YOU WERE THINKING IT, WE SAID IT.
The Holidays are coming. Also referred to as "the most wonderful time of the year". However, for many of you who have been on track for months it can be a trying time. The stress can often derail newbies and cause even the pros to question intentions. We want you to be able to enjoy the holidays without having that major meltdown your Great Aunt Linda is depending on. So we present to you 5 tips to make it through with little to no harm on your progress.
1. EAT BEFORE FAMILY GET TOGETHERS
You're looking forward to seeing your family, well most of them. You are even more so looking forward to the food. That delicious comfort food with so much flavor. We think you should be looking forward to the food, BUT in moderation. Having three plates might taste good but won't leave you feeling too great mentally or physically.
Using the same philosophy as "don't go grocery shopping on an empty stomach", you are able to enjoy a smaller portion of these foods as you won't be starved by the time dinner is served. Also, that ensures that you get in one more clean meal before your ultimate cheat meal. We like to keep it high in protein and lower in carbs and fats since there is typically plenty of that at a feast.
2. TAKE A DISH...OR 5
You know that same Great Aunt waiting on your meltdown will also be expecting you to try her famous sweet potato casserole, heaven forbid you skip it. Most of the people you're enjoying the day with will have put in much time and effort to creating delicious dishes for the day, so grab a small spoonful portion of the ones that you are interested in. Then, take the larger portions from the dishes you have brought that suite your nutrition program.
By bringing your own dishes, you can eat those first to help with the hunger and then savor the smaller portions of everyone else's famous recipes. This will help you stay closer to your nutrition plan as well as not offend your family and start yet another fun filled argument.
Some examples of dishes or platters to take:
- Veggie Platter
- Fruit Platter
- Meat Tray
- Avocado Egg Salad
- Quinoa Dish (Get Creative)
- Balsamic Roasted Asparagus
- Tons more...just hit up GOOGLE!
3. TAKE YOUR OWN SNACKS
In most gatherings you end up going early before the meal and hanging out with friends and family, or staying around after the meal. Either situation typically leads to hunger at some point. When you start getting those hunger pains long before the food is supposed to be served or a few hours after the big meal you can just sneak off quietly to grab one of your packed snacks. Not only does this allow you to be more accountable for everything you're eating outside of the big meal, but will also help you from losing all self control during the meal...or avoiding the seconds.
You can chose to handle it how you please but we either like to bring enough of the snack to share with everyone or sneak off and eat it away from the judgy eyes...and god forbid the "what's wrong with our food?" questions. These are some tried and true snacks that we like to lean on:
- Homemade Protein Bars
- Homemade Protein Muffins
- Easy to Eat Fruits/Veggies
- Hard Boiled Eggs
4. HIT THE GYM BEFORE YOUR GATHERING
This one is important. Think of it as keeping you mentally on track for the entire weekend, and essentially the entire holiday season. By working out prior to your known cheat meal you will be eliminating the cultivation of crazy excuses after you have gotten to eat all of the goodness to be had.
The closer you are able to stay to your regular schedule during the holidays the higher the chances of you coming out relatively unscathed. By ensuring you get your workout in you are also more likely to stay on track the days immediately after your get togethers instead of letting a mishap derail your gains. We are aware that you may need some extra motivation to get your sweat session in on holidays so we have a few tips for you that may help.
- Make it a date. Invite a friend, spouse or relative to go with you. You are much less likely to miss showing up if someone else is counting on you.
- Pick your favorite workout to complete. We know you (should) usually have a schedule you stick to, but sometimes it is okay to break the rules. Rearrange your week so that the workout you look forward to the most falls on the holiday.
- If you are lifting weights that day, put in some extra time on the treadmill or elliptical post-workout to help your body prep for the upcoming meal.
- Make sure you have your headphones and music ready to go. This little detail can go a long way in getting you pumped and ready to hit the gym.
5. KEEP MOTIVATION CLOSE BY
Have a picture of your goal? Be it a body type, an athletic competition or just a personal goal of your own. Well if you don't have a picture, quote or something to remind you of your goals...GET ONE! Keep it near you: purse, pocket or phone. When you feel your mind start to justify things that you normally wouldn't pull out that picture to remind yourself of the end goal. Is a couple minutes worth of indulgence worth weeks or months of back tracking? NO. Remind yourself of the big picture and your goal to stay driven.
If you are an extra social butterfly, it may help to have a buddy system. Chose a family member or friend who supports you and your goals and have them help you stay accountable. This works for some, others it just ends up pissing off - so only do it if you know it will help.
There are several other ways to stay on track over the holidays but we kept the list relatively short and simple for you. Let us know what you are doing to steer clear of the gutter this holiday season!
NEED EXTRA MOTIVATION?
If you're looking for extra energy and motivation to hit the gym around the holidays... look no further. Check out our PINNACLE PRE-WORKOUT you won't have a problem. Plus you won't get any weird jitters or crash, just a good clean workout to keep you on pace.
Don't forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and keep up the awesome work!