If you're like me, it's an annual challenge to nail your nutrition goals during holiday parties and the influx of holiday sweets. Believe me, the struggle is real. We're only human and we want to be social beings and indulge. I'm also going to tell you that indulging at parties and enjoying sweets is absolutely OK! It can, however, be the cause of unnecessary stress (like there's not enough of that during the holidays) and feelings of shame. To help, here are some of my personal tips that can help you calm your anxiety and keep you in the driver’s seat at your next holiday gathering. That way you can ENJOY the holidays and some treats, too!
Don’t Skip Meals In Preparation For The Holiday Party
Skipping meals, restricting calories or starving yourself during the day to lower your intake just so you can eat more at a party can leave you in the “Danger Zone”. #KennyLoggins
There is a high chance that you will OVER eat once you get your hands the party appetizers (bacon-wrapped anything, cookies, etc) and negate all the hunger pains you went through to get there. Add alcohol and lowered inhibitions and you'll likely make up for that deficit...and then some. The h-anger can be real.
Give the body its regular nutrient-packed meals and your brain won’t be clouded with hunger when you get the party. This will leave you feeling in control and able to make the best choices for your body.
Nutrient Rich Foods STILL Have Calories
Holiday parties usually have rows of buffet style food, or meals that are selected and paid for by someone else. These may include “healthier” options but that doesn’t mean we need to give ourselves the green light to load up our plate till it’s overflowing.
Select appropriate portion sizes for what your body needs and you won’t walk away from the table feeling as if you could burst. Instead you'll will sashay away from that table feeling satisfied and happy. I'm sure you'll feel better tomorrow, too.
Check out how to use your HAND to help with portion sizes: Precision Nutrition Hand Visuals
There Is NO Wagon.
Sometimes we indulge. Grandma's famous apple pie comes around once a year and no one is passing that up. And crazy amounts of baked goods in the office. The truth is….. you will be OK!
You didn’t fall off the nutrition wagon. #ThereIsNoWagon #Seriously #NoSuchThing
Just be aware of that extra baked goodie or glass of wine and ENJOY it! Savor it! Then move on. ENJOY the choices you make and realize that you're on track MOST of the time and that's what counts. Indulging here and there is just a drop in the bucket and won’t derail your life or fitness goals.
Note: There is also no need to throw all your hard work out the window and eat everything in sight. Just make good choices, you'll be just fine.
Swaps For the Win
Where we can get into trouble at a holiday party is we consume a larger amount of appetizers and drinks on top of our normal meal. Making food “swaps” is a great way to indulge in the things that matter the most to you. For example, if you're planning to have a few extra drinks, skip the cheese platter you keep eye-balling and go for an extra Sams. Or if you know you're going to get after that cheesecake everyone is talking about maybe skip the extra glass of wine with dinner.
With these “swaps” you can still enjoy the things you really want but you will stay on top of not crushing too many calories. This will leave you feeling full and satisfied without depriving yourself!
Instead of having both options, make a conscious calorie swap for a what you really want. The underlying message here is pay attention to what you're eating and drinking. It pays off so things don't get out of hand!
Wrapping It Up
Remember that being at these parties you are surrounded by friends and family that want to spend time with you. Enjoy these moments...savor them...it's not about the food it's about the company.
Precision Nutrition Certified Coach Lindsay is kicking off her next 8 Week AMPed Nutrition Group January 14th where you can find the accountability, knowledge and support to better understand your habits and start to make changes to become healthier and leaner. No restrictions. No meal plans. Just easy to implement habits that can change your life. Click HERE to learn more!
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