7 Tips to Holiday Eating for Fitness

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Don’t let the holiday feasts set you back from your fitness goal. By using these 7 tips to healthy eating for fitness, you won’t have to miss out!

This is the most challenging time of the year for those fitness-minded people out there.  Holiday parties don’t have to be a reason to kiss your health and fitness goals goodbye.  Not only can you minimize the damage, but you can actually make progress toward those goals if you plan things right.  In order to do this, you need to carefully plan the days leading up to your holiday get-togethers and exercise a bit of discipline.

Here are 7 tips to help you through this time of the year:

Lower Carb Lead-in: The days leading up to Thanksgiving day are extremely important.  By lowering your carbohydrate intake significantly, you will prime the body to take advantage of the additional carb supply you may often encounter on the big gatherings.  The more you’re able to limit the carbs (3-5 days in advance), the better your body will respond to the sudden carb increase you might have.  Fitness competitors often do this to jump-start their metabolism.  I do caution you to be careful not to get carried away with this rare opportunity as it can be counterproductive if it’s abused.

Spike your activity level: Increase your physical activity so your body will utilize the additional calories.  If you just sit around, your body won’t be able to use the calories and they’ll end up storing (often times as fat). Get in the habit of exercising on a regular basis in order to speed up your metabolism.

Get in that H2O: Staying hydrated is very important in order to keep your body processing optimally.  Other benefits include: flushing out excess water and toxins. Plus, water will help keep you from over-eating when the big day gets here.

Pre-Feast Snack: If you know the food you’ll be encountering will be tempting and unhealthy, then you might think about having a healthy snack before you head to the party. This will actually help you from succumbing to the temptations and eating too much of the wrong things. You know what happens when you go grocery shopping hungry, just imagine what happens when you’re hungry and confronted with all that food.

Don’t be afraid to say NO: When it comes to your health and fitness goals, feel free to say NO to the dessert offerings during this time of year.  Anyone that knows you will know that your goal means more to you than the taste of something that will set you back. Believe it or not, whoever makes that pie has heard the words “no thank you” before.

Move around: A common practice around the holidays is to overeat and then lay around to let the food settle.  The best thing you can do is to get up and and go for a workout, or at the very least, take a walk.  Any type of activity will add to your calorie burning, which should elevate in order to counter the increase of calorie intake from the meal.  Another great way to make progress is to get a workout in before the feast begins.  Immediately following a workout (resistance/strength training workout), the body can be in a hyper-caloric burning state. There’s a better chance your body will be able to utilize the calories instead of store them.

Back on Track: Once the meal is over, get back to your plan.  This does NOT mean the next day – this means the next meal.  You don’t need to indulge for an entire day.  This is one of the major problem when you’re looking at how holidays set people back.  Think about how much more damage you can do when you over-consume for an entire day versus only one meal.  That’s easily 3X the damage (or more).  Use your self-discipline and your body will thank you for it in the long run. 

Nick Bolton can create a nutrition plan that will give you the tools to withstand the temptation of a holiday feast.

Click here to get started with Nick Bolton’s nutrition coaching in Kansas City.