It's cold up in this neck of the woods. The Vikings are doing awesome may make it to the Superbowl getting some home field advantage this year. But like any seasoned Vikes fans, I will not get my hopes up too high and will try to remain cautiously optimistic. This is how I want you to think about your eating going into the holiday season.
The holidays are upon us. The two most dreaded for dieters are typically: Thanksgiving and Christmas. (I know some of you blow it on Halloween, Valentine's days, and others, so this article will still help you out.)
For some of you, it's going to completely derail your nutritional plan.
This is why I made this post to give you some assistance.
Tip #1: Have a nutritional plan in place BEFORE the holidays.
I don't really care what your nutritional plan is. It could be counting calories, Weight Watchers, or Precision Nutrition. However, you need to have something in place because if you get to the Holidays and don't have a plan, you won't make it. You don't even need to read the rest of this article if you don't have some structure you follow.
Take the 2004 USA Men's Basketball Team. They had unquestionably the top talent in the world. But, they hand't played together much, didn't have great strategy, and took home a bronze. A bronze is awesome, but seriously, with that talent? Sometimes, the world will surprise you if you aren't prepared, so be prepared!
Tip #2: Get full.
I want you to get filled up on the good stuff which includes water, protein, vegetables, and fruits. Anything that's remotely healthy, I want you to start eating this. If you let yourself get hungry, your finished. There are often too many snacks and crappy foods that it'll be nearly impossible to contain yourself if you get hungry.
My family can eat anywhere from 2 to 6pm. This is a huge window to get hungry in, and if I do, I'm going to begin to indulge on crap I don't really want. Stay stocked up on the good stuff!
Tip #3: Get in a workout.
If you can get in any kind of physical activity before the big meal (even like a long walk), you're going to be confident going into the holiday meal or meals.
Since you will have already built up some success for the day, you'll be less likely to say yes to crap foods when offered. And yes, you will be offered and have to say no. If that's too much for some of you to handle, you have boundary issues.
Tip #4: Don't stick around the crappy foods.
Watch out for the kitchen and the dining room table. You never know when a cookie will suddenly land in your mouth, taste so damn good, and then you are pretty much forced to eat it.
If you stick around areas where you can see crappy food for too long, this is what you're doing to yourself. Watch out and make sure where you're sitting or standing, there's no crappy food visible.
Tip #5: Get a teammate for support.
Whether it's a spouse, friend, family member, or whoever, you need to get some support. Maybe just as importantly, you need to give some support. You are a lot less likely to blow it if you can support someone else.
Most people really underestimate getting support too. Typically, if you fail, you will have realized you had no support, and potentially no real plan other than, "I'll say no to everything" which might not be realistic.
Tip #6: Don't sit too close to your drink or snack plate.
Being around family can be stressful. To combat this stress, people eat and drink. If we always have a plate or drink near us, we often eat and drink a lot more than we normally would.
This is why you need to sit at a distance that really makes you reach or get up to eat or drink. You'll think twice, and realize how much you are eating and drinking.
Tip #7: Get accountable.
I don't care whether you text out, tweet out, send a Facebook message, or whatever, but it's good to stay accountable. Express what you are going to have and what you won't have. Afterward, report back on it. Sending out the initial message and knowing you will report back will definitely give you a lot of support.
Those are my top seven tips to not gain weight over the holidays. I've failed during all the major holidays, so I know what it's like to blow it. Feel free to post your own tips below. Have some great holidays!