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  • Writer's pictureAnastasia Lowe

All I want for Christmas is a d*mn cookie: How to indulge + maintain your GAINS during the holidays

I am going to keep it real: I am NOT about that diet life during the holidays. Being crazy restrictive during the holiday season is a fantastic way to drum up some good old fashioned resentment, hanger, and frustration. These feelings lead to what I like to call a “YOLO day” (or days), in which you eat like a 16-year old linebacker at an all-you-can-eat buffet.

What I AM about is eating in a way that fuels your body, provides energy and supports a positive mindset that will allow you to enjoy the season with your loved ones. This also means, NOT eating like a 16-year old linebacker at an all-you-can-eat buffet.

How do you enjoy the holidays and maintain your health + fitness? Below are three of my favorite, no-stress tips:

1. Indulge in the food you WANT, instead of whatever food is dropped in front of you.

Have you ever popped a couple handfuls of Hershey’s Kisses at a holiday party, then suddenly been hit with one of the following realizations: “These don’t really taste good.” “I need to get some real food.” “I don’t really even like these.” This is mindless eating, and it hits extra hard during the holidays. There are treats and candies everywhere, so it is easy to just zone out and grab whatever comes our way. Too often we eat food just because it is there, not because we even want it. Instead, this year I challenge you to indulge in the things you WANT and DESIRE; I’m talking about the once a year things you truly look forward to like your Grandma’s pecan pie or Dad’s mac and cheese or Reese’s Trees (Can I get an AMEN for Reese’s Trees??). Those little tasteless Hershey’s kisses thrown into a holiday themed bowl? Yah, maybe skip those. Stale cookies that come in a tin? Maybe give those a hard pass this season. Instant hot cocoa that never even dissolves? Just say no!

2. Make H2O your Christmas Crush.

I see it across the board with my clients, the temps drop and so does their water consumption. Even though you may not FEEL thirsty, you still need to be drinking plenty of H2O to support your body’s processes. Further, all of the rich, sodium and sugar laden holiday foods will throw a serious wrench in your hydration game. If your water intake is consistently low, be prepared for a little extra bloating and puffiness. Proper water intake varies depending on your size and activity level, but a good general place to start is with the eight-8 ounce glasses of water daily (also known as the 8x8 rule). If you maintain a habitually clean, whole food diet, drinking enough water could be a serious game changer, as your body is especially unaccustomed to the rollercoaster salt + sugar high.

3. Do what you can!

Avoid the “all-or-nothing approach” in your fitness and nutrition routine during the holidays. Too often people assume they have to be absolutely perfect or do nothing at all (e.g., you can either track your macros and turn away EVERY SINGLE CRUMB of holiday deliciousness, or you can abandon counting calories altogether from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve). Do not fall into this mental trap, perfectionism is unrealistic and unnecessary. Do your best with what you have, maintain your regular fitness and nutrition routine when possible. Missing ONE training session is not an excuse to skip the whole week. In the same way, eating a big, delicious, indulgent holiday dinner is not a reason to abandon all of your nutrition goals. Give yourself a break, do what you can.

If you need help tackling you holiday nutrition or setting goals for the new year, I would love to help. Shoot on over to the contact tab and send me a message!


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