Tips to Prevent Holiday Weight Gain
I do believe I had previously posted something on the topic of preventing holiday health havoc and holiday weight gain (weight is irrelevant but it gets people to pay attention unfortunately) or for a client whaaaatever, but here you go again! This was requested by someone new so a new post and new add ons it is. (Sorry for the different text but I copied and pasted part of this from my clients sheet to here and wrote the rest ON here :p)
At the end of the day, it is your overall regime that matters not just a day or two or even maybe a week :p so don’t stress about it and do enjoy because the benefits of laughing, fun and friends/family time, will far outweigh “damage” I promise you 😉 Balance and moderation sure, but if you have a goal, some sacrifices you just choose to make and that’s ok too!
Since the holidays are here again, here are some basic tips and GUIDElines that might help you maintain your goals while still enjoying your holiday festivities:
1. Look for grilled, baked, broiled or steamed avoid creamed, glazed, often sautéed
2. Tell them you are gluten intolerant/have gluten allergies so you would just like salad, various veggies and some unbreaded meat with any sauces just on the side to be safe. Always get sauces on the side so you can control the portion ie. 1-2 tbsp. and ideally avoid creamy sauces. I am not pushing the whole glute-free thing it is just easier to get less overall calories in this way.
3. Avoid the bread basket. Not because bread is “bad” but it is far to easy to overeat it because let’s face it, those bread baskets they bring are delicious! Than you might feel bloated and lethargic which really sucks 🙁
4. Soups and salads are great starters as they fill you up so you eat a bit less at dinner. Avoid creamy soups and sauces.
5. If at a “burger joint”, just ask for the burger on a lettuce bun (many places do this) or just ask for it without a bun and with a salad/veggies.
6. Don’t order caloric drinks. Have spa water or water with lemon or Perrier, teas, coffee but juices and such are just sugar in a glass that you don’t need and other drinks are just empty calories.
7. Ask how the food is prepared and again you can just say it is due to allergies or just a taste aversion/dislike. If it is prepared in heavy oil and salt just ask them for a lighter option by using words like those above.
8. For meats look for salmon, skinless chicken breast, turkey, flank steak or filet mignon.
9. For starchy carbs if you have them, look for baked potato, sweet potato, squash, steamed rice or quinoa, keep portions small ie. just eat half of what they serve and double up on the meat and veggies. A good guide for portions for women is two open hands for veggies, 1 fist size for starchy carbs (potatoe, rice etc), and a palm size for protein (fish, steak, tofu, chicken etc). Ideally when you are eating out it is best to just stick with a protein source and veggies especially if you have already had 2-3 carb servings already during the day. Just GUIDELINES 😉
10. If you are ravenous going in to the place, order an appetizer like a plate of grilled veggies or a chef salad (if you can get a little bit of protein and fat added to it like a hard boiled egg or small piece of chicken with a tsp of vinaigrette awesome!) to help subdue your hunger before you meal comes and your hunger hormones really tell you to devour your meal and than some.
When alcoholic drinks are in your plans, here are some tips:
1. Avoid fancy drinks and cocktails and go with basics like vodka and water, rum and diet coke, red wine (wine is high in health promoting flavanols and antioxidants which if you drink TOO much will eliminate that benefit but I digress) and don’t go overboard. If you do, just own it and get over it the next day by hitting the gym for some moderate cardio, hydrating yourself, and sticking to healthy nutrient dense eating. Because you are testing the gluten-free thing, avoiding beer and sticking with the basics above will help too 😉
2. Alcohol is basically 7 calories of emptiness and can negatively affect your muscle building, strength, fat loss and performance long term for many reasons. Just know that and also know that moderation in life is key so don’t stress too much about it but keep the above in mind and don’t get discouraged or down on yourself if you feel heavier, slower. Fat loss, muscle building, any of this all, is a life long thing so one weekend or even two out of a month, is not going to permanently destroy your goals. Just keep your eating in check and stay on top of your workouts. It is also a good idea if you know you are going to be drinking, to be more mindful on the surrounding days of keeping your carb intake to maybe 1 fistful of starch/fruit in the am or pre-workout. This may help to minimize your overall caloric intake without having to think about it. Focus on protein, veggies and a bit of healthy fats the rest of the time.
3. Doing a little extra activity when you know you are going to be adding extra empty calories can help to minimize fat loss damage. You may have some extra time right now so take advantage and try some new classes while also maintaining your lifting schedule. A lot of people like to do a pre-drinking-going-out-wanna-look-good workout, and that is an awesome idea. You will feel better and probably want to keep that feeling aka not drink too much because how good you look and feel from your workout, is far better than the feeling of getting sh*t faced 😉 You may just be so confident from your workout too that you pick up and get some action that night too and therefore are, without even thinking about it, doing even MORE extra activity 😉
4. Have only one drink per hour, for every drink you have have some water, and be sure to eat before going out not only to help decrease your chances of drunken stupordom, but also to help you from being ridiculously hungry and doing what just about everyone does after a night of drinking, eat a bunch of high fat, high sugar, high calorie foods. Even better is to stick a snack like a bar in your purse/jacket pocket (or fannypack, hey I don’t judge ;D ) to help manage your hunger for better decision making until you get home and can eat something better suited for your goals.
5. Sleep! The combination of alcohol and no sleep from a late night will whack out your hormones and will make you want to binge or just make poor decisions. Don’t over plan so you can chill out. You are on holidays so take advantage and catch up on sleep.
Again, I want to reiterate that these are just tips and guidelines. Do what is best for you and your goals whatever that means and while you can indulge here and there, your body, your life and your goals are ultimately up to you. Feel free to enjoy and just own it, or use some of these tips to help you on you quest. Regardless of the option, just be happy 🙂