WOW!!! The holidays have arrived…Where did this year go? Wasn’t it 65 degrees a few days ago? With that being said, this is the time of year that we often throw the hard work we have done all year out the window and spastically indulge in all the goodies. You’ve earned it with all your hard work at CFH right? This year, stay focused on what you have accomplished and avoid the “Seasonal Seven”. The “Seasonal Seven” is the average weight gain between Thanksgiving and Christmas (not to be confused with the “Freshman Fifteen”). Don’t misunderstand, you can still enjoy yourself and partake in a few indulgences. The key is found in moderation. With a moderate approach to what you eat, you can avoid packing on any extra weight and also partake in all the festivities (easy on the Eggnog fellas).
The following are some keys points to follow:
1) Don’t go to Christmas parties hungry! Stay consistent with your Zone/Paleo meals throughout the day and make sure you have eaten before arriving to the party. If you are NOT following Zone or Paleo don’t make the mistake most do and starve yourself throughout the day thinking you can indulge in everything once you are at the party. NOT A GOOD PLAN!! Just make a point to eat nutritious food your entire day. A handful of almonds before the meal or party usually helps satiate the need to over indulge.
2) When at a party make healthy food choices first i.e. veggie sticks (yes, without the decadent Hidden Valley Ranch dip), fruit pieces, plain chicken pieces, etc. Then move onto some of the less healthy offerings. You will be less likely to over indulge on less healthy choices if you have filled yourself with the healthier items.
3) Don’t forget that water. Water is natures’ own appetite suppressant. Especially if you are consuming some festive holiday libations, maintain good water intake and stay hydrate. This can be hard when its cold outside and you don’t feel as thirsty as you are when you are being baked by the sun.
4) Avoid wasting (and I know I will get called names, have items thrown at me, but hear me out) calories on alcoholic beverages. The average alcoholic beverage contains 150 to 200 calories per glass. Indulge in just 2 to 3 drinks and you have the equivalent of one entire meal. WHEN you do partake in alcoholic beverages choose wisely, limit yourself and for those on Zone, count those drinks into your blocks.
5) If you must have that pumpkin pie (or make a Paleo compliant version here: compliments of Caveman Chef/CrossFit trainer Stefan Barr), eliminate some carbohydrates from your meal to make room for a little indulgence. While making certain your remaining carbohydrates are healthy ones.
Thinking ahead of time will help you make healthier choices. Enjoy yourself but don’t over indulge. One last thought, when over eating and maximizing splurging not only guarantees weight gain but also puts you at risk for a host of illnesses lurking around this time of year. Remember SUGAR is our enemy.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Please share your meal plans for the holidays, some ways you plan to indulge and some tactics you will use to remain focused on making healthier choices. For those of you about to complete the Lean Out Challenge, make the holidays an opportunity to share your fitness gains with your friends and family and stay on course.