5 Holiday Weight Loss Tips & Their Reality Checks

Do you find it almost impossible to stay conscious and contentious about weight and nutrition during the holidays? Of course you do. More than half of all Americans are overweight: You’re not alone.

A new government study might give you a ray of hope though: The study shows that Americans gain only about one pound over the holidays. The study found that people participating were influenced by two main factors over the holidays: The level of their hunger, and the level of their activity. In other words: Those who reported being less active or more hungry during the holidays had the greatest weight gain.

So common sense says: If you can stay focused on dealing with just those two things, you’ll probably win your personal holiday weight loss battle. At the very least, you’ll win by not adding more weight to what’s already waiting to be shed.

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of weight gain,” says Dr. Samuel Klein, the Director of the Center for Human Nutrition at Washington University in St. Louis, MO. “Preventing the increase in weight is a lot easier and better than actually gaining weight and then trying to get it off again.”

So the answer seems simple: Eat less and exercise more. The reality of implementation of course, is far more difficult.

The good news is that most of the people overestimate how much weight they’d gained over the holidays. Fewer than 10% gain 5 pounds or more.

The bad news is: The small amount of weight gained is never lost. One pound of weight gain is quite a small amount, but since it’s not usually lost again: The weight adds up over time – to obesity.

Now we all know there are tons of tips out and about this time of year, designed to help us keep from putting on that extra pound or two during the holidays. Unfortunately what’s usually not talked about is: The reality of day-to-day holiday stress and situations. Let’s explore the tips… along with their reality checks… in depth:

Weight Loss Tip 1: Stay active. The best thing you can do is try to stick to your normal schedule and routine.

Holiday Reality Check: It’s pretty hard to have any kind of decent routine in the busy months of November and December. Busy people tend to sacrifice yoga classes, long walks, and visits to the gym because they need time for extra things like decorating the house, cooking, cleaning up before the visitors get there, and of course: Shopping.

The Good News: Walking around the shopping mall and stores is great exercise, and so is cleaning the house. In addition to those activities, decorating can be quite intensive too: You’re climbing up and down to hang things; lifting, lugging, and dragging boxes out of storage; bending, twisting and turning to get it all looking just right. So don’t beat yourself up about not making it to the gym… you’re getting plenty of activity and every little bit helps!

Weight Loss Tip 2: Don’t let yourself get too hungry. If you go to a party and you’re starving, everything will look even more scrumptious than normal. And of course, you’ll eat much more because of it. Try starting each day with a good, solid breakfast – particularly something with protein. And when you’re at the party, try munching on the veggies to help keep you feeling full. These two things will help your hunger stay under control, and will in turn help you refrain from “gorging” on anything you see just because you’re famished.

Holiday Reality Check: We’re all very busy during the holidays, and it’s not always possible to remember to eat – let alone eat well – particularly in the morning when we may have already overslept and are now running late for everything. And eating healthy at a party isn’t always possible either: Not everyone in this country serves vegetable plates, salads, or fruit bowls. Sometimes the only things in site are junk: Chips, candy, and cookies.

Here’s a suggestion: Try taking your own veggie plate to a party where you know there won’t be one available. A quick and easy way to do this is simply buy a bag or two of pre-cut veggies and some ranch salad dressing. Alternatively, eat a decent meal before you go to the party. Don’t overdo things, but don’t make it a light snack either. Eating first will help you to just “nibble” a bit on the worst of the holiday treats offered.

Weight Loss Tip 3: Stay away from the food. Literally. Just don’t go anywhere near the buffet table, appetizers, or treats… and you’ll be fine.

Holiday Reality Check: In most cases, the food is everywhere. And even if it’s not right in front of your face, you sure can smell it! Trying to just “stay away from it” is pretty unrealistic – and it can feel like torture for some of us. And for most people: When you can’t have something, you want it even more. So trying to stay away from the food will most likely just make you overindulge worse than you would have otherwise.

Try this instead: Allow yourself whatever you’d like. But with a catch. First: Take only half the amount you normally would. And take just one food item. Eat that and enjoy it without guilt. Then, wait a full 20-30 minutes before you get something else. Then repeat the process: One item, half the portion size as you normally would, enjoy it without guilt, then wait before getting something else.

Allowing yourself to eat gets rid of the mentality of “I can’t have it (and thus I’m more determined to have it)” It lets you enjoy the good food and the holidays, without beating yourself up. This is healthy and can help tremendously with the way you view food and eating in general. Only taking half of it though, will help you not take in as much calories, fat, sugar or other bad stuff you usually avoid. And then waiting 20-30 minutes before you get something else will help your body realize when it’s had enough… or too much. So you’re much less likely to overdo things, and feel horrible physically later.

