This article is being written during the Christmas season, and you know what that means — ham, turkey and a variety of foods customary to your culture. Around the world, there are other festivals that encourage those who celebrate to engorge themselves on a multitude of dishes such as Thanksgiving and Divali. How do you get through it all without shooting your diet to hell? Here are a few helpful tips.
Eat before you go. If you are going to visit friends and family, it would be impolite to walk with your own food, so try to eat something that fits in with your diet before you get there. Of course, for the sake of etiquette, still accept a small serving of whatever food they’re offering, but since you won’t be hungry when you get there, you’ll be less likely to overdo it at the table.
Plan your workout beforehand. One day of unhealthy eating won’t kill you. However, if you know that, for that one day or month (let’s hope it doesn’t get to that), you will be eating more than usual, figure out a workout plan that will help you to slightly balance off that meal (or those meals).
Welcome your cheat days. Limit off-diet eating to cheat days. This doesn’t have to be the same day(s) every week, but if you know that you have two cheat days per week, save your celebration food for those two days and keep it together for the rest of the week.
Count calories. This is a bit extreme, but it definitely works. Figure out the average caloric values (as well as the macronutrient breakdown) of the typical foods eaten during the specific festival and how much of these foods you need to meet your goals. When you eat (at home or out), try to limit yourself to the quantities you’ve worked out before so that you never get off of your target.
Trick your stomach. As with normal nutritional advice, eat lots of fibre, have a dose of healthy fats and drink a lot of water to ensure that you feel full faster and stay feeling full for longer. This would make sure that you don’t end up eating more than you should.
So, with that, here’s to having a safe, enjoyable and healthy Christmas/Thanksgiving/Divali/any festival. Good luck!