Navigating the Holidays
When the holiday season hits I often hear people say “I’m just going to try and survive the holidays. I will start a new plan the first of the year” or “how many cheat meals can I have”. Looking at the holidays like this is often a recipe for disaster.
The people who safely navigate trough the holidays don’t miss a beat with their normal routine. Their workouts progress as usual and their eating, though slightly relaxed (with SMART moderation) at times, remains relatively the same. These people consistently progress, have great results and truly change their lives long term.
Those who look at “surviving” the holidays will often restrict themselves and jump into crazy workout routines just so they can justify extra calories for a “cheat” meal or day. If you constantly restrict yourself there will be breaking point and a binge is usually right around the corner.
Let’s look at the holidays a little differently. It’s a great time of year to sit back, enjoy friends, family and celebrate. Let go of survival mode, stress and anxiety and safely navigate the holidays. To some that is easier said than done so I put together some simple navigation tips for you to utilize this year.
These are simple tips but they are not easy. You will need to show some focus and will power. Your safe navigation during this time of year will take some thought, preparation and work. Your focus is to keep your weekly caloric surplus in line with your goals.
Here are a few navigation tips to help you this year.
Obstacle: There is so much good food during this time of year. I only see it once a year
Navigation Strategy: Control your environment. Do not go to work, parties or family functions hungry. Plan a meal or snack before the event so your blood glucose levels are balance and you feel satisfied. Doing this helps curb binges and feelings of guilt. Have a good time, keep your portions under control and eat the foods you love. Doing this will keep your brain happy and the scale in check.
Obstacle: The neighbors brought treats and they look DELICIOUS!
Navigation Strategy: Don’t put the treats on the table and try to out will power the temptation. Have one and enjoy it, just don’t eat the whole plate. You are not giving up or going off your plan you are being a human. If the treats are too good for you to control yourself have one then throw them out. I have a long time client who makes the best peppermint brownies on the planet. She makes a really nice basket each year for me and my family and in the center are her famous brownies. I eat them and they are fantastic! I don’t eat them all in one sitting. I simply have one here and there. This takes tremendous will power. Stay focused and keep your caloric surplus in check.
Obstacle: There are too many parties. I can’t possibly stay on plan.
Navigation Strategy: Each week look at your schedule and plan your nutrition for the week. Pay close attention to the party and plan that days meal plan carefully. If it is a dinner party simply schedule the party as your dinner meal and set the timing of your other meals and snack accordingly. If it’s a snack or cocktail party plan your dinner before you go so you feel satisfied and your blood glucose levels are under control. See the pattern here? SIMPLE!
Obstacle: I’m not going to eat all day so I can save my calories for the party.
Navigation Strategy: If only our bodies worked this way. I hear this one a lot and it drives me crazy. Remember, your week and success depends upon your caloric surplus. Your body can only process a certain amount of calories per feeding. If you consume too many in one sitting your energy stores start to overflow and you have to store those extra calories someplace and that’s usually your saddle bags. Plus recent research has shown that starving yourself leads to binges, feelings of guilt and in many cases depression. Control your daly caloric intake and timing and you will stay on track.
These are only a few tips but as you can see the goal remains the same across the board.
Have a great holiday season with your friends and family. Go to parties and have a great time. Enjoy the foods you love.
Control your environment. Stay focused and keep your caloric surplus under control and you will head into January on track and mentally ready to put the hammer down.
Let me know your obstacles and let’s navigate them together.
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