When I was in the health and fitness industry for 17 years, we were taught through studies and training that due to seasonal affective disorder (aka SAD), shorter daylight in our days, and the exposure to sweets starting at Halloween (not to mention those pumpkin spice lattes at Starbucks) all the way through Valentine’s Day, the average American would gain 15 lbs easily over that four month stretch.
And I saw that time and time again with clients coming to me in late winter….
That proverbial “winter coat” of padding around the belly was so common.
I just was reminded of this in an online article I read from Inner Body, where they interviewed 545 adults around the country about their holiday weight gain and this is what they confirmed to still be true.
- More than half of all participants (61.5%) claimed they would skip a holiday party for fear of food temptations.
- 80.1% of respondents claimed that “staying fit” during the holidays is important to them.
- Nearly half (47.1%) of survey participants stated they typically gain 4-9 pounds over the holidays, while another 18% typically gain 10-15 pounds.
- 27.9% of men and 22.4% of women claimed that they typically eat “a lot more” during the holidays.
If you, or someone you know, struggle with seasonal affective disorder, this can be a real problem
Even debilitating – with chronic fatigue and depression, lack of interest, etc., all coming to the forefront every day
I personally struggled with this as I got older, even with my background in health and fitness….I still succumbed to weight gain and depression juggling all the things in life we carry as parents/partners and business owners
Holidays can be BUSY, depressing and getting out and working out in the great outdoors wasn’t always easy with shorter daylight and colder temps (yes, even in Southern California)
HOWEVER, you don’t need to suffer in silence
And you don’t need to gain weight
Here are some tips to stay ahead of the curve, as a reminder, to have a happy/healthy end of 2023, beginning of 2024
We don’t need to stay stuck!
1. Have a proactive exercise plan – even if it is starting only with 5 minutes a day. Start small and build from there. Three times a week minimum is ideal
2. Start your morning, even before you get out of bed, with 3 deep inhales through the nose and 3 deep exhales out of the mouth. Get that parasympathetic nervous system up and running! Too often our cortisol levels and stress hormones have been in fight or flight mode for too long and that holds us back from truly FEELING into our bodies and having authentic energy (without reaching for the energy drink, etc)
3. Write down or speak out loud 3 things you are grateful for in the morning (especially if you can’t or won’t meditate first thing) – starting with gratitude will help prevent stress.
4. Check in with your gut health – are you pooping 1-3 times a day or more? Are they formed or loose or are you constipated? This may be a sign of an imbalanced microbiome and that alone can negate numbers 1-3 if you don’t have a healthy gut brain (many say our #1 brain)
5. If you haven’t already, consider microdosing with aya or psilocybin (I offer free consults on this) – this can help you go within to really ask yourself, where is this sadness coming from? When did it start? What am I repressing?
6. Have a friend or accountability partner or coach on ALL OF THE ABOVE – no man/woman is an island – and we aren’t meant to be isolated. Isolation is a trauma response and very much going to hold you back from getting to the root cause of this sadness or depression. I don’t believe in labels or staying stuck. This is happening FOR YOU in order to help you wake up to your truth and having a spiritual teacher or guide can really help you self discover how to
If I can help you in any way, especially with the gut health and microdosing parts, CLICK HERE for a free one time consult
Here’s to your healthiest end of 2023 and beginning of 2024!