As the holiday season approaches there is endless outings with friends, family and co workers. If we are trying to lose weight or gain muscle this can be a time of stress; because we have two choose between two things; enjoying the food and drinks of the holiday season or sitting on the couch with Linda the vegan and the rest of the gang for enjoying the pleasures of the holiday season. Of course keeping your goals and where you want to be in mind during the holidays is important but so is enjoying what the season has to offer without feeling stressed out or guilty. Over the course of this blog we will look into 3 key strategies that will allow you to enjoy the food you love while still staying right on track with your future goals. You ready? Let's go.
Strategy Numero Uno
A nice and easy way to enjoy the foods you love well not completely blowing your macronutrient intake is to employ intermittent fasting for the month of december. Intermittent fasting entails only eating during a certain window. Since most holiday get together are between the hours of 5-12pm this can be a great way to set yourself up for success. Let's assume you have a big family dinner at 5pm and you can't wait to dive into a big ol plate of turkey and mashed potatoes followed by some home made pie.. What could be better? Instead of stressing and worrying about it simply fast. Wake up at your normal time, drink as much water as you want, drink a few coffees, even throw some MCT oil into your coffee to hold off the hunger This guy here makes a great MCT Oil. just before leaving for dinner have a quick 10-15 minute workout; push ups, burpees, chin ups, kettlebell swings, whatever you have at your disposal use it. Now you go to dinner ready able to consume all of your macronutrients within the time frame of the dinner and you are also extremely insulin sensitive because by working out you have stimulated GLUT4 transporters to head to the membrane. Bam no more stress eat what you like and enjoy the night with friends and family.
Strategy Number Two
Another great strategy for avoiding holiday food stress is to plan when you are going out with friends and family well in advance. Being able to look at your calendar and know exactly when you will be out with friends and family allows you to plan your macronutrient intake accordingly. If you know you have two dinners during a given week in december let's assume wednesday and saturday you have dinners. You can plan for overeating during these two meals by eating a bit of a deficit during the other days of the week; let's assume you want to eat an excess of 1000 calories between the two dinners; all you have to do is find a way to decrease your weekly caloric intake by 1000 calories on the days you aren't at a dinner. This doesn't mean dropping your calories by 1000 each day it means eating at a 200 calorie deficit on the 5 days you aren't at a christmas dinner. This leads to a decrease of 1000 calories well your dinners lead to a surplus of 1000 calories leaving your energy balance even for the week. Take a look at this macronutrient calculator.
Strategy Number 3
Strategy 3 isn't a strategy but just a personal opinion. The holiday season is such an amazing and beautiful time, and the people who surround us during this time may not be here the next time everyone is together. I think the most important strategy for the holiday season is to enjoy every minute and take your foot off of the gas a bit. Having some meals you normally wouldn't is not the end of the world at the end of the day the memories and bonds you forge over those meals will mean so much to you later in life. Enjoy the Holiday season, be present and appreciate those around you and never say no to a piece of home cooked pie from Grandma. Cheers.