Every holiday season is usually the time where people let loose, expecting to have to work that little bit harder in the New Years (along with 99% of the population). We are loaded with temptations and you’re right it is hard to stay on track, but seeing how much progress you have made and how motivational that was, it isn’t impossible to continue on, make more progress and still enjoy the holiday season.
For those of you who are in competition prep, remembering that your goals are key to staying focused and on track, but there are still ways to have your pie and eat it too. By having a game plan going in, you will be less stressed and not so worried about the food you are consuming, allowing you to spend more time with your friends and family!
- Plan your day
Planning the majority of your day out in advance can keep you focused. Most of the enjoyable foods will be loaded with carbs and fats, so if you know the goodies you are really going to enjoy (roast potatoes, chocolate etc) then allowing for them will actually make you enjoy them more, while keeping your macros in check. Without tracking you will likely under-estimate your food for the day and over-eat, taking you further away from your goals.
- Water and veggies
These two are your friends when it comes to feeling full and not over-eating. Before your meals, drink 500ml water and start with the veggies first. Eat slow and chew your food as this will send signals letting you know when you are full (this takes around 20 minutes), it also allows for you to be more social as you won’t be as involved with chomping down your food.
- Don’t waste calories on snacks
Snacking is the quickest way to over consume calories, especially when nuts and chocolate are involved. I suggest having good quality, low calories snacks and then focus on bigger more enjoyable meals, a great example for Christmas day is to have a large brunch and dinner meals. Then try and get some good protein rich snacks/shakes in for those on contest prep who need reach macro ranges. For those who are mainly focused on fat loss goals, I would save those calories for your bigger meals where you can have some extra treats or dessert.
– protein pancakes
– salad with tuna
– cottage cheese & berries
– protein shake
- Borrow macros
One way to look at your macros is the average spread across the whole week, rather than each day (remembers it’s what we do over the long term that counts), if you were to remove some fats and carbs on Christmas eve and eat them on Christmas day, we still consumed the same amount throughout the week. For example if I am on 200p | 200c | 50f each day and I wanted to have 200p | 100c | 30f on Christmas eve I would be left with 200p | 300c | 70f on Christmas day, which will allow you more of those enjoyable foods to eat. I would always suggest keeping protein constant when using this approach.
I think the biggest thing to remember is that this is a time you need to enjoy, you will be with friends and family whom you may not have seen for a while and that you want to cherish these memories. By planning your day in advance you can stay on track without letting stress get the best of you. Be present, have fun and enjoy this time!
Get a workout in first thing in the day, go for a long walk before or after your dinner meal, this will allow for you to at least burn some extra calories that day!
That is it, simple, whatever happens during this time with some proper planning I bet you feel way less guilty. It’s always good to remember that everything doesn’t always have to be perfect, but reducing the stress during these key social times is key to staying on track and motivated long term.
You don’t need the excuse of “it’s OK, I’ll work it off in the New Year“, put things in place to stay ahead of your goals and remember enjoy the time with your friends and family!