How To Maintain Healthy Eating Habits During The Holidays
I am sure that based off of this title you guys might be reading this hoping to get a certain diet or guidelines on how to stay on track but that is not quite what I am going for here. I think a lot of the industry focuses on the wrong things during this time rather than the big picture.
I am not going tell you to drop your carbs throughout the days of Holiday Parties, or pack your meals every time you leave the house or the one that really drives me crazy which is to do extra cardio to make up for the food that’s been consumed in fact it is going to be more of the opposite. To me this time of year is one of my favorites and I do believe it can be enjoyed while staying on track if you have a plan ahead of time and stick to it.
Ultimately I believe that consistency is key and consistently doing the right things a majority of the time is going to pay off even if each meal is not perfect (which in all honestly in the big picture unless you are prepping it shouldn’t be).
1) Relax – One of the biggest killers of joy during this season is stress. Stressing time, traffic, what you are going to buy for someone, for the physique athlete how you are going to stay on track ect. Constantly stressing a situation is not usually going to bring the best out of it so just do you best to have a plan and stick to it and not stress the small (not often important details)
2) Have a plan ahead of time – it’s safe to say that more often than not one will lose control when they don’t have a plan. Whenever I go to an event or party where I know I will be eating at the party I know what type of foods I am going to stick to while there. If you are going to eat dessert, that’s okay but set a limit for yourself don’t just go in and wing it. If you are serious about your goals and what it takes to get to them you should have a pretty good idea of macronutrient composition IE what the content is within the food you are eating so just do a good job of knowing what you are taking in and not just ending up 5k calories in at the end of the night without even realizing it.
3) Train in the morning (wake up earlier ) - In my opinion a few meals off plan is not going to really derail things if you have a plan in place for when those situations come up but where things really start going off is if you are eating off plan and also not consistent with your training. For those of you that train in the evenings do you best to get your training in early so you are keeping that variable consistent. If you have to wake up early, do it and you wont regret that decision so that way you can still enjoy those evening parties and know that you are not missing out on your training.
4) Be memories focused – We as a society are so food focused when it comes to events and “gathering around the table” so to speak. If you really reflect and look back over the years it’s the memories that you make that have nothing to do with food that are remembered. I am sure most of you don’t even remember what you ate last Christmas so don’t be so food focused within the moment that you miss out on the big picture of making lasting memories and the traditions that really make this time of year so great.
5) Be perfect when it is in your control – last but not least, outside of the parties, events and family gatherings be perfect when it’s in your control. This applies to any season the more you can be perfect day in and day out the better off you will be and you can truly relax for the Holiday season knowing that you are doing what is needed day in and day out and that 2-5% of your life not on plain is not going to derail things due to the daily commitment you have.
If we can really grasp that in times like this life is truly bigger than us and our goals I do think you will be just fine, a missed meal, training session or a few extra calories here and there during this final month of the year is not going to make or break you, it might be the last time we get to spend time with a loved one, or an opportunity to see someone that has invested in our own lives for a long time and in times like these our goals or the constant drive that we carry should be put into perspective of life and what truly matters.