Weight Loss Tip 4: Wear cloths that are slightly tight on you. This should help you feel full faster, and keep you from eating too much food.

Holiday Reality Check: We want to wear looser cloths because we’re looking forward to eating all that great food! Yes, wearing something tight might help us not go back for a second helping of potatoes… or it might ruin a favorite outfit.

In the end, how you approach this tip is up to you, and you alone. Make your decision and be happy with it.

Weight Loss Tip 5: Keep your portions small. Try to load up on salad and vegetables, and take just tiny amounts of anything else.

Holiday Reality Check: Taking just a “bite sized” amount of anything is going to put you into the have-not mental state mentioned earlier. You’ll feel as if you can’t have something, and you’ll want it all the more.

Try the tip noted above instead: Take half the size you normally would. Trying to have just a little bite of pie will whet your appetite for more, but having a whole piece is going a bit overboard – particularly if there’s 5 different pies for you to sample. So try actual sampling instead: Cut a piece half the normal size. This allows you to have a “whole slice”, and more than several little bites. Then wait about 20 minutes before you go and try the next pie. Even if you end up eating a bit of all 5 pies, by having a half-sized slice of each, you’ve drastically cut the amount of calories, carbs and sugars compared to what you would have had with whole slices. And you’ll still feel stuffed and satiated, instead of deprived and resentful.

So there you have it: 5 different, common holiday weight loss and eating tips, followed by the reality check of each, and a suggested compromise that should help you enjoy the holidays to their fullest, without depriving yourself of the great food we all look forward to.

Whatever you decide to do, remember to actually have Happy Holidays!

8 Rules Of Christmas: Healthy Holiday Eating Tips

First of all, before anything else is said, let’s agree on a couple of things.

Sharing good times with friends and family is part of what the holiday season is all about. When these groups get together, it is often in the presence of delicious, scrumptious food. This food tends to be available for snacking all day. Personally, I would immediately call the Vatican and nominate anyone for sainthood who could truly enjoy all the festivities and be awash in the total ambiance of all the season inspires while ignoring the lavish plates of goodies while walking around munching on a stick of celery.

Oh yeah! You’re going to sample Aunt Millie’s mincemeat pie, Uncle Bob’s specially prepared fried turkey, and probably a glass of Alka-Seltzer or something similar.

Unfortunately, I am here to remind you of a few things; you are on a diet, you want to lose weight, all that stuff that is so tempting is fattening, and this is the hardest time of the year to be good. So, let’s just pick up on a few rules to help you get through the season.

8 Rules For Healthy Holiday Eating:

Before we get started, I want you to get comfortable, so put some turkey on your plate, get some of that great dressing (don’t forget the cranberry sauce), fight Cousin Ed for some of that green bean casserole my niece, Sharon, makes so well, and tell Grandma to save a piece of pie for you. Have a seat, relax, enjoy your meal (while balancing a soggy paper plate on your knee) and I will give you the rules to help you survive the season.

1. Forgive yourself in advance and give yourself permission to have a good time:

Look, this stuff isn’t poison! You didn’t take 10 years off your life just because you ate more than you should have…and then went back for seconds. You are only human, and you are here to have a good time! One of the reasons you want to lose weight, or keep it down, is so that you can enjoy life, and this is one of the most enjoyable times of the year. So, as they say, live a little. Whatever happens over the next few days will not kill you, and whatever damage you do manage to do can be rectified.

2. It’s just a couple of days:

Okay, for some families, it may be a couple of weeks…twice…Thanksgiving and Christmas, or Hanukkah, or Kwanza. Whatever it is for you, it is finite, it WILL end, and it is mainly limited to a certain time of the year. Who you are in terms of health, fitness, and weight loss is determined by the overall accomplishments of the year, not by a few weeks in the fall.

3. Stay with your program:

You will definitely minimize the effects of all the dinners, cookies, and snacks if you can still get in your walks, aerobics, weight training, or whatever else you have been doing. During the holiday season, it can be difficult to get everything done the same as in the rest of the year, but two days of exercise Thanksgiving week, while not as good as three or five, is still better than none. Simply knowing you have not abandoned your plan will help you get over any depression you might have because of your holiday eating, and will help reduce any negative effects from all the delicious, gooey calories you have “accidentally” consumed. If you cannot stay on a formal program, squeeze in a walk, even if it is a high-speed shopping trip through the mall. By the way, this is the reason I love yoga. When everything’s done, I can retire to my bedroom and not only get the physical benefits of the yoga session, but I relieve some of the stress I may have built up during the day. That helps with the eating too.

