Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Healthy Holidays

The average American will consume over 4,500 calories at ONE holiday gathering! Here are a few tips to help you avoid the temptation to binge.

Hey Fit Fam,

We have worked hard all year building and improving our physiques ... but when the holidays come if you are anything like me ... there is this 50/50 sense of excitement and dread.

I'm excited to close my macro tracking app and not count anything for the day. I will fully enjoy some dishes that are only put in front of me once or twice a year. But I equally dread them being in front of me because it is hard to not want to eat seconds or even thirds of some of those favorite treats .. especially when they are home cooked by mama!!! It is a touch balance .... because will one day of indulging kill you? Certainly not!! But it can put a little dent in your progress if you over indulge TOO much. Not to mention .. one day is all it takes for some people to go in a major downward spiral. The tastes of those unfamiliar foods can turn into an entire weekend, then week, then an entire holiday season of binging.

So what do you do?

Remember the reason: Don't use the holiday season as an excuse to over-indulge. The good food should ADD to the occasion, not dictate whether you enjoy it or not!

Have a plan: Take a moment and map out your eating for the day. You have a couple options. If you are a Macro counter you may already be used to "saving" macros for treat meals. You have learned how to do this with success. You can eat smaller/more mindful meals before you head out for your feast. Some people would even eat NOTHING (fasting) in preparation for their full plate.  I personally do not agree with that one. But if that is something you know you can do with success .. go for it I guess!! I will choose to eat small protein/fiber based meals beforehand.  For example, I plan to have some egg whites and a 1st t Phorm Level 1 waffle  .. but I'll skip the oats, fruit and peanut butter that I typically add in. For lunch I'll have some grilled chicken and fiberous veggies (probably green beans, spinach, tomato, etc.) This will work for me, but for others it could lead to trouble. If you don't eat enough before your holiday dinner, you may be starving when you arrive, making you more likely to binge.  If you know this is YOU .. then you may want to eat fairly normal (I would still aim for lower fat and more fiberous carbs) leading up to dinner so that you aren't "starving".  But I suggest you do this IF and only IF you KNOW you will be able to use some self control!!  Otherwise you will ignore the fact that you aren't really hungry and still suff yourself despite what you had earlier in the day! You may also want to lower your macros the days leading up to the Holiday and the day or two after. Some would call this "damage control" if you went a little overboard. Just remember one day isn't going to kill you as long as you are somewhat mindful. Enjoy yourself ... let go some ... just eat smart before/after! Your calorie allowance is like a budget ... spend it wisely! I am SO THANKFUL I started Flexible Dieting this year ... as it's taught me SO much about this and kept any cravings I would normally have this time of year to a bare minimum!

Pick and choose based on YOUR taste buds:  Don't LOVE it .. don't eat it!! Save your indulgences for the foods you KNOW you really love! Why waste calories on foods that you are only eating .. to eat? If someone wants you to try their casserole but you know you won't really enjoy it .. it's okay to politely decline! Or if you feel guilty .. try telling them you will get it when you go back for seconds. They will forget by then :)

Modify your dishes: Obviously everyone won't do this. But if you modify the dishes you contribute to the holiday table .. it will certainly help! Don't tell anyone though, lol! Most people thing that "modifying" means it will not taste the same. Let them say ... yummmmm before you tell them you made it more macro friendly! I modified ALL my recipes and I guarantee no one will know :)

Portion Sizes:  Sure you may WANT it .. but you don't NEED 1/2 a pumpkin pie or a plate full of buttery mashed potatoes. Chances are you are going to go back for seconds, be snacking before hand or ready to dive into that dessert table. Get a little bit of everything, a little more of the things you really love and EAT SLOW!!! It takes a little while for your brain to know it's full. So really savor every bite!

Don't skip the gym .. in fact .. do EXTRA: I would never do 3-4 cardio sessions a week... probably not even on prep. But during a holiday week... I will if I can. This week I'm doing 3 hot box sessions and 2 HIIT sessions. The HIIT will be the day of Thanksgiving and the morning after! It's a great way to off set any of that "extra". More than anything (for me) it MENTALLY allows me to be "okay" with letting go a little for the day. I will do my Thanksgiving day lift as close to meal time as possible and then will take advantage of all those extra carbs the next day for a big leg/glute workout! If you are unable to hit the gym, there are PLENTY of things you can do at home or outside.  Just carve out the time and make it as much as a priority as anything else! Don't forget .. HIIT sessions can take 20min or less and will leave you burning calories ALL DAY!

Drink extra h2o: No explanation needed here :) Most Thanksgiving meals are LOADED with sodium! You wanna flush it out .. so drink, drink, drink! Plus water will make you feel more full!

Wear tight fitted clothing: Don't wear your fat pants, lol! Wear those fitted skinny jeans! It really does make a difference! It will be much more comfortable to stuff yourself silly if you wear loose fitted clothing that allows for that post meal bloat.

Stay away from the snacks: This is the hardest one for me. I NEVER "snack" .. on or off season. So when my mom has endless amounts of fudge, chips, dips, etc., laying around the house .. it's hard not to "graze". Those mini trips .. grabbing a handful of snacks here and there .. can add up to THOUSANDS of calories .... quickly! I usually have a big mug of coffee to sip on, or make sure I am chewing gum (none of that food tastes as good after/while chewing gum) and then try to engage in as much conversation as possible ... keep it out of reach and it won't be AS tempting! If you must ... bring some veggies, baked chips, etc., to go along with those high calorie dips. Every little bit helps!

Hope these little tips help! More than anything .. if you do over indulge .. don't beat yourself up!!! What's done .. is done. Just put in a little extra work at the gym, eat extra clean, drink lots of water
and let those feelings be FUEL for the next time you think about over eating!

Also .. avoid the scale for a couple days. It will likely go up even if you didn't over do it too much. Chances are that you didn't eat enough to gain pounds of FAT in one day. So that number could be misleading! Give your body a few days to get back on track before you worry too much!

Eat Clean. Train Dirty. And HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!!!

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