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Natural Awakenings Dallas -Fort Worth Metroplex Edition


Healthy Tips to Bounce Back from Holiday Weight Gain

Jan 02, 2016 08:49AM ● By Dawn Harris

The holidays are a wonderful time of year, but they sometimes throw us for a loop when trying to lead a healthy lifestyle. It has been estimated that people gain one to five pounds during the season, with most gaining an average of one pound and for those already overweight or obese about five pounds. While gaining a few pounds over the holidays may not seem like much to worry about, it has quite an impact over time.

Research suggests that most people never lose that extra pound, so the problem compounds year after year. This annual holiday weight gain can contribute to health issues such as heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, depression or obesity. We can’t starve ourselves to lose weight or exercise excessively while eating the same old junk/fast food; we have to find some balance that works to maintain a healthy perspective.

The Basics: You know to read food label ingredients and avoid processed and refined foods; partially hydrogenated oils of any kind; MSG (monosodium glutamate); “enriched” flour, especially white or bleached flours, whole grains are best; artificial flavors or colors; Aspartame and all artificial sweeteners (Stevia is natural); and high-fructose corn syrup.

Positive Power: Accept where you are right now and stay positive with your intentions of making healthier choices. Create a mantra or positive affirmations to cheer yourself on instead of tearing yourself down by focusing on the negatives. For example, “I am feeling healthier every day,” rather than, “I need to lose this extra weight.” Reaffirm your good choices and take ownership and acknowledge your past transgressions without criticism. Find contentment because it is what it is; stay focused and on course.

Try creating a Vision Board by using old magazines to find images and words to make a sort of business plan for your mind, body, and spirit. Glue pictures to represent your goals, places you want to visit, your dream home, relationships, and words that are important to who you want to be more of and what you want to experience more of in the new year. Then put your vision board in a special place to meditate on and help manifest your goals and dreams as you believe it and see it.

Drink Water: Water increases your metabolism. Add fresh lemon juice, which has enzymes that cleanse and creates an alkaline condition in the body. Try a cup of hot lemon water to detoxify and cleanse the liver and kidneys first thing in the morning with 1 cup fresh water and juice form half a lemon (organic if possible). If you have to sweeten, use Stevia or organic local honey and use as little as possible. Try to drink a total of six to eight classes of water a day. This can start to replace sodas or excess caffeinated and/or carbonated drinks throughout the day which have no health benefit and add calories.

Get Moving: Studies show that getting 30 minuets of physical exercise each day is a big part of getting healthy and staying healthy. It does not have to be excessive; sign up for ballroom dancing lessons, practice yoga or Pilates, take a brisk walk or go for a bike ride. Exercise not only burns calories, but also reduces stress and releases endorphins to make us feel better.

Family Affair: Get the whole family together to make positive changes, help create meal plans and cook wholesome meals to share together. Choose fresh, local, organic vegetables and fruits that are in season. Find new healthy recipes to try out. Decide as a family to start eliminating one unhealthy item from the grocery list each month and stick to it.

Baby Steps: Go slow and know that anything worthwhile takes quality time. Start with one healthy change at a time and get used to how that change makes you feel, make peace with it and with yourself. Try keeping a gratitude journal. Take five to 10 minutes each day to list all the things you are thankful for that are already happening in your life, such as your health, family, eyes to see, air to breathe and a roof over your head. Make this list each day for one month, and then go back through it to read and remember all the many blessings in your live, because gratitude is the attitude for a happy and healthy full life.

Dawn Harris, Yoga Instructor Dawn Harris is a yoga instructor and owner of Crescent Yoga Studio. in Midlothian, TX. Contact her at


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