The holiday season brings a lot of gatherings surrounded by food and treats at every turn. This can feel like an intimidating challenge if you've been trying to improve your nutrition and lose weight. While it does require some discipline, it doesn't have to leave you feeling deprived. These are a few of my personal guidelines and recommendations to create a successful approach to enjoying yourself without damaging the progress you've made!
1. PLAN AHEAD - Plan your events. Next, plan your workouts to support your calorie intake. Then, plan your meals. If you don't want to sweat for it at the gym then don't put it in your mouth! (Side note- Calories should not be your only concern. Quality of food and how that food effects your body is a serious concern. Be respectful of your body and do not trash it or starve it.)
2. DRINK WATER & SWEAT - Mostly likely your body will be processing a lot of treats, alcohol, and heavy meals. Your body needs a lot of water to process all that and flush the nasty stuff out. I highly recommend a warm yoga, dance class, or something similar to loosen the body, twist the spine, and relieve the skin.
3. BUDGET & SPLURGE WISELY - You'd be surprised how many treats I get away with. With that said, I'm VERY picky on what I deem "worth it". For one, I don't eat cheap treats. I stay away from artificial sugar and coloring. If someone makes me something special, if it is a nostalgic treat, or a favorite, then I will let myself have a small portion.
4. EAT BEFORE - If you know you are going to be in a challenging nutritional situation, then you need to eat very clean before and after. I rarely go anywhere without eating or without personal food close by. I always eat a small meal before parties or gatherings. I eat a big meal if I already know there won't be any healthy and desirable choices available. Fill up on foods with high water content. Think soups, cucumber or frozen grapes. Do not go into a gathering while you are hungry! It will be hard to resist, and if you do, you will be starving which will screw up your metabolism and so forth.
5. REMORSE or REWARD? - How will you feel after? Will you feel disappointed or proud of yourself? Will you pretended you don't care... and then beat yourself up later? Hopefully, you will feel proud or just know that you need to eat a little cleaner the next few days. I truly hope you don't compromise your goals and health for temporary satisfaction. When you stick to your plan, reward yourself! Have a small treat, practice self care, or purchase something you've been wanting!
Repeating a few points:
- Create a plan and visualize the process and success of it. Positive thoughts and balanced choices will reaffirm your effort towards your goals!
- Do not skip meals. Eat small portions frequently. Forget the silly rules and dieting scams and just eat really high-quality food.
- Eat a healthy meal or snack before social meals and gatherings.
- Drink a bottle of water before you enter a party for gathering.
- Be very wise about your meat and sugar intake. If not consumed cautiously, meat and sugar spike and plummet your system. Both will throw off your body creating more cravings and meat will clog up your digestive system. If you do consume animal products, small portions of the most natural based sources you can.
- After eating heavy, the next day, you should get outside and into nature to reset.
Eat healthy, sweat, and enjoy!