It’s almost the Christmas holidays and for most of us, that means eating a lot of food followed by weight gain and a New Year’s resolution to lose the weight again.
But why not be pro-active and take a healthier approach to what we eat during holiday season? Having a healthy nutrition regimen is a big part of being an athlete. Do we stop being healthy and athletic just because it’s Christmas?
Here are some things to watch out for when sitting at the dinner table with your friends and family:
Control portions. You don’t have to deprive yourself. But if you know you are invited to 2-4 dinner events, try having smaller portions of your favorite foods over the course of these events.
Eat when you’re hungry. Just because you are invited doesn’t mean you have to eat everything that’s on the table. Don’t eat just because food is available. Eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full.
Plan. If you know you are going to eat a lot at dinner, try having smaller meals for breakfast and lunch. Or, if you are afraid to over-indulge at dinner, eat a small snack an hour before (an apple for example) so you don’t arrive starving.
Slow down. Enjoy each bite, take your time and don’t forget to interact with the people around you. It’s not JUST about the food (I know that’s hard to understand for someone who works out a lot). A friend of mine once said: The only cardio most people should do is put their fork down more often. I find this pretty accurate!
Keep a food log. This is an effective approach in general when it comes to eating healthy. But while we tend to eat the same 5-6 meals (for example chicken and rice, eggs with toast, protein smoothie, etc.) in a regular week, our nutrition can be off during holiday season. You can keep an overview of what you’ve been eating if you write everything down, i.e. stay on top of your nutrition game, making sure you’re getting the right amount of macros.