Eating well over the holidays can be difficult, especially when trying to lose weight or just maintain during this season of the year. We put together a healthy eating guide to help you through the Holidays!
- Decide what changes you will make in your diet, long-term. These changes must be realistic and you must be able to keep them forever. Examples of lifestyle diet changes: eliminate refined sugar, eat only whole foods, adhere to a Paleo diet, Zone Diet, Keto diet, or a mixture of all 3. Educate yourself on why these changes are important. What are the health benefits, what is the research behind it? The more knowledge you have on the why, the more successful you will be. Set some short term goals and long term goals for your health and nutrition plan. Try to get your spouse, significant other, or a friend to make these changes with you. If you can’t, book an appointment with me!
- Start reading. When you go to the grocery store, read the labels, ON EVERYTHING. If you don’t know what certain ingredients are, look them up. We all have a smartphone or a computer, ask Google. If the ingredients look questionable, they are. When all else fails, don’t even eat food with labels. Buy fresh, whole foods, as much as possible. Read nutrition books, read diet research, read food articles, read cookbooks, recipes, or cooking websites!! Recommended reading:
- Deep Nutrition, by Dr. Cate Shanahan
- The Fittest Book on Earth, by Ross Edgley
- CrossFit.com email of the day
- CrossFit Journal
- Traveling can be stressful and oftentimes we gain 5 pounds just from snacking in the car. Here are my travel tips:
- Eating fast food or gas station food should not be an option. Grocery shop and plan meals and snacks to take with you, for yourself and your family. Pre-portion your snacks into individual snack bags or containers. Make sure you measure out each serving, so you don’t end up eating the whole bag of nuts or jerky! Pack whole fruit and vegetables, nuts, seeds, and jerky. Pack your own protein bars or homemade treats. Make your own trail mix, muffins, bars, or cookies. Car food doesn’t have to equal soggie bologna sandwiches. Get creative! Think charcuterie on the go!
- If you didn’t blow your diet on the car ride, you might blow it once you get to your travel destination. Here are my vacation tips:
- You are going to eat out, you are on vacation. So, make smart choices. If you don’t care about breakfast, maybe you plan on intermittent fasting for 16 hours and you don’t eat until lunch. Stick to the salad menu, when possible, or meat and veggies. Don’t entertain the sandwich list or the dessert menu. If you know you have a special night out planned, save your splurge on dessert for that evening only. Don’t drink all day. Allow yourself one drink at one meal. Those calories add up after a week of over indulgence. Enjoy the local cuisine, more than likely, local restaurants will serve fresh, flavorful food and taste a lot better than any chain restaurant. Walk when you can, and drink a lot of water. You can still eat well and have fun on vacation without gaining 10 pounds. Remember your health and fitness goals, don’t negate all the hard work you’ve already done.
- Holidays with extended Family. You arrive at Grandma Betty’s house on Thanksgiving day and are greeted with a buffet of homemade, carb-laden side dishes and snacks. What do you do? Look for the colorful dishes. You have to eat. Try to stick with the green bean casserole, cranberries, and yams. Small portions are key, 1 small spoonful of these sides is plenty. Skip the rolls and pasta. Stick with the foods that were made with whole ingredients, beans, veggies, and potatoes. Decide which dessert you will have and only have 1 small piece. If you are really disciplined and don’t mind getting ridiculed by the rest of your family, pass on the dessert. If you know ahead of time you are walking into an unhealthy meal, offer to make your own side or dessert that adheres to your nutrition standards. This is how I have fought the diet struggle with my own family. I do the cooking so I know I am eating healthy and sugar free. Make sure you have worked out for the day, or worked out the day before. Holidays are good days to exercise intermittent fasting. You eat your last bit of food at 8 pm the night before and you get to have lunch at Grandma Betty’s at noon. As long as you fast for 16 hours you are golden. This will help bring your blood glucose levels to normal and ensure you don’t eat as many calories for the day, especially if you aren’t working out that day.
Enjoy the Holidays and enjoy knowing you aren’t going to gain any extra weight!!
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