Updated: Nov 27, 2022
Every year we begin to hear people voice their concern and/or pre-determined defeat regarding the holidays and nutrition/fitness. There are a number of challenges presented including, but not limited to: numerous social events, elaborate meals, special desserts, alcoholic beverages, hosting family and friends, etc.
We are here to tell you that these are normal facets of life. They do not have to derail you and are meant to be enjoyed! We want to help you shift your mindset from guilt, shame, and worry around the holidays to balance, celebration, and enjoyment.
Success in holiday exercise and nutrition is BALANCE--- staying 85% on track, while being able to let loose and enjoy valuable, memorable social occasions. The reality is that Thanksgiving and Christmas are 2 days out of 365. That’s literally .55% of your entire year. These 2 days will not destroy all of your efforts.
Here are a few tips to stay on track and enjoy the holidays with less worry about your fitness:
Mentally prepare ahead of time.
Look at the menu ahead of time and think about the foods you plan to consume.
Remember that these are foods that you can and will have the opportunity to consume again! Remove the scarcity mindset.
Prioritize your favorites. Analyze what you like and what you love. Eat more of what you love and limit the place holders that you might consume “just because”.
Slow down and enjoy your food. Make sure to sit down and chew slowly. Take in all your hunger cues and actually enjoy what you are eating.
Think about creating a balanced plate. Create a plate that includes protein, carbs, and fats. Include some veggies on that plate too! On a normal day, you would eat three balanced meals– Holidays don’t have to be different! Your body needs protein, carbs, and fats on these days too!
Pre-plan meals and treats involved in your social outings. Are you planning to eat a big meal, a dessert, or attend a gathering?
If you are counting macros and following the Nutrition Blueprint, pre-enter your food ahead of time and let that guide your nutrition for the remainder of the day. Please, by no means starve yourself outside of that one big meal, but save up some carbs and fat for your big meal or eat some extra protein ahead of time to stay relatively on track.
Again, consider the balanced plate- create a plate that includes protein, carbs, and fats.
When life gets busy, identify an attainable goal for workouts and expand your idea of what a workout can be.
Consider prioritizing workouts earlier in the week before family arrives.
If your family enjoys being active, invite them to the gym with you.
Don’t be afraid to change up your idea of workouts for a day or two... or even a week. Go on a hike or a walk with your family and friends- that still counts and getting outside is even encouraged!
Give yourself grace.
If you get off track for meal or miss a workout, don't dwell on it.
A good rule of thumb for maintaining habits is "Don't miss twice", which means give yourself grace, move on, and for the next meal stick to your plan.
All in all, it is important to remember that food is not JUST fuel. Yes, food fuels your physical body, but food is tradition, food is culture, food is connection with friends and family. Remember to honor food for fueling your physical body AND your mindset.
If you are just getting started on a nutrition make sure you read this next-->> Starting and Sticking With Your New Nutrition Plan