Okay, nutrition is definitely the bane of everyone’s struggles during the holidays, and so many of us justify poor eating habits from Thanksgiving all the way to the new year. More simply state they’ll burn the excess weight gained over the final month and a half of the year come January, but how many of us really accomplish such a goal? It’s rare, and with each passing year the mission of sound nutrition turns into mission impossible. Today I’m relaying to you three good nutrition tips you can incorporate this Holiday Season.
Eat Before Going Out
Yes, I get that there will be food at any gathering this season, as is the norm. And I’m not saying you can’t eat what’s dished out only during this time of the year. What I am saying is you can put yourself on a budget from a nutritional standpoint.
How do you do this?
Eat a healthy meal before heading out to party. This will prevent and control cravings, so when you do grab the cookies, desserts, and whatever else catches your eye (and your heart), you won’t need to exert as much damage control come January.
For example, I like to keep up with my usual regimen on Thanksgiving, all the way until dinner time. This means I’ll eat my usual breakfast, pre, and post-workout meals. I might even eat lunch somewhere in between as well. Then, come meal time, I’m often limited to just two helpings of dinner.
Still much more food than I would eat on a normal day, but if I just threw in the towel upon waking up in the morning, it’s very likely I’d have eaten three to four times as much food as I would on a normal basis. And if you don’t think it’s possible to eat so much, just keep track on how much people pick at snack foods during these gatherings before heading for the main course and desserts.
And with a huge selection of calorie-dense foods out there, it’s easy to go overboard to where one can triple their intake without realization.
Don’t Drink Calories
I know a lot of us might be alcohol drinkers during this time of year, but if you want to avoid excess caloric intake, keep track of how many calories are in your drinks. Even pop (soda), can contain between 150 to 200 calories per serving, and it’s not hard to pack down the empty calories here. Just two of these can put you 300 to 400 calories in the hole within an hour or so.
Instead, opt for water or if you need something in your drink for flavor, drink mixes or fresh fruit. Keep the alcohol intake responsible, and you won’t have to suffer the consequences at the end of the season.
I don’t drink and I tend to steer clear from pop but if you have a hard time doing so, try drinking water between each serving and it’ll help curtail the damage.
Remember that article I wrote about the benefits of exercise?
Yeah, refer to it, because exercise will give you a sense of accomplishment that might just direct the mind elsewhere when the junk food appears. Or, if and when you do cave a little (everyone does including myself) remember that when you create an afterburn effect through intense exercise your body is going to be in calorie mode over the next 24 hours.
Now, notice I said ‘intense exercise.’
This is because a simple treadmill walk or something steady-state won’t do the trick. A High Intensity Interval Training workout (HIIT), will, however. Now if you’re not conditioned to perform a HIIT workout, don’t try it. If you are physically capable of HIIT, it might be the best thing for you to do prior to going out to party to celebrate the end of the year.
So, the good news is you can still eat foods that you might normally forbid. And even better news, the fact is if you follow what I have listed above means that you can do so while feeling lesser guilt; something we all want. Keep in mind that again, I’m not saying you can’t or shouldn’t eat the good desserts and food; just eat responsibly by following my recommendations listed above.
By doing so, the December weight gain damage will be minimal and burning off the fat, if any fat, gained come the new year will be more than manageable. Thanks again for visiting the blog! Please come back soon.