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A Simple Rule to Prevent Stress and Weight Gain This Holiday Season

Can you believe it is THAT time of year again? I went to World Market the other day and couldn’t believe I heard the jingle of holiday music (can we get through Thanksgiving first please?!?!).

I don’t know about you, but I tend to get a little bit more stressed than I’d like during this busy season. Let’s take a look at some reasons why the holiday season can be so stressful:
-Figuring what family to visit for each holiday ( unless they all live in the same town-LUCKY!)
-The decisions of buying gifts for friends, family, co-workers, etc (not to mention finding the time and money).

But I would say the ultimate stressor is just DOING TOO MUCH around this time. Whether it be holiday parties, travel, cooking, cleaning, gift buying, etc, it can definitely leave us feeling frazzled instead of fulfilled. Wouldn’t you agree?

Stress raises our Cortisol levels in our body. The increase in this hormone is what contributes to the average 7-10 pound weight gain that people experience on average during the holiday season (plus the over eating).

So with all the decisions and dilemmas this holiday season, what’s a person to do?

I present to you, The 90% Rule.

I read about this rule in the book I am reading, The Essentialist. The rule is made to help you avoid overcommitting to too many options and decisions by using selective criteria. It is a rule that you can apply to just about every decision or dilemma in your life.

As you evaluate an option or decision this holiday season, think about the SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT CRITERION for that decision. Or ask yourself “In order for me to do this…the single most thing it must yield, have, or produce would be….”

Let’s say for example you are looking at vacuums to give a family member as a present for the Holidays. Dyson, Hoover, Shark, etc etc the list goes on for brand names. And then their are the features: bag, no bag, made for animal hair, etc., warranty, no warranty, etc. It’s like, when did buying a vacuum BECOME ROCKET SCIENCE?! Then there are the significant difference in prices based on these brands and features.

So imagine yourself in a store and you are just standing there thinking…”Ugghh I don’t have time to think about ALL these options for a stupid vacuum, I just need to pick one and go.” and then your heart rate rises, you feel frantic, and the stress sets in…

But then the 90% rule saves the day!

The key here is to ask yourself: What is my single most important criteria for buying a vacuum as a gift for this family member? For me it would be a good warranty..because I’ve had my fair share of vacuums breaking down (maybe it was because it sucked up my underwear, but that’s besides the point).

So taking my example, as you look at each vacuum option (or any other decision), use this single most important criteria that I listed above, and give each vacuum option a score between 0-100. If you rate it any lower than 90 percent, then automatically change the rating to 0 and simply move on. Some vaccums might have a decent warranty, but not enough to score it at 90 percent.

This selective criteria will allow you to quickly assess the options in a stress free, logical, and rational way that is quick and efficient. This rule can be applied to any decision or dilemma in your life whether it be relationships, your career, or your health.

Do you live a busy lifestyle that makes you feel stressed out DAY IN AND DAY OUT? Do you think your stress might be contributing to your weight gain OR weight loss?
I did too, and what I learned is that busy lifestyles and stress can deplete our bodys of the nutrients we need to feel our best, maintain a healthy weight, and prevent future health conditions. I started taking IDNutritionPERSONALIZED pharmaceutical grade nutritional vitamins based on your diet, lifestyle, current medications, and health conditions. Take their FREE HIPAA compliant Personal Health Assessment to identify areas in your health that may be below average and learn how to improve them.

{ 1 comment… add one }
  • jenny finney November 14, 2014, 4:28 pm


    This is a very good article and I love the 90% rule! This will be a good rule to remember when I go about my holiday cooking. I get so STRESSED when trying to cook more than 3 things at the same. time.

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