4. Remain in touch with reality:

You will hear people speak of “mindful eating”. Be aware of what you are doing. Have you ever heard someone say, “That is so good, I just have to have some more.”? Of course, YOU and I never say things like that! Well, the truth is that you DON’T have to have some more, and, if you do, it doesn’t need to be right now. Just because the food is there right now doesn’t mean it has to be eaten right now. You know what’s good for you and what isn’t. One piece of pie today is not going to kill you or destroy your weight loss resolution, but do you have to have that pie? Isn’t there a healthier treat you could have, or could you just wait until the meal has settled, or after you take a walk to rev up your metabolism and burn off some of what you already ate? Why not take a piece home with you and have it as a treat for later…when you aren’t as full as a tick?

5. Food is not love:

Many people tend to equate food and eating with love. You cannot change the others, but you can change your own attitude. Refusing seconds of Grandma’s turkey does not mean you don’t love her. If she is hurt because you normally stuff yourself and this year you’re not doing her food “justice”, just say that you are full right now but will have more later. Take control of YOUR life. Others will have to take control of their own.

6. If you are the cook:

Choose healthy dishes prepared in a healthy manner. If you have found a new diet-friendly food that you enjoy, share that with others. This will give you one more healthy dish on the groaning board to select your own meal from.

7. Alcohol:

If you enjoy wine, beer, egg nog like my Uncle Wilbur liked, or other drinks containing alcohol, just slow down and cut back. Try slipping in a glass of water between drinks. Drinks containing alcohol are sneaky calories. They do nothing for you nutritionally, but they do have a lot of calories. A few drinks with friends can give you more calories than a Big Mac…and you probably have these drinks while snacking or eating a meal! Oh well! At least if you are a beer drinker, you can try some light beers. It will give you an excuse to sample.

8. Be happy to be where you are, doing what you are doing, with the people you love:

If you fall head over heels off the diet wagon, have fun. What you do throughout the year will have more effect on your weight and health than what happens between Thanksgiving and New Year’s.

Travel Tips: Staying Healthy

Staying healthy while traveling is a fairly simple task to accomplish. A few precautionary steps to take prior to departure and a few common sense tips to follow while traveling are the only requirements needed.

Health Tips Prior To Departure

  • Visit your physician at least six weeks prior to departure. Some vaccinations may require the passage of a few weeks before they are fully effective.
  • Vaccinations to consider getting: Hepatitis A or B, Influenza, Typhoid Fever, Yellow Fever, Meningococcal meningitis, Japanese Encephalitis, Rabies, and Varicella.
  • Booster vaccinations to consider getting: Tetanus, Measles-Mumps-Rubella, and Polio.
  • Have a complete physical to check the status of your health and any changes that may be needed to your current medications.
  • Consult your physician about possible complications that you might encounter due to health conditions such as respiratory problems, high blood pressure, or cardiac problems, particularly if you will be visiting locations with high altitudes or poor air quality.
  • Visit the dentist and complete any necessary dental work.
  • Refill any prescriptions that you will need to take with you on the trip. Plan to carry additional medicine in the event that you lose some of your medication while traveling. Be sure to carry your medication in the original containers. Many countries have very strict drug regulations. Original containers and identifying documentation will help to avoid any complications that may arise from your possession of medications.
  • Acquire and wear a medical alert bracelet for any life threatening diseases that you might have.
  • Prepare a card to carry that lists any pertinent medical information such as primary doctor, all current medication, etc. Remember to list any allergies that you might have, including food or insect allergies.
  • Prepare a small first aid kit that you can carry with you on the trip. The kit should include such things as prescriptions, pain medication such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, bug repellent, antacids, and sunscreen.
  • Update your eyewear if necessary. Plan to take a second pair if available.
  • Acquire medication that may be needed in the country that you are going to visit. For example, if there is a risk of malaria in that country, ask your physician for a prescription for preventative medicine.
  • Check into your medical insurance coverage and understand what procedures or policies you will need to follow should you need medical treatment while abroad.

    The types of vaccinations that you get will depend on two things. First, the physician will need to review your medical history. Second, the physician will take into consideration the country or countries that you will be traveling though on your trip.

