The holidays come with huge dinners, festive drinking, tons of leftovers and we like it this way. How about we don’t diet during the holidays? Sound good? We think so. Instead, let’s focus on surrounding our holiday fun with optimal healthy habits that we adhere to the rest of the year.
The fact is, one or two holiday dinners won’t wreck us. The key is we can't let one day of bad eating lead to a whole weekend, then a week, then a month. Make sense?
Instead of obsessing over the Holiday meals, let's keep it simple. Here are six tips to help you avoid taking too many steps back and ensure a quick recovery into your optimal nutrition and fitness routine.
1. Keep a food journal and use food journals from the past.
Prepare for your days by planning ahead and writing what you will eat surrounding the holidays. This is meal planning on steroids, but we promise it will pay off in the long run. Many are used to writing what they eat after they eat it. We are asking you to write it out ahead of time. By doing this you are taking the decision making process out of the equation when you are sitting in front of all the holiday goodness, hangry with a growling stomach.
Food journaling in this way will help you visualize for success and make smarter actions more probable. We also suggest making a list of what you plan to let yourself have and what you are going to avoid. This is another way of making conscious decisions rather than unconscious, overindulgent decisions. We know that you might veer from your plan and that’s okay as well. It’s all about planning for success.
2. Eat before the party.
Never go to a party hungry. Eat a smaller meal before you head out for the evening. Your best bets are foods that are high protein or fiber as they will keep you fuller longer, and keep your caloric content in check.
Option A) Protein shake
Option B) Yogurt, berries, sugar free granola
Option C) Salad with lean protein
These meals will help you feel full and lead to less hunger going into a holiday meal situation.
3. Focus on other healthy habits besides food.
Eating isn’t the only way to keep yourself healthy. We also believe that sleep, exercise and stress reduction also play a big role. We said we didn’t want you to diet, right? We are, however, asking you to maintain your optimal healthy habits. #eatsleependuralabrepeat
4. Always eat a simple meal before 2pm
We get that some may not love to eat breakfast and that some may even intermittently fast making their first meal land around noon to 2pm. Whatever you call that first meal, make sure you consume a healthy dose of protein to kick off your day. We are saying this will help you during the holidays but it will also help you throughout the year as well.
Keep this meal simple and repeat them the week of major holidays to reduce more decisions that need to be made. Decision fatigue is real and this frees up more space for you.
Knowing that this time of year is busy, it can be easy to justify skipping your workouts. Keeping a consistent workout routine or adding in a walk may be just what you need to stick to your fitness goals.
Get in a high intensity workout in the morning to give you the calorie burn you need and keep your metabolism fired up for the rest of the day. No time to make it to the gym? Our members have access to an online dumbbell, ruck and run workouts via our members app. We will also be releasing a free Do Anywhere No Excuses (D.A.N.E) workout that can be done anywhere with little to no equipment necessary.
Stay active with friends and family by inviting them to the gym, going to the local park or taking a walk. It’s great bonding and you will feel great during and after!
6. Get back to your optimal healthy habits immediately
Please hear us. We want you to indulge. We want you to enjoy the holidays however that looks for you. We also want you to bounce back quickly and continue enjoying your healthiest and strongest life.
If you let your one meal turn into a day, then into a week, then into a month, it will be that much harder to get back to your healthy lifestyle. We also don’t suggest partying hard and then jumping into some fad diet or juice cleanse come January 1. You will become a deprived, unpleasant, and malnourished individual.
Instead, we want you to focus on plenty of lean protein, half a plate of veggies for at least two of your meals and a moderate amount of healthy fats.
See, you don’t have to “diet” during the holidays. It is okay to indulge as long as you are not indulging every meal of every single day. Don’t let your goals ruin the fun of holidays, instead plan ahead and make conscious decisions when it comes to nutrition and fitness. We’ll see you at the gym!