If you thought pumpkin spice season was hard to get through, get ready for Thanksgiving and the official start of the holiday season. While this is the most wonderful time of the year, it’s also the busiest and most stressful.
It’s right around this time that people make a decision (subconscious or not) about how they are going to deal with their fitness and nutrition goals through January 1st. We think about all the parties, traveling, food, and alcohol and it’s tempting to say, “Eh, I’ll just focus on it come January.”
Two responses to that:
- You do not want to set yourself back or undo all the hard work you’ve already put in.
- It’s not hard to stay on track during the holidays with just a bit of strategy.
HERE’S HOW TO STAY ON TRACK DURING THE HOLIDAYS
Pick 3 to 5 days during the season where you’re not going to focus on your nutrition at all.
There are some days during the season where it’s more important that you are just present, enjoying time with friends and family. These are not “cheat days” but an opportunity for you to just enjoy the spirit of the holidays and the company you’re keeping. If you have an extra half slice of pie, we won’t tell.
-New Year’s Eve
Pick the other 3 to 5 days where you’ll have to loosely track your nutrition.
Maybe you’ve got a Friendsgiving, office holiday party, or just a night out with all your friends who are back in town. During these days, you may not be able to focus on tracking your food but use habit-based strategies to stay on track:
– Eat until you’re 80% full
– Fill approximately 1/2 your plate with veggies, 1/4 with lean protein, and 1/4 with starches/grains
– Don’t hit the dessert table until you’re mostly full
– Get some movement in your day (either 10k steps or a workout — or both!)
Keep up with your other good habits.
Even if you’re not tracking/hitting your macros that day, keep up with good habits. They make a profound difference not only keeping you on track, but on making sure you feel good. No one wants to feel too lethargic or bloated to rock that new holiday outfit.
– Drink at least half your bodyweight in water
– Make sure you have two servings of veggies with every major meal
– Aim for 25g+ fiber if you’re a girl, 35g+ if you’re a guy
– Get in 7-9 hours of sleep
– If you have a stressful day, carve out 30 minutes to do a de-stressing activity
Keep it tight on other days.
Staying on track with your nutrition on the days you don’t have an event is a major help in keeping you progressing during the holidays. Focus on self-care Sundays where you get food prep done and set yourself up for a less stressful week. This will make hitting your macros a breeze.
Think about this: if you follow the strategy above, you’ll have 6 to 10 less-than-perfect days with your nutrition during the entire holiday season. If you were to say “screw it” until January 1st, you’ll be looking at about 40 days of completely off-track nutrition. That’s 40 days to do some serious damage, undo some of your progress thus far, and set yourself up to be further away from your goals come January 1st, 2019.
A little bit of effort and strategy will go a long way this holiday season!
Have questions or need more specific tips? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!