5 Holiday Hotness Tips
- It’s the Holi-DAYS. Not the Holi-MONTHS.
- 3-4 Works Out/Week!
- 20g+ of protein at breakfast AND BEFORE your par-tay.
- Don’t track your veggies/fruits.
- Go back to NORMAL, HEALTHY eating the next day.
Happy Holidays Friends!!! It’s that time of year again where even the most disciplined of fitness fanatics will find themselves tempted to break their normal eating habits and take a deep swan dive into the dips and gravies.
Can I say… I hope that you do.
Food is more than fuel.
It’s a way we show love, share our culture, and make memories.
With that said, with the amount of special events jammed into such a short span of time, a few boundaries can help our waist lines not take too big of a hit.
1. It’s the Holi-DAYS. Not the Holi-MONTHS.
Food is MORE THAN FUEL and this season is a demonstration of how food brings us together. The potential for one, two or even three weekly caloric bombs seems to mount the closer we get to the New Year. There’s:
the cookie party where everyone tastes and exchanges cookie recipes (3,000 calories easy!)
the office secret Santa pot luck party where everyone brings the latest and greatest recipes they found on TikTok (2,000 calories easy!)
Friendsgiving (3,000 calories EACH that you attend)
the charity cocktail party with the open bar (who knows how many calories because you’re too drunk to remember what happened)
the annual ginger bread house decorating party your kids love (blood glucose levels at 200 before you leave)
If we don’t look ahead and decide which occasions are about food AND friendship and which can be simply about being in great company, the gains will NOT be the gains that make you a more metabolically active human.
If your calendar is FULL of these kinds of events, besides the other tips below, consider:
a. bringing a large veggie dish to share with a greek yogurt based dip. Munch away!!!
b. sitting/chatting far away from the buffet table full of cookies, nuts, and weird crock pot dips.
c. serving yourself off a dessert plate vs dinner plate. Proven strategy. Less room. Less food.
d. don’t spend ALL night and evening at the event. Arrive later than expected (fed) and/or leave a little earlier (before the bewitching hour begins).
e. NURSE that drank. You’re in caloric trouble if you go “all in” on alcohol.
f. volunteer to be the designated driver. People will put less social pressure on you this way.
Certainly there are Holi-DAYS where NONE of these tips apply and you should let go and make all the memories! Look ahead. Decide which ones are worthy.
2. Get 3-4 Work Outs/Week.
Normal life is hectic. Add in the extra shopping and events and one of the first things to go can often be our movement and exercise patterns.
More food and alcohol with less exercise is an obvious recipe for weight gain.
With limited time and energy though, what’s a human to do?!
Get SOMETHING/ANYTHING in. If 15 minutes is available, use it.
Less time simply means an increase in intensity. Reduce rest periods between working sets or increase the pace/resistance/incline of your cardio.
Check out our short 15-25 min home workout options in Garage Gains.
3. 20g+ Protein at Breakfast and BEFORE your Part-Tay.
Protein load EARLY!!
One common mistake we see in our Diet Rebellion “newbies” is how often they wait ’til late in the day to consume their recommended daily protein.
Not only does this impair the body’s ability to preserve/create muscle (your most metabolically active tissue), it also leaves you extra hungry throughout the day and encourages nighttime over eating of highly processed foods.
While we recommend EVERYONE start and continue with at least 20g of protein, if this isn’t already a regular habit, we want you to make it a holiday party staple.
It’s no secret that one of the most expensive things to buy for a party is protein, so it tends to be scarce at the buffet table.
This means you’ll most easily be able to dive into carbs and fats. If you’ve taken care of the protein early, you’ll be more in control and, in general, be more nutritionally sound.
Check out our #proteinbomb sandwich blog post for more ideas
4. Don’t Track Your Veggies/Fruits.
If you’re someone who understands that tracking calories and macros is a helpful tool in understanding what/how you eat, you’re ahead of the curve.
With that said, we often see folks TRADING really amazing nutritious foods for the sake of having enough carbs and fats for the holiday treats.
This time of year, STOP tracking your fruits and veggies. See them as FREE FOODS so that you are more inclined to satiate your hunger with high fiber and highly nutritive dense foods.
Sure, keep tracking those cookies. Count those as your carbs and fats.
But go cray cray on that veggie tray.
You’ll come out winning.
If you want to learn more about tracking/macros/calories etc read up on our program Diet Rebellion here.
5. Go Back to NORMAL/HEALTHY habits post party.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make this time of year is pull back calories hard post party.
We see this especially when someone had the INTENTION to “do the right thing” at the party but, for whatever reason, went a bit cray cray.
Food guilt and the puffiness that comes with water retention post carb load, often make people want to “swear off eating” the next day or “eat 1,000 calories.”
More often than not, this creates unmanageable hunger throughout the day.
There’s no doubt if you stayed up late and ate at 3am that you’ll want to eat breakfast later than usual. No worries there. When you’re ready to break your fast, however, don’t eat like a little bird.
Instead of treating food like the enemy, make it your ally:
- 100 oz of water by 5pm.
- 1-2 cups of plants at EACH meal (veggies and fruit).
- Big servings of lean protein (30g) at EACH meal (hopefully 3-5 meals).
- 1-2 servings of a starchy carb (oatmeal, potatoes, rice) that day. Perhaps pre- and post-workout.
The Holidays are a unique season. Isn’t that what we love/hate about them? They disrupt our usual mundane routine (HOORAY!) but also they disrupt our usual PREDICTABLE routine (GRRRRR!).
Striking a better balance between food for nutrition and food for fun is a valuable life skill, though, and it’s never too late to begin practicing it!