4 Ways to Approach Holiday Eating

Challenge: My holiday eating is out of control!

Reason You Give: “I can’t escape it!”

It’s that time of year….turkey roasting in the oven….the scent of rosemary and thyme floats through the air while the savory stuffing and sweet cranberry sauce absorb your stares. Soon your indulgence reaches maximum effort, and you’re ready to sleep off your food coma on the host’s hardwood floor. The official kickoff to 41 days of eating: An annual tradition of celebrating the best of life from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day!

While it is a time of celebration, it is also a time of stress for people who are interested in weight loss or maintaining their health. Although I believe that “if you do it, you should do it well”, you may not feel or look well if you do “it” for 40 nights. With this being said, here are 4 approaches to help you handle Thanksgiving and other festive eating holidays this fall and winter.

Establish a day-to-day routine, enjoy the holiday indulgence, and then return to your routine.

Personal Trainer Wisdom: Whether it’s a holiday or not, your indulgence, or cheat meal, truly needs to be an outlier. Why? You want a routine that is so impeccable and nutrient-dense perfect that a celebration won’t undo everything you worked hard for….it’ll just slightly skew it for the moment. If you find that the simplest smell of a pumpkin pie sends your weight through the ceiling without returning, you need to question your day-to-day approach (which means rethinking your daily meals). Ultimately, the routine you integrate before and after a holiday will determine how restrictive that holiday becomes. Take the time to establish an effective diet (normal way of eating) that meets your health goals and make the celebrations a small blip on the radar of health.

Set food rules.

Personal Trainer Wisdom: No matter how you spend the holidays you most likely will be enticed by the many belt-busting traditional dishes. While you can’t avoid it all, you can establish a framework to guide your choices. It will help you achieve bottom-line nutrition with each meal and the proper exchange system to manage holiday eating. Here are several rules to consider:

-Minimize the “Big 6”: Dairy, grains, alcohol, refined sugar, processed food, and meat. The combination and amount of each of these foods have played the biggest role in whether or not my personal training clients lost weight over the last 13 years. Choose the pastries with the least amount of sugar. Cut your portion of turkey in half and replace it with roasted vegetables. Eat half of the cheese that you normally select when drinking wine. Little changes can go along away!
-Fill half of every plate with vegetables.
-Drink a glass of water between each glass of alcohol.
-Precede each treat with a healthy option.

Bring two healthy dishes.

Personal Trainer Wisdom: Recently, my wife, Sammy, and I hosted a Friendsgiving (an early Thanksgiving party with friends). Although I have a dairy intolerance, our friend, Zelle, is allergic. We took special care to identify which dishes had butter, milk, and cheese. Funny enough, nearly half of the potluck dishes had fit this criterion (and were some of the favorites). Not taking any chances, Zelle typically brings a couple of dishes knowing most people’s habits. If you have a similar restriction or concern about the food at parties, take the same initiative. At the bare minimum, you’ll have a couple of dishes to choose from without feeling guilty.

Host the party and make the food.

Personal Trainer Wisdom: Don’t like what other people are serving at holiday parties? Host your own party then! There’s no better way to control the type of food being served. It’ll give you the chance to control every ingredient of your meal. You limit the temptation of another host’s treats and organize a party that supports your goals. If cooking is too much of a burden, cater from Whole Foods or ask guests to bring a specific dish (with your restrictions in mind).

Photo Credit:
trendsinusa .com–How will you approach this table over the holiday season?

Article Credit:
Author: Michael Moody Fitness
4 Ways to Approach Holiday Eating
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