The holiday season is truly a battle, but instead of being SCARED… let’s be PREPARED!
You need to accept that it’s ok to TREAT yourself in moderation because the holidays are the time to enjoy the foods you don’t typically have throughout the year.
Well you might be asking, “How do I enjoy the meal without feeling guilty?”
There are several ways you can do this:
1️⃣ – Choose low volume foods leading up to the feast
2️⃣ – Eat Lean before the big affair
3️⃣ – Incorporate Fasting
4️⃣ – Moderate your Alcohol
5️⃣ – Implement a Strategy
6️⃣ – Work for your meal (optional)
1. Choose low-volume foods.
Starting TODAY, focus on consuming foods that are lighter on calories BUT still plenty of nutrients and fiber to keep you satisfied.
Proteins: Organic or pastured chicken, grass fed beef, wild alaskan salmon or collagen, bone broth and plant-based protein powders
Veggies: plentiful amounts any organic leafy greens and colorful & fibrous veggies
spinach, romaine, kale, arugula, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, broccoli, mushrooms, peppers, asparagus, zucchini
Fruit: small amounts of fibrous fruit
strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, watermelon, grapefruit, mango, apples, etc.
Keep meals as simple and clean as you can. But do not starve yourself! If you try to limit your overall food intake, you won’t have as much willpower to control your urges on Turkey day. We don’t want you taking a nosedive into every single dish.
Why go low-volume?
You are basically rolling over all the extra calories you would normally consume through the week into one day. So think of it like consolidating your calories for the big feast.
Come Turkey day, your body will possibly use the extra calories as a reset from going low volume all week. So it’s a good shock to the system.
2. Eat a lean meal before the BIG meal.
This method applies to those who normally eat breakfast or for those who celebrate Thanksgiving at dinner time.
Similar to the low-volume approach I mentioned before, that’s how you want to treat your 1st meal.
If you’re family likes to make a decadent breakfast, opt for a simple omelet loaded with veggies or a nourishing green smoothie.
Or if you’re family likes to serve snacks and appetizers leading up to the big meal, just make yourself a plate that has mostly protein and veggies.
Do your best not to start your day with carbs or sugar, bc that will leave you craving them all day.
Eating a balanced meal will likely prevent you from going into the meal STARVING and possibly making some bad decisions because you’re hangry.
3. Incorporate Intermittent Fasting
***Let me put out a disclaimer here: Fasting is not for everyone.
It is extreme in nature, and if you are on any type of medication or already have trouble getting in enough food, please proceed with caution.
This is something my husband and I practice every every year. We plan Our Thanksgiving meal to be ready around 4 pm so we will fast until then. And it honestly just makes our day so much easier because we dont have to prepare as much food! Simplifies our day.
Now before you say “we’re crazy” for fasting that long, hold on a minute.
Think about this: If you can fast through the night, you can fast through the day. The difference is, during the day you are tempted with food! And when you’re sleeping, you’ve got zero distractions.
So you’re body is fully capable of fasting without problem, it’s just more of mental game.
We also have fast intermittently on a regular basis, so this is extremely easy for us.
Additional Fasting Tips:
If you are having multiple “feasts”, try to spread them out to where you have at least 3 to 4 hours between meals. This will allow for proper digestion. The longer you wait between meals, the better. It will allow your insulin to return to its resting state. Avoid snacking in between as much as possible.
Once you have begun feasting, try to keep you eating window with one hour. Chew slowly and enjoy your foods.
After all festivities have ended, aim to hit a at least a 12-hour fasting window through the next morning. Trust me when I say that most can handle a 16-hr fasting window after EVERYTHING you consumed the night of. Just drink water to combat the false hunger pangs.
Fasting is a simple and FREE cleanse. Allow your digestion a break from all the work you put it through.
Pro-Tip: You’d definitely benefit from abstaining from alcohol and sweets starting today or tomorrow.
I know this may seem difficult, but you’re kind of shooting yourself in the foot every time you consume alcohol. Remember, every time you take a sip of alcohol your body immediately stops the fat burning process just so it can the process alcohol. And sugar will just wreak havoc on your gut.
Try to give your liver and gut a break for a little bit so it isn’t already overworked by the time Thanksgiving comes around.
Choose clean-crafted and organic wines. Did you know that mass-produced wines contain over 250 additives & chemicals. AND there is added sugars (the reason why we get headaches). So if you care about what goes in your body, choose wisely.
Fast-forward to the day of – keep in mind that if you drink alcohol WITH your big meal, you may be more likely to store the food as fat because your body will try to metabolize the alcohol first leaving everything else to be stored as FAT. Your best bet is to drink your beverage as an appetizer and not with food. Or maybe even after the meal as your dessert. Ideally, separate your food and alcohol.
Treat alcohol as a dessert. Imagine that 1 glass of wine equals to one slice of pie.
Be mindful of your serving sizes for desserts. Keep reading!
5. Strategy: How to tackle the feast itself.
Understand that most will benefit from sticking to just a few items vs. a little bit of everything.
Your brain, your eyes and senses are all stimulated by color and taste and smell. So if you pile on multiple sides, you will likely want more! But if you stick to just 3-4 main items and pack on more them, your senses will adjust and you will be less likely to over-indulge.
#1 – Load your plate with proteins. If you eat your proteins first, this will help fill you up!
Serving size: 1 to 2 palms. If you have are fasted (2 to 3 palms). Proteins include turkey, ham, tofurkey.
#2 – Add them veggies! Go for anything that might have a vegetable in it, that hopefully means more fiber to keep you full
Serving size: a couple of handfuls. Just be mindful of the additional fats and carbs packed into the veggies (i.e. creamed spinach).
Veggies include anything on a fresh veggie tray, green bean casserole, roasted beets, brussel sprouts, roasted carrots
#3 – Find your favorite carb-based side like sweet potato casserole, mac & cheese, cornbread.
Serving size: 1 fist to start. If you absolutely have to have another serving of your grandma’s homemade cornbread, KEEP IN MIND that you still have dessert to look forward to.
A “healthy” plate should have 3-4 items to start. Eat slowly and just enjoy everything. Don’t just inhale them like a vacuum. So chew your food and let your digestion and brain catch up to the amount of food that you’re putting in.
#4 – Say Yes to Dessert. So often we place holiday sweets on the “DO NOT TOUCH” list and this is why most people lose it. Instead of potentially paving the way for overindulging, allow yourself a serving of pie or eat your favorite cookie. Don’t be hard on yourself and remember that you can healthfully indulge.
Serving size: ONE fist size piece of your favorite dessert. And folks, allow yourself another serving if you really want it! You can always get back on track.
Another way to stop yourself from overindulging is to try to drink a little bit of water after, and that will kick your fullness into full effect.
6. Work for your meal – optional.
I have placed this last for good reason. Sometimes you just need to give yourself a complete break in order to enjoy this occasion with family and friends. Give yourself a day to focus on others and to be thankful for what you have. Remember Thanksgiving is one day a year and your health isn’t made or broken in one day.
Buttttt, for my gym-junkies with flexible family time: Be strategic and save time by performing larger lower body compound movements like squats, deadlifts, hip thrusts and lunges. You will incinerate calories therefore allowing cushion for big feast with ZERO guilt!
🔑 To sum it up, try NOT to eat like a crazed lunatic. Enjoy everything about this holiday in moderation. Also, refrain from stepping on the scale the day after Thanksgiving or for at least a couple of days. You will be retaining water and that will mentally throw your game off. That excess water WILL come off in just a few days as long as you get back on your game and restore you normal healthy habits.