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The holidays. What happens during the most wonderful time of the year?
No, not presents.
No, not the travel.
Alright, not the in-laws either.
WE HAVE FOOD. LOTS OF FOOD.
And with that food, we overeat.
We’ve got snack foods, a plethora of decadent desserts, candy, binge-worthy meals, booze, sugary-booze, gifted foods, food all over the office, holiday-edition temptations, and a full fridge of leftovers.
Am I gonna eat? Lol, yeahhhh! Of course, it’s not the holidays without my granny’s rolls and hiding half-moon cookies in my secret storage bin so my daughters can’t find it. I say that, because I’m not some fitness professional who’s showing up to a holiday dinner with a protein shake and a pissy face.
I’m here to put your focus lens on and guide you through. I teach sustainability, and excluding yourself isn’t sustainable. We learn food, we learn ourselves, and we act accordingly.
This is how to make the encroaching holidays work, enjoy ourselves, but not destroy 2k21’s progress at the snack bowl at work.
Avoiding Overeating 101:
- Have a plan – what’s the plan from now until the end of the year? Likely not cutting, or being in a calorie deficit, right? It’s probably not the most optimal time of year for that. Know your plan. Are you trying to maintain, and just progress your strength and gym performance? Are we bulking? Actively trying to eat a bit above maintenance and build muscle? There’s levels to this; from “idk,” to “I’m staying around maintenance.” To “I’m going to be in a slight surplus and average 150g of protein daily and 2500 calories as a daily average through the weekdays, and up to 2850 on the weekends.” The more specific the map, the less going off course, and better chance of reaching the destination. If we’re bulking, and actively trying to eat to gain, we have to remember consistency, training, and food quality. It’s hard to maintain an appetite in a bulk, so it’s easy to go off course and binge a bit because “I’m bulking.” Then be robbed of an appetite the ensuing days. Stay on track!
- No mindless eating – this time of year is the time of year for eating and not really knowing you’re eating. It’s like sleepwalking to the kitchen. When food is being cooked, and the aromas float through the house and all you want to do is snack and taste and nibble, just know that you’re still eating. You’re still consuming, you’re still intaking calories (a unit of energy). Excess calories (energy), becomes stored (fat). There’s snacks and holiday foods at work, candy to gobble up with the kids, leftovers to be had in front of the TV, and divine dishes to pick on every time you pass through the kitchen. You can be eating and be distracted with work, buying gifts, sales, or holiday netflixing. When you eat, eat. Know that you’re eating, and you’ll be much more aware of your hunger/satiation levels, and you’ll be able to accurately track (if you’re doing so) or account for what you’ve eaten. This is too underrated not just this time of year, but in general!
- Boundaries – put yellow tape up. This is where knowing yourself and having the awareness to think proactively is immensely important. What triggers you? For example, I place boundaries on myself when social drinking is involved this time of the year. I know, and have noticed on numerous occasions that when I get a little holiday-buzz going that my inhibitions are through the floor and I have a staggeringly high chance at eating all of your snacks, and dipping those snacks in something quite strange. That’s the case for a lot of people, so create a boundary. It could also be family events. For many it’s hard to “say no” around their loved ones. If you’ve got an aunt that likes to harass you because you don’t have 11 plates, and beg her for more of her mac and cheese, let her know you eat to feel good, not to feel stuffed. There’s no glory in engorging. Put up the boundary, and stick to it. The more consistent we become with setting boundaries and keeping to them, the more we can trust ourselves and build our sense of discipline and self belief.
Thanks for reading, as always! Don’t hesitate to reach out for anything!