Happy Thanksgiving everyone! As we enter the holiday season, many people fall into subtle trap of meals, potlucks, parties, and gatherings. With so many opportunities to pig out in such a short time frame (roughly 2 months…3 if you add in the candy from Halloween), it’s no wonder that gym memberships skyrocket January 1st.
What’s a guy to do?
Well have no fear. I have some tips to survive the holiday season with minimal belly bulging (please note that if you’re trying to look like Santa Clause for Christmas, you might just skip over this post).
- Skip the breads: That’s right, skip the rolls, biscuits, stuffing, breakfast pastries, etc. They’re all empty calories that are high carb bombs.
- Avoid the dessert table: Again, these are more carb bombs that will leave you sleepy and jiggly.
- Eat high protein foods: Double up on the turkey/ham servings. This will keep you full longer and won’t give you the insulin crash that other foods will.
- Eat a salad: Eating a large salad at the beginning of your meal will fill up space in your stomach so you’re less likely to overdo it with the less-than-healthy food choices.
- Drink water: Like eating a salad, this fills up space. Plus, water’s good for you regardless the situation!
- Say no to booze: More empty calories.
- Make smart food switches: Instead of mashed potatoes, try a baked sweet potato.
- Take a walk: Even if you can’t make it to the gym, you can take a walk outside after you eat your meal. This will promote digestion and help with burning off some of that huge meal you just ate. Resist the urge to take a nap on the couch!
- Skip a meal: If you know you’re going to be eating a ton of food on Thanksgiving/Christmas day, plan to skip dinner the day before and/or breakfast the day after. This will help offset the number of calories you’ve eaten. Intermittent fasting baby!
SO what am I doing on thanksgiving?
I won’t lie, I’m pigging out. I won’t be intentionally following ANY of these rules.
What, Jacob? ! How can you be so hypocritical?
I’m not. One, I’m not worried about gaining weight. I eat right and exercise regularly. One or 2 days of pigging out isn’t going to kill me. Second, these are isolated instances. If I were to be attending many, MANY functions where food was present, I would have to be more strict with my rules. That being said, I have Thanksgiving day, a work event later in December, and Christmas day. 3 days of gluttony will not even slow me down. Finally, I’m not training for anything specific so I don’t need to closely monitor my weight. If I was competing in a Taekwondo tournament (or a bodybuilding competition) on January 1st, then I might have to pass on the Christmas cookies.
It’s all about YOUR situation. If you’re not worried about weight gain, screw the rules! Enjoy yourself. However, if you ARE worried about weight gain or have a big event coming up where you need to be fit and trim, these rules will help you eat to your heart’s content while minimizing the adverse effects of doing so.
Enjoy the holiday season and if you don’t hear from me before then…
Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!