    Health Tips While Traveling

  • Select your meals carefully while traveling.
  • Avoid food served by street vendors.
  • Choose heated, steaming meals as opposed to tepid food.
  • When eating raw fruits or vegetables, make the selection or peel the fruit yourself.
  • Avoid uncooked seafood.
  • Avoid dairy foods that have not been pasteurized.
  • Avoid beverages that contain ice cubes or crushed ice.
  • Select water packaged commercially in sealed bottles rather than fresh water from open containers.
  • Select carbonated beverages over water that has not been commercially packaged.
  • Remember to take any preventative medicine that your physician has prescribed for you.
  • Avoid swimming in bodies of fresh water such as lakes and streams, particularly in countries such as Africa.
  • Remember to use plenty of bug repellent if you are visiting a country or countries that have a high incidence of mosquito-borne diseases.
  • Use bed netting at night if you are visiting a country or countries that have a high incidence of mosquito-borne diseases.
  • Avoid overcrowded transportation. It is simply better to wait a short while for the nest vehicle.
  • Use seatbelts when possible and motorcycle helmets when riding a motorcycle.
  • Avoid driving in an unfamiliar area unless you have a local map available.
  • Avoid driving at night, especially if you have night vision.
  • Carry the phone number of the U. S. Embassy with you in the event that you need medical treatment while abroad. They will be able to provide you with contact information for local doctors, dentists, etc.

    Avoiding diarrhea is probably the most important facet of watching what you eat and drink while on vacation. Almost nothing can incapacitate someone quicker than a bad case of diarrhea that dehydrates and weakens the immune system quickly.

    Health Tips Upon Arrival Home

  • Continue to take any preventative medications that were prescribed for you for the entire recommended time.
  • Visit your physician immediately if you are experiencing any symptoms of disease or medical problems.

    Once you have arrived home, use your common sense to review your health status. If everything is normal, then, most likely, you have nothing to worry about. When in doubt, make that phone call to the physician and ask questions. A healthy trip is a happy trip. Plan ahead and have fun!

    Copyright © 2006, Ian White Access 2000 Pty Ltd

  • Holiday Travel Tips

    If you’re going away for the holidays this year, you’re probably unhappily anticipating a hike in gas prices, long lines at airport security and delays all-around. According to the Bureau of Transportation, Thanksgiving and the winter holiday season are the busiest long-distance travel times in a given year. While travelers cannot avoid hefty waits at check-in and traffic on the highway, there are plenty of measures to take in order to alleviate any holiday season travel stress.

    • Know when to travel: For local excursions, people tend to leave on Thursdays. If traveling over 100 miles away, Wednesday through Sunday are the most popular days.

    • About 90% of Thanksgiving travel is through one’s vehicle.

    • The Sunday and Monday after Thanksgiving are the busiest days to travel back home. If you book a flight or drive on Tuesday, you’ll avoid a lot of traffic.

    • Weather delays don’t always depend on where you’re flying out of. If you live in Florida but are flying to New York, you may experience delays due to a snowstorm, for example.

    • Allow ample time to check in at the airport and make it through security. More travelers means more time to wait as each individual is screened.

    • Travel on Saturday as opposed to Sunday. Most people want to make it back for work without sacrificing any weekend time.

    • The average age of Thanksgiving travelers is just under 34, as opposed to right above 36 for the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, according to the BTS.

    • Preview airport restrictions and laws implemented for safe air travel…you cannot avoid them and will save a world of time if you plan ahead.

    • Book a trip off-season. For example, go to New England when the leaves aren’t changing…you’ll save on local bed and breakfasts, whose popularity heightens during the fall.

    • Consider booking through an online travel agency. You can find new discounts and sales each day, as well as vacation packages unavailable elsewhere.

    The best discount travel online can be found through sites such as Orbitz and Expedia, according to StarReviews. If you’re an avid planner, you’ll be able to customize your own trip homepage, complete with photos, video and comments through Orbitz’s TripHub.

    If you’re like most travelers, saving money is important when going away during the holidays. When booking through Travelocity, you can save just by using a particular credit card. Before the cold weather arrives, consider booking travel online and taking advantages of discount flights and destination-stays.

    Holiday Tips – How to Build the Ultimate Capsule Wardrobe

    For many people, the capsule wardrobe is the holy grail of dressing. The concept in itself is simple: it is simply a collection of clothes that work well together, and can be worn in different ways to suit different occasions. Achieving a capsule wardrobe for everyday wear can be tricky and certainly expensive at first, but almost everybody will already possess the essentials for a holiday capsule wardrobe.

