Should you track your food during the holidays?
Updated: Dec 4, 2020
Tis the season of holiday eating, and in this email, we are going to give you strategies to help you keep your holiday meals under control., avoid the guilt and unnecessary weight gain.
But we still want you to eat, drink, and enjoy your time with friends & family.
These strategies are more to help ensure that you're not eating totally irresponsibly.
If you're someone who wants to...
a) continue making fat loss progress, or
b) avoid gaining fat
c) like a little structure and don't do well with the ..."just enjoy yourself" approach
Then keep reading
To track or not to track THAT is the question.
What we want to emphasize is that there is no wrong answer here.
Deciding what to do is more a matter of knowing yourself than trying to restrict yourself from learning how to enjoy your holidays without the guilt and stress.
So what feels better to you, gives you less anxiety, less overwhelm and more confidence that you can stick to your decision: tracking or not tracking? This is an opportunity for YOU to practice discernment.
If your answer is,"YES, I WANT TO TRACK"
I know that there's a lot of advice saying “relax it's one meal”.
First of all...in the history of relaxing....no one has ever relaxed by being told to "relax".
Secondly if you're a person that struggles with an all or nothing mindset, I got you. I know what that mindsets like....So I know not going in with some awareness could lead you down the rabbit hole and leave you elbow deep in pumpkin pie and stuffing for 4 days straight.
So, if that's YOU, let's meet you at where you're at, MAKE A GAME PLAN
Bring a dish yourself (don't worry if you don't have a recipe...we've got you) MAPLE MUSTARD BRUSSEL SPROUTS (hopefully you like brussels. I love them)
Know the host...do they eat healthy or no? If not you're going to want to layout a basic pre-plan of what you’re going to have.
BALLPARK MACROS OF FOODS YOU SEE DURING THE HOLIDAYS:
Turkey, dark meat with skin (2-3 slices) F18 P65
Turkey, white meat with skin (2-3 slices) F12 P65
NOTE: (subtract about 6f of fat without the skin)
Stuffing (1 cup) F18 C42 P2
Green bean casserole (⅓ cup) F9 C17 P3
Mashed potatoes (1 cup) F9 C35 P4
Gravy (¼ cup) F16 C8 P7
Cranberry sauce (1 slice) F0 C22 P1
Cornbread (1 3x3 piece) F5 C28 P4
Sweet potatoes with marshmallows (1 heaping scoop) F9 C132 P2
Pecan pie (1 slice) F27 C64 P1
Pumpkin pie (1 slice) F14 C41 P6
If your answer is, "NO, I DON'T WANT TO TRACK."
If you decide not to track, all good!
Maybe you only have 1 dinner to attend where as some people have a few. But you can still play it smart by having smaller portions, eat your protein and veggies first.
Taste (not a full portion) everything BUT....only eat what you really LOVE!
Stick to one plate!
This will also remove FOMO (fear of missing out). I'm serious. I use to feel like if I had one thing, I had to have everything and mean EVERYTHING and a lot of it.
If you're going to eat a holiday dinner....ENJOY it. But enjoying doesn't mean overkill. You won't gain fat if you just eat normally.
Research shows that for every 1000 calories you consume above your total daily calorie burn...the average person will only gain about 1/5 of a pound.
And yes..I know ....the scale. It may or may not go up.
But if it does...
You'll be just fine. Remember last year, it probably did the same thing.
It's pretty much all water and food, not fat.
Give it a few days to flush out and I bet you'll find you're be back down to the the same weight as you were before your big holiday meal.
So once again....one meal won’t wreck you physically...
but it can wreck you mentally...
IF YOU LET IT.
If one untracked meal typically turns into an untracked day...and then an untracked weekend.
Just get right back to it.
No matter what damage you think you've done.
Remember...we're playing the LONG game here!
What to do BEFORE, DURING, and AFTER your holiday meal(s).
Some of these strategies will work well for you; some may not. Use the ones that do and leave the rest. Just focus on doing your best.
BEFORE THE MEAL
1. We personally fast. But we practice this daily so if thanksgiving dinner is around 2pm I am good to go and won't eat until then. I don't suggest this if you've never fasted before as this could lead to overeating. If you want to know more about fasting and if it's right for you, email us back.
2. If you're eating later or don't practice fasting: have a light snack and or focus on protein and veggies until your dinner.
Light snack guidelines:
30-50g of protein
Stick to fruit, veggies, and or lean protein
3. Try and get a workout in beforehand. This will also help you avoid unnecessary snack when you're bored waiting to eat.
And no... you don't have to "earn" your holiday meal by working out first.
DURING THE MEAL
1. Did you decide on tracking or not tracking. Whatever you decided, remember, neither is wrong. Just stick to your decision.
2. Use the suggestion above and taste the foods you want and then have 1 PLATE OF FOOD. This can also be for dessert. Taste the desserts and pick the 1 you want the most or if you want a few different ones. Have a 1/4 serving the few you want. Let's practice being an adult here lol.
3. Protein & Veggies - fill half of your first plate with protein (turkey, ham, chicken, etc.) and veggies (salad, brussels, green beans,et.). This'll help you get and stay fuller longer than if you filled your entire plate with stuffing and mashed potatoes.
4. Wait 15-20 mins between plates to give your body a chance to send satiety signals to your brain. Let them communicate and see how full you are.
5. Alcohol.If you're drinking, choose wine or liquor + zero calorie mixers.
Alcohol Guidelines: Stick with 1-3 drinks tops.
AFTER THE MEAL:
1. Tell the host, "Thank You!" and offer to do the dishes or clean up.
2. Walk & Talk. Go take a long walk after you eat. It will help with digestion, burns some extra calories and just makes you feel better.
3. If you're the host try to give away as many leftovers as possible. It's rarely just the holiday meal that gets people into trouble. It's the mountain of leftovers they eat for weeks after!
4. If you don't plan on working out the day of your meal....hit up the gym the next day with a great strength training workout. You'll love the turkey pumps you get.
5. Get back at it.Don't let your holiday meal turn into weeks of overeating.
One meal won't derail you... A week of poor choices just might. Remember, you might not care about your choices when you over eat but you will care after.
Tracking isn’t just to make sure you don’t overeat, it’s also about making sure you get what you deserve!
Do that by following those small promises (decisions) you made to yourself.
Be deliberate about your choices...
decide to track or not to track and stick to it..
decide to not make it a 4 day event,
and decide to enjoy yourself and the Holiday and not just the food.
Hopefully, these strategies will help eliminate some of the anxiety and uncertainty you're having around your holiday eating.
Remember, although the food is good, but the real reason for the season is about spending time with the people you care about most.
Troy & Jasmine :)
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