The DOs and Don'ts of Holiday Eating

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By: Coach Sammie

Over the last month, in almost every meeting I’ve had with a client, they have mentioned “the holidays”. Most of them (especially those with a weight loss goal) approach the holidays with anxiety, guilt, and the assumption that all the festivities will cause them to indulge and go off the rails. 

Isn’t it interesting that the holidays are meant to be a time filled with love, joy, etc.. yet we are over here worried that we are going to gain 20lbs in 2 weeks and totally ruin all of our hard earned progress.

I’d like to help you enjoy the holidays again. To look forward to the family, work, and friends events. To feel prepared and confident to get through them without totally falling off the track you have worked so hard to stay on the past months. So here are some DOs and DON’Ts to get you through the holidays.

  • DON’T - starve yourself before the event….. I mean does this even make sense? Think about it, you don’t eat anything all day so you can “prepare” to stuff your face at said event. Then you go WAY overboard, likely get sick, and feel like total crap the rest of the day/night. Not smart… and you’re likely to make way worse decisions when you choose your food.

  • DO - Make sure that your meals surrounding your “event or party” are NUTRIENT DENSE meals. Good source of protein, lots of yummy colorful veggies, healthy fats etc. Eat a healthy breakfast, eat a healthy lunch, make sure you get lots of water.. I promise you will feel better and make better decisions at your event.

  • DON’T - show up to the party with out a plan and just “wing it”. This is setting yourself up for disaster my friend. Fact: you are 1,000,000x more likely to make an unhealthy decision if you try to decide in the moment vs planning ahead. (ok so that stat is made up, but its pretty darn high)

  • DO - plan ahead… ex: if you have an idea of the foods that will be at the event (like thanksgiving - turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, etc), then plan ahead for what you want to have. Keep in mind your goals (weight loss etc) and try your best to be mindful when choosing the foods you want. Going in with a game plan will make it that much easier to make healthier decisions come game time because you have to put less thought into it. I really like to use this with regards to desserts. For example, my husbands aunt makes a gazillion yummy desserts for the holidays, but my all-time favorite is her Eclair Cake (yeah you heard me right), so rather than trying go decide between 20 different yummy things in the moment (which leads to me having 4-5 things), I know going in to the party that I’m going to have 1 piece of my favorite Eclair cake… and thats it.

  • DON’T - Over-indulge with alcohol. Listen, I’m a proud Irish woman and enjoy a cocktail now and again. However, I am also a full grown adult and take responsibility for the fact that if I choose to have SEVERAL cocktails, not only will I feel like garbage the next day but thats also a crap ton of excess calories I’m adding to my already not ideal day of eating. So, just be smart.

  • DO - Drink lots of water before, during, and after. Odds are the majority of the foods and beverages consumed around the holidays are heavy and full of sugar/sodium. This can leave us feeling swollen and dehydrated. Make sure you are drinking lots of water surrounding and during your festivities so you can stay hydrated.

  • DON’T - Take leftovers home. I know your grandma, aunt, mother, etc will likely already have a doggie bag ready for you. If you feel obligated to take something with you, my suggestion is you toss it out the moment you get home. Hopefully your grandma, aunt, mother isn’t reading this…if so, sorry grandma

  • DO - Enjoy yourself, the food you eat, and the company you are around, remembering that this one event won’t derail you since you’ve done an awesome job eating healthy foods before and after :)

I want you to enjoy your holidays this year. I also want you to accomplish your goals and stay on track. You’ve worked so hard this far in your journey. Be proud of that, stay committed to your goals, and PLAN AHEAD! I am here for you every step of the way so if you are feeling overwhelmed or unprepared for the holidays coming up, reach out. Let me know if you need help setting up a game plan :)