    Before you even start mixing and matching, take a deep breath. What kind of holiday are you planning? How long will you be going for? Will you be going to any events requiring a particular dress code? What is the weather forecast like?

    Once you’ve answered all these questions, you can start drawing up a preliminary list. This should include your absolute essentials, such as underwear, socks and tights, as well as essential holiday items. If you’re going skiing, it’s likely you need a ski jacket! If you’re going to the beach, you probably want a sarong, bikini and a pair of flip flops.

    So. Now you have your essentials sorted. These are things you will take no matter what. Now you need to do a bit of calculating! You need to know how many outfits you’ll require for your trip. Remember, this includes the flight or journey there and back. One thing that’s really worth taking into consideration is if you will have access to laundry facilities. If so, you can afford to take less with you and maybe even save on baggage charges if you’re flying.

    Look at your itinerary. Are you planning on spending all day on the beach, but going out to clubs and restaurants at night? Would you rather spend your time wandering around museums and galleries? Are you planning to go to bars or go clubbing? Will you be doing any sports, and if so, what kind? Your holiday capsule wardrobe will fit around these considerations.

    By now you should have a basic idea of how many separate outfits you will need and what you will need them for. Now you can start putting the actual wardrobe together.

    With a capsule wardrobe, you are aiming for flexibility. While you do want one or two stunning, unusual pieces, the majority of the items should be classic and in neutral colours, such as black, grey, navy, khaki or white. The best pieces are ones that can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. For example, a smart pair of jeans can be worn with a shirt for a casual daytime look but snazzed up with an evening top and heels for going out. Or, a wrap dress with leggings is great for the day, but at night bring out those heels again, ditch the leggings and put on some pretty jewellery and you’re ready for anything. See what I mean?

    Here is an example of what I’d take to a hot, beachy destination:

    shirt or safari dress

    wrap dress or sundress

    floppy hat

    flat sandals

    tote bag

    clutch bag

    sunglasses

    one pair neutral-coloured high heels

    neutral-coloured sweater, wrap or cardigan

    one or two sets of swimwear (depends on use)

    one or two sarongs

    one pair linen trousers

    one mid-length skirt

    two sets of jewellery

    two or three simple day tops

    one going out top

    one pretty camisole top

    Most items of this list will work for any destination, so basically just adjust it to wherever you’re going. Bear in mind when choosing the items that as far as possible, you should be able to mix and match them. Skirts and trousers in particular should be in neutral colours.

    Good luck!

    Holiday Eating Anxieties for Bariatric Patients

    Most Bariatric Surgery Patients experience a wide range of Holiday eating anxieties which can actually ruin a perfectly good Holiday around friends and family.

    Prior to surgery, Holidays meant family, friends, and lots of food to indulge in and enjoy – often at a glutinous rate simply because Holiday foods are “special” because they are only provided during the season and they are prepared so carefully which adds guilt if you don’t partake of it.

    How many times do you hear these phrases said at a Holiday gathering?

    “That’s ALL you’re going to have? I worked so hard on that dish…”

    “You better eat this now, because it won’t be here for another year….”

    “It will hurt my feelings if you don’t eat this…..”

    “These are very special ingredients I ordered specifically for this dish…”

    “You can’t be NOT HUNGRY… it’s a Holiday!”

    “Just ONE LITTLE BITE, PLEEEEEZEEEEZ…..”

    “Have more, there’s plenty…”

    “Take some of this home with you if you’re not going to eat it now…”

    “Oh nonsense! You’re allowed to eat a lot today!”

    “You should have worn your FAT PANTS to gorge yourself like the rest of us…”

    OH, how this list could fill a book, right? Such comments add enough stress to non-surgery individuals who carefully watch their weight, let alone those who have had the Bariatric surgery and have to be careful what they eat, how much they eat, and how often they eat. So you are NOT ALONE in feeling some anxiety about being around all of the special food at gatherings this season.

    I’d like to offer some suggestions that have worked for me and others during this most stressful time when Holidays equates to special foods and the pressure to partake in them is way too much out of hand at times.

    1. Prepare you mind for the event: Reflect on past Holiday experiences and evaluate what lies ahead this year for you. Have it in your mind what you will say and do when those food-pushers taunt you or down-right threaten you to eat during the “special occasion.

    2. Anticipate the food: Reflect on past Holiday foods that are always provided to you within your social circle. Predetermine what you WILL eat and what you WON’T eat. Making a decision ahead of time will curb your gut-reaction to “cave in” to the urgings by others to eat what you shouldn’t eat.

