Holiday Stress and Weight Gain: Staying Calm and on Track

When you think of holiday weight gain, you probably think about all of the delicious foods lurking everywhere you turn. Holiday parties, family dinners, office luncheons, 20 dozen Christmas cookies cooling on your kitchen counters - there is no shortage of temptation during the holidays.

However, there is another contributor to holiday weight gain, and it has nothing to do with food. The holiday season is known for being one of the most stressful seasons of the year. You may have heard that stress is a major contributor to the formation of belly fat, thanks to a little chemical called cortisol. Even if your eating habits are downright angelic throughout the holiday season, letting stress get to you may still cause you to gain a few pounds.

The good news is that avoiding stress-related weight gain during the holidays is easy if you follow these simple steps:
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Creating a Healthy Eating Schedule for Weight Loss

It's often challenging to stick to a healthy eating plan and stay within your target calorie goal for the day, as the danger exists to eat too many calories, or not enough, and unnecessarily slow down your weight loss. A healthy eating schedule is a daily plan that helps you take in the optimal number of calories so you can easily lose weight and achieve your goal weight.

If you eat too many calories in the early part of the day, you'll be hungry and dissatisfied for the rest of the day. If you don't eat much during the day and try to cram in all of your calories in during the evening, you may sabotage your weight loss. A healthy eating schedule puts you in control because it helps you avoid surprises. You plan out your meals and snacks ahead of time, and you eat them at scheduled times throughout the day.

Here are three things to consider when creating an eating schedule:
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Make Weight Loss Easier by Creating Daily Patterns

We all know how challenging it can be to create healthier eating and exercise habits. One way to make this an easier process is by creating daily "patterns" to trigger these new habits. By keeping some parts of your life structured, you'll know what you need to do, you'll know when to do it -- and you'll be less tempted to get off track when it comes to your weight loss plan.

Here are five ways you can create daily patterns:
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Top 3 Exercise Excuses -- And How to Beat Them

Do you consistently procrastinate about working out? Do you do almost anything to avoid going to the gym or hopping on the treadmill at home? If so, it's time to break out of those excuses once and for all and create the active lifestyle you want.
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17 Healthy Eating Quotes to Keep You Motivated - Part I

Quotes are an excellent source of motivation and inspiration, especially when it comes to changing your lifestyle habits. Below you'll find 17 great healthy eating quotes to remind you why the changes you are making are so important.
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17 Healthy Eating Quotes to Keep You Motivated - Part II

In the first part of this article, we shared 9 great healthy eating quotes to inspire and motivate you in making positive lifestyle changes.  Below are 8 more, along with a few positive thoughts to help cement the concepts in your mind.
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Need to Lose Weight Fast? Some Do's and Dont's

Slow and steady weight loss is best. It really is. But I realize sometimes there are situations where you want to speed it up a bit for a few weeks.

When you need to lose weight fast, there are some common sense things you should do, and there are some dangerous things you should never do. Below is a good overview of some "dos" and "don'ts" for losing weight fast - and safely.
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How Many Calories Do You Burn in a Day?

If you want to get rid of excess body fat, you need to know how many calories you burn in day. Knowing how many calories you burn in a day will give you an idea of how many calories you should be eating. You can then adjust the amount of calories you eat if you want to lose weight and burn fat.

You see, if you eat less calories than your body burns, you'll create what's called a calorie deficit -- and your body will burn your excess body fat to make up the difference.

Here's how to figure out how many calories you burn in a day -- don't worry, there's no math involved! I've got a nifty calculator to help you figure it out after the explanation.
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How to Save for Your New Smaller Wardrobe

Do you worry about how you will afford a new wardrobe after you finally reach your goal weight? New clothes aren't cheap, and if you have a substantial amount of weight to lose, you will probably have to buy everything new, from underwear on up to winter coats and possibly even new shoes!

No need to feel anxious about that, however. Here is a great way to start saving for your new wardrobe while also motivating yourself to keep moving down the scale to your goal weight.
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No Time to Work Out? How to Easily Fit It In

If you've ever used the excuse, "I have no time to work out" you may be pleased to know (or maybe annoyed to know) that virtually everyone has time for exercise. More often, people who say they have no time to work out just need to prioritize their time better. You may be spending a lot of time on activities that you don't really have to do, and you can easily make time for exercise by cutting them out, or at least doing less of them.

Below are some unnecessary activities that can be reduced or eliminated to easily make time for exercise:
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