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Having a Stress-Free Holiday Season

By Angela Stewart, Fitness Motivator

The Truth Contributor


It’s Christmas time!! It’s a time of celebration filled with laughter, family, fun and food, lots of food!  But you shouldn’t stress about the food, especially at holiday time! Overeating (during the holidays) isn’t going to sabotage your normal diet…It’s actually good for your health!  Comfort foods containing salt, fat and carbs are stress reducers. They help keep cortisol and adrenaline at bay, and help us to feel relaxed. That’s why they’re called “comfort foods.” So enjoy your favorite holiday treats, eat them, especially at holiday time!


Whatever we eat 80 percent of the time is our “normal diet.” It’s the one that impacts our health the most.If we all focus on eating satisfying, nutrient-dense foods, and avoiding processed garbage 80 percent of the time, we’re giving our body the nutrition it needs! We shouldn’t feel the urge to binge or over eat often! 


The other 20 percent of the time, you won’t be perfect… especially during the holidays, AND THAT’S OKAY!! You don’t have to be perfect to maintain your weight and health.  Maintaining a healthy weight isn’t only about calorie input and output; it’s about making sure your normal everyday diet is filled with REAL FOOD. Once you do that, you’ll find you can eat whatever your little heart desires at whatever party you attend!


Please don’t feel the need to be perfect. It’s Christmas time, eat that big piece of sweet potato pie your grandma makes every year. Enjoy it, and then go right back to eating your normal diet of fresh fruits, vegetables and lean meats.


Some people even stress while traveling to the holiday parties, wondering if they’ll be able to control themselves, followed by the guilt they feel when they eat way more ‘junk’ than planned, followed by the shame they feel after saying “Screw it” so they continue to eat almost everything in sight. All of this stress and feeling guilty during the holidays, all have negative effects on your health! Feelings of guilt and/or shame can cause physical symptoms ranging from a simple knot in your stomach, to fatigue followed by depression.


So stop stressing about what you eat and how much you eat during the holidays. Enjoy the holidays! Gaining a few pounds during this time of year is common!  We typically eat more and exercise less during the holiday season, which makes it super easy to gain weight this time of year. We get so caught in in our holiday festivities, we run out of time to exercise! Not to mention, it’s hard to stay motivated to exercise during cold, dreary winter days!  Staying home to snuggle in front of a fire with a cup of hot chocolate, sounds way more appealing than facing the elements to make it to the gym!


Although it can be difficult to find the time or energy to exercise during the holidays, it is necessary, so do it!!! Commit to gain little to no weight, to make time to exercise, and instead of avoiding physical activity because family is in town, bring them with you! That way you can give yourself permission to eat “whatever the heck you want” during the holidays!! You’ll find you’ll be much happier, you’ll feel less stressed, you’ll enjoy the holidays more, and in the end you’ll probably find that you won’t overeat as much as you feared in the first place.   


BE SENSIBLE……Do not bring leftovers home! You may be helping the host out by taking home containers of leftovers, BUT, you’re hurting yourself by eating them. Enjoy all the holiday yummies at the holiday party - then LET IT GO! Get back to exercising, get back to your 80/20 healthy eating and let someone else fill their fridge with a week's worth of bad eating habits.


Christmas is a time of celebration filled with love, laughter, family and friends!! Have a happy, stress-free holiday with a side of mac & cheese…lol!   



Yours In Fitness….


Angela R. Steward

Owner & Head Instructor of


5425 Southwyck Blvd.

Toledo, Ohio 43614

Email: FabFitu@yahoo.com

Phone: 419-699-9399

Classes: Mon 9a & 6p, Tues 6p, Wed 6p, Thurs 6p & Sat 9a




Copyright © 2017 by [The Sojourner's Truth]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 08/16/18 14:12:38 -0700.

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