    3. Never try anything new at the party: Not knowing how you will react to the food carries the high risk of making you ill and calling for you quick retreat to the bathroom or feeling sick for an hour or so. This will draw attention to you, which is something you don’t’ want. The host and guest will feel badly for you, so don’t put them or you in such a situation. Only eat things that you are absolutely certain that you can tolerate.

    4. Take baby-bites of the “special” foods: Literally, take a baby-bite if you absolutely must partake of foods strictly for the social expectations. If it’s too much for a baby’s mouth, then you’re putting too much on the spoon or fork.

    5. No-Guilt in Tossing it: In a social event where you don’t’ want attention drawn to how little you are eating, take a small plate with small portions of food, then take small bites of each item, then TOSS the rest away when no one is looking. This gives the appearance that you’re “normal” and all will assume you have gotten your fill. This spares hurting the feelings of Great Aunt Gerdie who truly does cry if you refuse her special 60%-sugar/90%-fat/carb-loaded/stroke-on-a-plate pie. Tossing out the unwanted uneaten portions is just a “different” way of consuming… so don’t’ feel guilty about it. All that matters is that Great Aunt Gerdie delights in seeing her pie disappearing.

    6. Eat healthy before you go and bring your own essentials: Never go to a Holiday party hungry… NEVER! This is self-sabotage in the worst way! Enough said? Take along your own treats and drinks that are RNY-Friendly to you. Don’t request an extra effort on your host. You know what you need, so take it with you. While they are eating pies and cakes, you can have the sugar-free fudge sickles you brought along or those sugar-free pudding cups. And if they are serving only sodas or alcohol and you cant’ do them, bring your own herbal teas or no-sugar-added hot chocolate packets. This will make you, the host, and the guests feel comfortable and nobody will feel that you are “suffering” as they eat your NO-NO’s.

    7. Talk more than you eat: The Holidays should be about PEOPLE, not food. So be social. Focus on the people; laugh with them, tell stories, listen to their tall tales, play games, etc. If you do these things, you’ll be amazed at how well the gathering will go for you simply because you didn’t focus on food. And when the food-pushers come along, just glance by them off into the distance and make your exit because you “want to talk to so-n-so or your cell phone is vibrating and you’ve got to excuse yourself for the call…. Perfectly acceptable to have a pre-planned “way out” when you need one.

    8. Change the food-subject: Others may want to cry boo-hoo with you if you keep telling them of all the foods you’re missing out on this year. Don’t do that! Rather than mourn the loss of your favorite Holiday treats, brag on the fact that you’re feeling so much healthier, your clothes are getting baggier, and you’re dreaming again of all the great things that are in store for you now that you are slimming down. Don’t’ allow anyone to pity you for not eating like you used to eat.

    9. Wear a “knock-out” outfit: WOW them all this Holiday season by wearing a special outfit that you feel very proud to be seen in. The food isn’t special to you anymore… you’ve swapped that for the special outfits you can now wear! Let people whisper to each other how great you look rather than how little you are eating. The stress of not eating so much will be far away to you when you feel good about yourself and look good too.

    10. Make your visit brief: if you are getting too much pressure from others or are experiencing too many anxieties, let leave the gathering earlier than you originally planned. Maybe you’re tired, the roads are getting bad, you realized you need to do something… remember that “pre-planned” escape should be there for you if you need it.

    I can attest that these are tactics that I’ve used and STILL use in social gatherings when it is expected to eat special foods during special times. Granted, I am three years post-op, so my anxieties are not as high as they once were… but they certainly threatened my Holiday happiness not too long ago!

    Remember this most of all…. The more prepared you are ahead of time, the less you’ll feel nervous about those awful Holiday Eating Anxieties. Now go have fun!

    How to Get Cheap All Inclusive Vacation Packages

    Going on vacations is nice, but the main drawback is the cost. However, there are ways you can lower the expenses. You can try the following suggestions after deciding where you want to go.

    Tips on Finding Cheap All Inclusive Vacations

    Never travel during the holidays. Schedule your trip weeks before or after the holidays. This will save you money. Get in touch with a travel agent that can handle your chosen destination. They will be able to tell you when the most affordable time to go will be.

    You can also go to the Web. Suppose you want to go to Thailand. Just enter cheap Thailand all inclusive vacation packages and you will get several hits. You can also visit resorts online. They will have several packages you can choose from. Before choosing, read reviews so you can get an idea of what the resort is like.

