Holidays are fast approaching. Thanksgiving is next week, Christmas music is being played on the radio, and the weather here in Charleston has NO clue what it wants to do.
It’s the time of year we are all beginning to think about where we started this year and how we’re going to approach these last few weeks before the new year!
The holidays are always a wonderful time, surrounded by friends, family, and people you care about, and make the most out of the time you have. Maybe you’re taking vacations and traveling and creating memories with the people you’re closest to.
Holidays can bring stress with them too. Especially if you are focusing on your nutrition and habits, the holidays aren’t the easiest to be “normal” with your day-to-day activities.
How can you navigate the season, and lean on some nutritional habits that you’ve built, but not punish yourself or miss out on the enjoyment this time of year brings?
I want to talk about navigating the holiday nutrition, how to keep moving toward your goals without feeling penalized for “dieting” during social gatherings, as well as on how to capitalize on the extra fuel you will be enjoying!
Going into the holidays cutting or restrict your intake
Going into this time of year, in a state of decreased intake, or working through a cut, you will be miserable. While many want to stay in a deficit, it's beneficial to consider taking some time intentionally out of that deficit as to not fight some of the impending season's demands.
In a deficit, especially one not as controlled, cravings are high, fatigue is increased, you might be more tired, and more willing to say “F*** it” when there’s pressure on you.
When you’re going to already want to feel included and want to share in having all the food as others around you, why do it at a time where you are trying to restrict yourself?
Not to mention the pressure or judgement you may receive from family members or friends during this time, “oh you’re on a diet?” or “why aren’t you eating?” These comments can be quite annoying, and not helpful for you.
Use the holidays as a time to maintain or even as a bulking period, and a break from your period of restriction, you will probably come out happier, feeling good, less stressed, and prepared for the future if you plan to cut after.
Be aware of macros
If you’re already tracking your food, and have been for a while, the holidays may be a great time to give up SOME control or take a step back from being very intentional with your tracking.
For example, if you are counting all your macros and calorie intake very closely, one thing you can do is just focus on having protein included in your day or just track that one macronutrient.
It’s very easy to under consume protein, and over consume carbohydrates and fats, picking that macronutrient to prioritize while at your family dinner can help you maintain a consistent habit of eating protein.
Tracking can help you remain flexible, and help you fit in your favorite treats into your day when you account for protein first.
Don’t punish yourself with exercise
This is a big on here!
You don’t need to “burn off” your extra food with exercise, plain and simple.
In fact, this is an amazing time to USE that additional food as a fuel source to build muscle and continue to create change from strength! Extra calories and strength training go together like peanut butter and jelly.
Exercise should not be a punishment, but a tool to let your body THRIVE from the extra fuel sources. Keeping up with strength training you might even be feeling better, and since you are getting stronger, you’ll be able to use those gains to help your training in the future!
Follow a plan
Any plan is better than no plan. Failure to plan is a plan to fail.
I am all about enjoying the time around the holidays, to not worry about what food you’re eating, and not have the additional stress of “dieting” during this time, and a couple of days will not hinder your progress, or work against you. But there is something to be said about a few days turning into a few weeks, Thanksgiving all the way to New Years.
Having a plan will help you from falling into a rut after the holidays, upset that you set yourself back. Although it’s not a great time to be restricting yourself, but there does likely need to be some self-control and restraint.
Saying yes to every opportunity to indulge in all the foods and treats, might not be the best idea if you are serious about long term goals.
Have some help being accountable
The holidays are hard enough, having some assistance and accountability throughout the season, could be the difference for you. If you are worried about holding yourself accountable, you can work with a coach and keep you working through your goals, and to help you when tough choices present themselves.
What tips are you keeping in mind during the holiday season? Message us and start a conversation!
If you want to work with a nutrition coach as the new year approaches, click here!
Resources and Coaching:
Online Coaching here.
[Free] Nutrition Guide here.
Recipe & Macro Guide here.