Hello my fitness loving friends!
Tomorrow is THANKSgiving. I know I have a ton to be thankful for this year and I intend to enjoy this day with my family. I often get asked how I eat healthy on a holiday.
Honestly? I usually don’t. C’mon now! Kent and I have been known to sneak healthy dishes into the family gathering, but we at least indulge in something we love. My mom makes amazing casserole dishes- broccoli and rice (with cheese) and green bean casserole! Those are two of my faves! I am a little more picky when it comes to dessert, but if there is a dish with peanut butter, I’m ALL in!
I have only missed out on one Christmas holiday season in the meal department, simply because I made the decision to train for a competition on December 1st a few years back. I’m here to tell ya, that was NO fun! Everyone around me was digging into the yumminess and here I was, eating my extra-lean turkey. It was so boring! Was it worth it when I stepped on stage for competition? Well, yes! Sometimes you just have BIG goals. However, I decided after that holiday season that I wouldn’t miss out anymore.
Personally, I have been keeping my meals pretty clean lately in preparation for Thanksgiving and Christmas goodies. The holidays used to be a tough time for me in regards to weight gain because I would indulge, not stay consistent with my healthy meals and skip the gym. I would fall completely off track, which was a little depressing.
However, I have found that as long as I stay consistent MOST of the time, then I don’t hinder my results with a few fun holiday meals here and there.
Here are 3 tips to stay on track with your goals AND splurge on your favorite treats:
1. Don’t Skip Meals
The worst thing you can do is go to a holiday gathering feeling starving. You’ll probably binge on the snacks, food and drinks and feel miserable afterwards. Then you usually take a long nap and feel gross afterward, but craving more. To prevent this vicious cycle, eat a healthy meal consisting of a lean protein and complex carbohydrate BEFORE your holiday gathering. That way you won’t binge eat, but you’ll eat enough yummy food to feel satisfied. Then, eat another healthy meal 3 hours after your “fun” meal to keep your metabolism high. This helps me every year and I don’t feel restricted.
2. Stay Hydrated
It’s tough to remember to gulp the water when you’re preparing food and chatting with family and friends. Keep a glass of water handy for sipping so that you keep your body hydrated and energized. I don’t know about you, but when I don’t drink enough water, I feel exhausted, thirsty and my stomach feels empty. When I am dehydrated, working out is the furthest thing from my mind.
3. Hit the Gym
No, don’t feel like you need to perform hours of cardio to work off the extra calories. Just focus on getting to the gym an extra day during the week. If you typically work out four days, aim for five. Or, if you don’t feel like leaving the house, there are plenty of at-home workouts to do with a jump rope and your body weight. You can even play outside with your kids or go for a walk. Stay active! Even holiday shopping can work up a sweat at times.
I hope these tips help you! Mainly, the idea is to stay focused on your goals during any season, but to enjoy life as well. Don’t restrict yourself or you’ll want it more. There is something about telling yourself “No, I can’t have that,” that makes you want it.
If you have a hard core goal and have sworn off sweets and fatty foods for the season, more power to you! If you just want to keep your weight under control, just know that you can still splurge some and maintain your level of fitness.
It’s all about finding your balance and not going overboard with the extra-yummy foods. 😉
You’ve got this! Happy Thanksgiving from my family to yours.