    Cheap Aruba Vacation Packages

    Start by going online and comparing the various travel packages available. While cost is a factor, make sure the package you choose has the amenities you want. This is a vacation after all, so you have to pamper yourself a bit. Make a list of the amenities you want the package to have. Now check the packages and see which ones offer them at the lowest cost.

    Compute the costs in their entirety. Include the hotel, travel fare, meals, paying the tour guide, tips in the restaurants, etc. Make sure you add a few extra dollars in case of emergencies (or you decide to do some extra shopping).

    If you want to visit any particular area / event, make sure it is included in the package. Otherwise you will pay extra for it.

    Tip: pick a hotel that is near the tourist attractions you want to visit. It will reduce your travel fares. Be updated on the costs of transport so you do not get overcharged.

    Cheap Puerto Vallarta Vacation Packages

    Do a search on the Internet. There are many websites that offer affordable all inclusive packages to Puerto Vallarta. The features of these travel packages vary, so take your time choosing.

    Ensure the package includes the activities you like (swimming, kayaking, trips to popular destinations etc). The key here is quality not quantity. Only pick the package that has the activities and amenities you want. You do not want to pay for activities you do not want to do.

    Here are other suggestions. Bring picnic food when you go out. This will save you money. Avoid travelling during the peak season. Making reservations will be hard and the beaches will be full. Know the costs of tickets and fares so you are not overcharged. Print a copy of your itinerary so you can maximize your trip.

    Getting cheap all inclusive vacation packages takes some time. You have to make a few phone calls and visit a few websites. You also have to make a few calculations here and there. But you are guaranteed to enjoy your vacation at a lower cost.

    Where to Get the Money for Vacation – Money for Vacation Tips

    Many times in the past we have had a dilemma, where to get the money for vacation. We all work very hard each day and a vacation, in my opinion, is something everyone should take at least every couple years.

    Due to various things going on in your personal lives, sometimes it’s hard to find money for vacation so you can do all the things you need and want to do on your trip.

    Here we have listed some tips and places to come up with funds for your travel plans. Many of us don’t have the problem of coming up with funds, but for the many that do, this article will help you brainstorm a list of ways to put money into the pot.

    **Start saving early. Many times people who know they are going to be going on vacation next year will begin saving now, or if you plan on taking a major trip in the future, why not put a little away here and there. This isn’t always an option, but if you had to skip your vacation this year, why not start now – look for travel deals now, figure out your destination, sign up for blogs and feeds, and begin your planning now.

    **Use your tax refund. Many Americans every year have the ability to utilize their income tax refunds for a number of purposes. If you are someone who has overpaid the government and get some of that back, this is always an option.

    **Set up a vacation fund. Pay yourself first and put some of that into a vacation pot that you don’t touch until your trip. Each year, my parents will do this by putting loose coins into a bank, and by the time their trip comes they have enough money for gas, food, extra fun stuff they wouldn’t have had.

    **Cut back on other daily items. Stop buying that $4 cup of coffee everyday. Cut back on dining out at sit down restaurants. Focus on a budget where you can penny pinch a bit. It’s a small price to pay to enjoy your ultimate vacation when otherwise you may not be able to go.

    **Do small weekend trips throughout the year. Instead of a week long vacation in some remote location, why not go somewhere closer for a weekend getaway. Camping is great, lake trips, beach trips, and other spots that you can make a quick drive to and just get away for a few days.

    **Moonlight or pick up some extra income. I’m sure the last thing you want to do is work more right? Well, due to my Florida website, I make enough extra money that it pays for extras in our lives like home repairs, dining out, and vacations. It has been a tremendous help.

    **Use credit cards, but use them wisely. I hesitate to mention this one because many people will whip out their plastics for much of their trip. This isn’t the best way to find money for vacation, but it can supplement a number of things. Using debt to pay for things like vacation can be a downward cycle you don’t want to start, so be careful.

    **Eat intelligently while on vacation. We typically take one meal out per day and eat the rest in. This saves us a fortune and we still get to enjoy the tasty eats around our destination of choice.

    **Set up a goal. Somehow when you commit to something and put a plan together, things tend to work in your favor. If you want something to happen you can make it happen. Experts call it the “law of attraction” and it seems to work, so why not!

    **Be a smart travel planner. Searching intelligently and using the vast resources of the Internet will ultimately find you better deals. When you add up car rentals, gas, hotels, airfare, things to do, etc. they get expensive quickly. They can also add up a lot of savings if you shop around and find good deals while not sacrificing a great vacation.

