It’s coming, the most delicious time of the year, winter holiday season. While all the necessary components are there for sound nutrition plan, there is still the risk that you’re going to be “that guy/gal”. The one who uses this glorious time of year as an excuse to completely fall of the wagon on their nutrition. Yes, these are holidays and you should enjoy yourself, but enjoyment shouldn’t be indulgence. You are not green-lit to gorge yourself. In order to keep temptation at bay, you need a plan. Well, I’m your Huckleberry in the fight against the holiday binge. Here are a few tips that I’ve used to keep it together during the holiday season.
Don’t be weird
First and foremost, it’s the holiday season. Yes, we want to stay as close to on point as we can. But, the purpose of these YEARLY get togethers is not to count macros or make everyone have to endure another batch of your gluten-free, no added sugar, keto stuffing. It’s about getting together with those that we hold near and dear and celebrating another year of happiness. Sometimes those celebrations go until three in the morning and it is you and your grandma running the table at beer pong. If grandma wants to pong, are you really going to say no?! While we don’t want you to be weird this holiday season, we still don’t want you eating like an asshole.
Calling back to the best part about this season, be conversational during meals. When you’re talking you’re not chewing and/or swallowing. That means you’ll eat a bit slower, allowing your body time to signal when you’re full. Follow this rule and you can leave the stretchy pants at home this holiday. You’ll also avoid that post-meal insulin crash, giving you more time to connect with your friends and family. Two birds with one stone just by slowing down your eating.
Holiday Meal Time: Tell Me What to Eat
But what exactly should you be eating? Good question. The food names have changed, but the macros have stayed the same. Just know that there are going to likely be a lot of more MIXED macronutrient dishes. And all of those colorful veggies and fruits that are the cornerstone of our ROYGBIV micronutrient system are still there, they might just be dolled up a bit. The beauty of grilled chicken, broccoli with butter, and rice is that they are made up of distinct macronutrient and micronutrient sources. Now you’ve got delicious dishes, but you’ll just have to be more aware of what you’re eating.
Let’s be serious, we’re likely going to overload our plate the first time through the line. Once we sit down, how we attack the plate matters. We’re going to prioritize our plates in this order: veggies, proteins, carbs. Protein comes second because we don’t need to convince you to eat that meaty goodness, it’ll take care of itself. But eating our fibrous veggies earlier in the meal will help maintain satiety and ensure we get all the nutrients we need. Yes, the yams are delicious, so go get some…but don’t make them the centerpiece of the meal. Ideally, your meal would fall into those three categories but what if you want something to drink?
Your beverage choice often times is a source for added macros/calories. If you are drinking…whether it’s whole milk, egg nog, or an old fashioned…let’s go one-for-one. For every non-water drink you have, drink a glass of water or tea. This will help limit the number of calories you’re getting in liquid form as well as keep you hydrated as your digestive tract is probably going to be putting in a little extra work. The hydration will also come in handy when you’re trying to recover from the 2018 Family Beer Pong Championships. With your trophy in hand you will be able to put a full day of gloating in the next day because you successfully avoided the hangover everyone else is feeling from not going one-for-one. Winners win, you know?
Get back to it
And finally, when the festivities have come to a close, get back to the hustle. Your body is a temple and you gotta clean up after the party. Sometimes you need to hire a cleaning crew. We’ve got you covered, whether you need nutrition coaching or programming help. But act fast! Before you know it, the resolutionists will be coming so you’ve got to enjoy this time while you can.
John Welbourn is CEO of Power Athlete and Fuse Move. He is also creator of the online training phenomena, Johnnie WOD. He is a 9 year veteran of the NFL. John was drafted with the 97th pick in 1999 NFL Draft and went on to be a starter for the Philadelphia Eagles from 1999-2003, appearing in 3 NFC Championship games, and for starter for the Kansas City Chiefs from 2004-2007. In 2008, he played with the New England Patriots until an injury ended his season early with him retiring in 2009. Over the course of his career, John has started over 100 games and has 10 play-off appearances. He was a four year lettermen while playing football at the University of California at Berkeley. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in Rhetoric in 1998. John has worked with the MLB, NFL, NHL, Olympic athletes and Military. He travels the world lecturing on performance and nutrition for Power Athlete. You can catch up with John as his personal blog on training, food and life, Talk To Me Johnnie and at Power Athlete.
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