5 TIPS TO TAKE ON HOLIDAY EATING
If you are anything like myself then you understand that Halloween marks the true beginning of the holiday season in Nebraska. (which you dread because you now have to fight your inner fat kid for the next 4 months) This also marks the inevitable start to most individuals “bulking” season. With the weather getting colder and more clothes being strapped on most tend to start packing on the extra lbs. over the next few months. With multiple family celebrations for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas it is hard to say no to your Aunt Linda’s cookies or your Mom’s famous apple crisp. Trust me….. I get it…. But, what follows are 5 tips I personally use and/or tell my clients to help get through the holidays without expanding waistlines or completely wreaking havoc on your physique.
(DISCLAIMER: if you are in a contest prep these rules do not apply to you. Just enjoy the time with your family and accept the fact you will be the weird one eating out of Tupperware. It’s ok, they are family, they will understand… they may ask you a thousand times if you are ok…. But, they will understand. Just do yourself a favor and try not to look like you want to murder everyone for their food. This is your choice, your prep, so embrace the suck!)
- Lower caloric intake throughout the day when you know you will have a big celebratory meal.
If you know that you will be having a large meal with your family in the evening make sure that you are compensating earlier in the day by not taking in as many calories. Let me clarify I do not mean starve yourself before your meal with your family. I simply mean eat 4 to 5 meals but, make sure you drop your total caloric intake down for the day before your meal with your family. In the end, at it’s most simplistic form, it is about the total calories you take in that day. If you can make sure that overall you do not end up taking in too much of a surplus of calories that day your physique will not suffer.
(Note: if the meal with your family is earlier in the day simply change your meals for the rest of the day after the feast to compensate for the high caloric intake)
- Take in lower amounts of carbs and dietary fats at the beginning of your day.
Tip 2 is an extension of tip 1. When dropping the calories in your meals leading up to the holiday surplus make sure to pull calories from “energy” based macros. What I mean by this is drop calories coming from macronutrients that your body would tend to use as fuel. (carbs and fats) When lowering these macronutrients I still want you to keep in mind that you need to be taking in calories leading up to the holiday meal or you will binge.
- Train before you feast.
One of the best ways to make sure that you utilize this meal is to do some sort of resistance training before you eat. If you have also manipulated calories earlier in the day and approached your training with lower amounts of “energy” based macros you will now be in deficit. This deficit will now have you set up in a perfect position to make the most of the feast.
Note: Please do not sacrifice time with family to go to the gym. If you can’t make it to the gym just follow steps 1,2,4 and 5 to help maintain your physique!
- When you do feast make sure to fill up on protein, veggies and quality carb sources before sweets.
Be smart about the food that you do decide to eat. Enjoy the food your family members or friends have made but make sure to fill up on foods you know are good for you. Fill up on protein sources (even if it is protein with higher fat) and veggies first and foremost. Then enjoy some “fun” carbohydrate sources and sweets. By the time you reach the sweets you should be full enough that you only end up having one slice of pie instead of the entire pie.
- Use a GDA.
Lastly, there are supplements called glucose disposal agents that can help your body to utilize the increase of blood sugar. These products are designed to aid your body in depositing blood glucose into the muscle tissue and away from fat cells. Again, let me clarify that these supplements are just an aid and cannot be used to negate over indulging in sweets or calories.
I want you to remember that Holidays are meant to be about friends, family and food. The moments you have with everyone will not come again and they are only once a year. But, by implementing these 5 tips you should be able to enjoy all that the holidays have-to offer without destroying your physique!