The holidays are a time spent with family and friends. Everyone seems to be for the most part in a better mood. The year is talked about in review and the next year and the plans for something better are usually discussed. One of the most important topics discussed is getting in good shape in the beginning of the year. A not so uncommon New Year’s resolution, right?
Also, not so uncommon is the setting for which these conversations take place: over a lot of food! Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve all provide their own damage when it comes to unhealthy food. This time of year is usually where good eating habits go to die and the plan to lose 20 pounds next year turns into 30 or 40 because we packed on a little more weight before we closed the year out.
Do not worry, there is hope.
This is not an article of scientific strategy or proven truths to avoid eating unhealthy food with family and friends. At the end of it all, through all the fitness hype and culture, our bodies someday will begin to fade. In that reality we still have to set time aside to enjoy life and focus on the things that truly matter, not making sure we hit our macros every day and keep our gym attendance up. You need to enjoy the holidays and the foods too!
This is where your discipline comes in.
Discipline is not just required to stay on a certain eating plan, but it is also required to venture off of one and not completely destroy what has been achieved (which is actually very hard to do). In reality, a piece of cake or pie is not going to cause your abs to vanish. The chocolate that seems to be never ending at get togethers will not destroy your “gains”. Everything can be consumed in moderation.
This takes true discipline.
It is when a person goes overboard and works themselves into new bad habits or in some cases, old bad habits they have worked so hard to get out of. Know your weaknesses and stay away from them! If you black out when you eat chocolate and wake up and kids are crying, and you have melted chocolate all over your face, stay away from it! Discipline is vital. Focus on protein based foods like meats and nuts to keep your appetite in check. The protein will help in tricking your brain that you are not that hungry, therefore not wanting to over indulge in foods that are not the greatest. Also, drink a lot of water as well. Foods around the holidays are packed with sodium which will get your thirst going so do not rely on sodas or alcohol to quench it. Make water your foundational drink and then enjoy a drink or two with family and friends.
As mentioned before, you cannot sleep on portion control. Many times, there are appetizer plates and main dish plates. Eat your food on the smaller appetizer plates so you keep your portions in check. The smaller plate will help once again in tricking the brain that it has plenty of food to eat (from a visual standpoint).
The holidays are a time to be enjoyed and spent with friends, family, and especially the less fortunate. Focusing on the splendors of this time of year should hold precedent over our fitness lives and goals, but in that mindset, it does not mean you still cannot be smart about what kind of food and how much of it you put in your body.