your brain to register that your stomach is full. Take your time to enjoy the taste of every bite, and you will realize you don’t need to go back for seconds.

7. Limit alcoholic beverages – Liquors,wines and mixed drinks can contain 150-450 calories per glass whereas, water and diet sodas are calorie-free. If you choose to drink, try light wines and light beers, and use non-alcoholic mixers such as water and diet soda. Limit yourself to one to two drinks.

8. Get rid of leftovers – Some foods are more fattening than others, however, no food will make you gain weight unless you eat too much of it. Often we eat beyond our body’s physical hunger simply because food is there.

9. Keep it in perspective – It takes days of overeating to gain weight; one day won’t make or break your eating plan. Nothing is more destructive to a healthy eating plan than the negative feelings of failure and guilt. If you over-indulge at a holiday meal or party, don’t beat yourself up; simply return to your sensible healthy diet the next day.

Holiday Party Planning Tips

The holidays are a time of feasting, generally, in the company of family, friends and loved ones. How many times have you heard someone say they “love the holidays”, simply for all the parties that exist? Holiday party planning is not only important to many, but one of the busiest and most exciting planning events, as well.

Of course, the holidays that fall in wintertime are not the only times for planning a holiday party. There is Fourth of July in the United States, and comparable holidays in other countries. In any case, sometimes a holiday party is thrown just because the planner loves holiday party planning so much. It can be quite fun for the person who has a love for parties and for planning them.

There is, of course, not a lot of difference in planning for a holiday parties and the planning of other types of parties. Just the reason has changed. The needs of the planner to plan the perfect event is still intact. Holidays party planning involves calculating a guest list, menu and decor, just like any other party.

However, more people do holidays party a lot more than any other party types, or, at least, it seems that way. When too many people are trying to organize holiday parties at the same time, catering and party supply rental companies find themselves overwhelmed. So the wise planner starts party planning for holiday months in advance.

And, of course, the big holiday parties, Christmas party, is the most hectic one. Along with the party itself, one has to work in the present shopping, holiday decorating and all the other various and sundry activities that happen at that time of year. Often times, the smart host/ess will opt to hire a party planner to do the holidays party planning for them, and avoid one bit of holiday stress.

Still, there are those die-hard holiday party planning fanatics who want to do it all themselves. Be especially kind to these people at those times of the year, for they are giving their all to make your holidays memorable. Planning a holiday parties is not easy, especially when there are many other things to do at that time, as well.

Holiday party planning has only one easy part-the choice of theme. Obviously, one is not going to throw a costume party for Christmas or Hanukkah, although it could be done for New Year’s. In any case, the theme is generally already clearly defined for most holiday party planning. The tough part is doing something different from year to year. That’s where rabid holiday party planners love to shine, by trying to top themselves each year. Or sometimes, the holiday party planning competition is not with themselves, but with a rival. Is it any wonder the holidays are particularly stressful for some people?

Very often, people use the excuse of holiday parties to let off some mid-winter stream, and the organizer of holiday party planning knows this. It’s a time of festivities and fantasy that people love to dive into for a little escape and lots of fun. This is often the reason why a planner feels the need to top themselves each year. When the party-goers go home, the planner wants to know that they are looking back and saying, “That was the party of the year!” Great holiday party planning depends on the planner’s success in that area.

Shopping – Holiday Gifts For Your Boyfriend Or Husband

People give gifts for some reasons – be it a congratulation gift, a birthday gift, an anniversary gift; a wedding gift or a holiday gift – this has been a very old tradition to commemorate a certain occasion. For many, this is an easy task as we are now enjoying the abundance of gift choices that are available worldwide. However, choosing gifts for a person who seems to have everything can be very hair-splitting. So how do you go about buying idea gifts for those people who are hard to buy for?

Finding ideal gifts for those people who are hard to buy for may fall into two categories. For the first category consider what he may want, while on the second one are things he might be needing. For you to be able to have a good start, the most important consideration you should take is to know what personality, hobbies, likes and lifestyle do they have.

Christmas is nearly coming and you want to be prepared when it comes to gift-giving. There are a lot of names listed on your list, and a few names of males are included. For your boyfriend or husband who seems to have almost everything, from gadgets, cars to branded outfits – this man can be very choosy. Women are quite easy to buy for, because simple but thoughtful gifts are already enough to captivate their hearts, rather than men whom can be very picky and meticulous when it comes to gifts.

If your man is into hi-tech gadgets or electronics, the person who has everything will most likely have himself indulged with the latest LCD TV, Mobile phones, iPod or stereo. With this situation, you will have to look for ideas that are generally given rather than something he would purchase himself. You may consider a digital photo frame or a digital key chain.

If he is a creative artist in nature, personalized art or craft is your perfect choice. Personalized gifts like a hand-made craft is often given as a surprise gift for anniversaries or special occasions. Look for old fun pictures of the two of you and turn it into a fun piece of art, a very creative gift that has a thoughtful touch from you!

Most men are wine or beer fanatic, and if your man is one of them, consider engraved barware. They might have plenty of beer mugs but he might never got one that has his name or initials engraved on it, showing that he is truly the owner of that mug. Other than beer mugs, you may also consider a personalized flask, bottle opener, wine stopper, shot glass and the like.

There are lots of gift ideas for the man of your life, and whether he already have them all kept and displayed, but he will surely appreciate something that is made personally for him. How would you see a great smile on his cheek, anyway.? Other gift ideas for men would include personalized sterling cufflinks, money clips, pocket watches and of course jewelry pieces. You may also look for other types of gifts that can make an excellent gift for boyfriend or husband this Christmas.

The Basics of Holiday Party Planning

Throughout the year, there are many opportunities to host holiday parties for friends and family. What could be a better way to show those closest to us how much we appreciate them. Holiday party planning takes a bit of preparation, so let’s get started.

First, when it comes to which holiday might be best for hosting a large get together, you have lots of choices, depending on your schedule and what type of party you would like to throw.

Different holidays traditionally include different types of events. For example, 4th of July or Memorial Day parties are usually outdoors, such as a barbecue, pool party or picnic at a local park.

Thanksgiving parties are typically dinner parties, Christmas parties are cocktail or reception type parties, while New Year’s Eve run the gamut of anything from dinner parties to theme parties.

Planning a holiday party is similar to planning any other type of social event. The first step is always deciding on a budget. The budget determines how many people you can host and the menu options.

Once the budget is set, next is the guest list. When making the guest list, consider both the space available for the event and if there are enough tables and chairs for everyone. Renting additional tables, chairs, linens or even plates and glassware is always an option, but do so in advance to avoid any last minute scrambling for supplies.

One of the main differences with a holiday party is usually there are other activities or celebrations going on around the same time which will require your attention. For example, during the Christmas season additional tasks might include holiday decorating, shopping for presents and other traditional Christmas activates, all in additional to your holiday party planning. If you find you’re running short on time, you can always hire someone to assist you in anything from housekeeping to catering to even personal shopping.

Holiday parties can be anything from a casual potluck or pizza party to a grand, sit down dinner. The traditional approach is to purchase party supplies, such as decorations, to match the holiday, however if you’re feeling adventurous, add a unique theme to your party. The 4th of July barbeque becomes a day in the old west or Valentine’s Day could take on the theme from a romantic classic film such as “Casablanca.” Incorporate the theme into the invitations, music, food, decorations and even ask to guest to dress in corresponding attire.

Parties are a great time to relax and enjoy life. The best holiday parties always involve a little creativity, good food and the company of those closest to you. So next holiday, take a little extra time to celebrate by throwing a fabulous party.