    Travel lovers, this is just a start. Use your creativity and figure out some ways to find money for vacation if you are on a budget. We all need some time away from time to time so do whatever you need to do to make your trip happen.

    Exotic Destination Ideas for Getaways and Vacations

    We all get sick of the drab day to day routines. Ah, for those good old days just hanging out with friends doing very little. Those days were great! Unfortunately they don’t last a lifetime. And the worst of it is we don’t appreciate it fully until we experience the other side of life, the inevitable adult side when things becomes focused on work and not play. Well folks, it doesn’t have to be like that. I know you’ve considered some foreign exotic destination, but have you ever thought about making those dreams a reality?

    How does an exotic destination sound at the moment? Just take a look outside, looking at that fresh springtime air. It’s that time again when all the trees and flowers are in bloom and the air smells fantastic. The birds are singing in the trees and the sun is shining – what more could you possibly wish for? Oh yeah, i forgot; an exotic destination package deal that you’ll surely love. Luckily its easier than you think to get going. Firstly, ditch the phonebook and get online where you’ll see loads of exotic destination ideas. The best thing about choosing your vacation nowadays is the range of options open to you. Have you thought about an all inclusive trip to that exotic destination? Once you’ve been, you’ll never look back. With your flight, accommodation and possibly even your dining expenses paid for before you arrive, it will be plain sailing for you when you get to your exotic destination of choice. Thanks to the internet, you have such a range of options which can make the process even easier.

    If you’re dreaming of that perfect exotic destination for you and that special someone, there is a trick you must learn. When it comes to the all-inclusive, you need to get in there first. Get online and get sifting through the millions of packages on offer. You can pick the hotel you’ve always dreamed of in the perfect destination for you. With the internet, it’s so easy. Booking your dream room ahead of time won’t just ensure you’ve somewhere to stay, but it could also save you some money, which is better spent on having a good time.

    So stop dreaming and get to it – the exotic destination of your dreams is just waiting for your arrival! With so many to choose from, and such a wealth of great deals, there’s no reasons you can’t jet off today.

    Office Christmas Party Safety: Top 5 Tips

    Christmas is a time for letting your hair down and having some fun, but it’s important to make sure you prepare for a safe Christmas season, particularly if you are responsible for other people. Office Christmas parties are meant to bring a company together and raise morale, make sure yours doesn’t do the opposite by carrying out a proper risk assessment before it begins.

    Safety hazards and compensation claims

    If you are responsible for maintaining a public space like an office then failing to address safety hazards at Christmas could put people in danger. An unsafe environment at Christmas time could cause serious injuries and injured people have the right to make compensation claims. Here are the top 5 tips for office party safety.

    1. Keep an eye on alcohol consumption

    Employers should take careful control of alcohol consumption at office Christmas parties. All underage visitors and employees should be supervised. If employees are supplied with so much drink that they end up with alcohol poisoning or any other injury then employers can be subject to compensation claims against them.

    2. Ensure food is safe to eat

    If you intend to supply food at your office party then it should be prepared with caution to make sure employees don’t become ill after eating it. Failure to carry out safety checks could result in compensation claims, and a potentially compromised workforce. Christmas party snacks such as canap├ęs are liable to cause tummy upsets if the re-heating process is not administered properly.

    3. Take care to label foods

    Did you know that unlabelled food can potentially be dangerous? For example, if any food contains nuts then someone with a serious nut allergy could experience a fatal reaction. Ensure that all food and ingredients are clearly labelled to avoid any allergies and to ensure that the employer’s duty of care has been carried out. Employees should be able to decide what they can and can’t eat.

    4. Make sure attendees get home safely

    Employers have a duty of care to make sure their staff are capable of arriving home safely after the office Christmas party. Employees who are involved in car accidents as a result of drinking too much at the office party can make successful compensation claims against their employer. This can be avoided by Providing a shuttle bus or car pool.

    5. Eradicate trip and fall hazards

    Typical Christmas trip and fall hazards include seasonal decorations such as trailing Christmas lights and other decorations, office equipment which is out of place and bags and coats which are left in walkways. Make sure there is a proper place for everything, ideally signposted where necessary, so that items can be safely tucked away. Ensure that all Christmas decorations are securely fastened before the party begins, as an employer you should be covered against any compensation claims.

    As long as employees and employers alike are vigilant about safety, the Christmas season will end with peace and happiness – not injured staff and compensation claims.