Diet damage control tips for the holidays and festive season
Stick with the 80/20 principle:
During the festive season, stick with the 80/20 rule. I personally live by this principle. Perfection is not necessary when you have consistently overall in your life. If you are making the right choices the majority of the time, this allows you to live a balanced lifestyle and enjoy treats as well, especially during a time like Christmas.
Stay active & keep moving even if you aren’t fitting in consistent training sessions:
Even if you aren’t training during the holidays, take the opportunity to be active outdoors. Soak in some vitamin D and make it fun. Going for walks, going to the beach, hiking, etc will also do you good and give you the opportunity to spend time with your friends and family outdoors.
And of course try to sneak a workout in wherever you can. Don’t be hesitant to break a sweat and do some quick intervals or a body weight workout if you can’t get a full session in. Even 15 minutes is better than nothing.
Load up on salad & veggies:
Veggies fill you up, and you can eat a ton without blowing your diet. If you’re attending a Christmas dinner or get-together, bring salads & vegetables and eat it heaps of that first. After that, go to the protein sources. This at least gives you a fighting chance at not ingesting 10,000 calories in one night 😉 You can focus making really festive salads too. Rather than serving your protein (steak, chicken, prawns, tofu, etc) with bread or potatos, opt for a generous serving of a fancy salad.
Create a calorie or macro buffer during the day:
One of my all time favourite tips is to save the bulk of your calories for your big meal, i.e. Christmas lunch or dinner. You can do this with macros too. For example, if you are a carb-rich dinner, you could save most of your carbs for dinner, and stay with protein and good fats the rest of the day.
Take advantage of all the fresh produce at this time of year:
The abundance of fresh produce at the supermarket this time of year (In Australia) means you have access to a massive range of fresh, wholefoods, bright juicy fruit and veggies. This means that you can serve up your friends and family meals and snacks that are wholefoods-based rather than processed and packaged.
Eat before you go to events:
This will stop you from snacking the entire time, and ensure you’re getting the right nutrition your body deserves. It will also help with those cravings! One of my favourite tips I tell clients is to have a protein shake before leaving the house. This curbs your appetite before you hit the Christmas brunch or eat out, it keeps your protein intake up, and it’ll minimise overeating.
Be smart with your alcohol choices:
For those who are looking for better options of alcoholic beverages, be conscious of the mixers you choose to mix your alcohol with. Choose soda water or water with squeezes of lime or lemon rather than soft drink. Choose your own squeezed juice over concentrated, store bought juice & choose spirits that aren’t creamy. (i.e. vodka over baileys). And of course it goes without saying but avoid binge drinking.
Relax and enjoy yourself
Festive occasions are supposed to be fun, happy times, and you should be able to enjoy yourself and not worry about calories and macros etc. If you are being consistent year round then why should you deprive yourself? Allow yourself to enjoy treats, but just keep a handle on things & don’t overeat. Christmas time shouldn’t be seen as an opportunity to binge but I think it’s important to let your hair down a bit and enjoy life as well. I know I will be 😉
you can find out more about what Libby does and her 12 week Challenges at www.eatercise.com.au