Holiday Diet Tips
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Holidays are important. Holidays allow us to relax, forget about work for a few days, spend time with family and friends and help us to decompress. Holidays need to be enjoyed. However, we are aware that if you are trying to burn fat and get in shape, holidays can sometimes be a source of stress as opposed to a time of relaxation. This is extremely unfortunate. When holidays roll around, you need to be able to enjoy them. Life is about living. If you’re not enjoying your holidays then you’re missing out. To help ensure that you can experience a guilt free and stress free holiday, we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite holiday diet tips to help you stay on track with your fat loss without having to give up the enjoyment that comes with holidays.
Diet Tip #1: Bookend Fasting
Fasting is a great tool for fat loss and can also lead your way to a guilt free holiday. If you implement a 24 hour fast the day before and the day after your holiday, then you will more than make up for the excess calories you consume on the holiday. Since Thanksgiving is on Thursday, we’ll skip breakfast and lunch on Wednesday and eat a normal dinner Wednesday night. Then we’ll enjoy all of the Thanksgiving food we want on Thursday (because why would you deny yourself any of the amazing food prepared for Thanksgiving!!!). Then we’ll skip breakfast and lunch again on Friday and eat some leftovers for dinner. By bookend fasting we consume approximately 800 calories on Wednesday and 800 calories on Friday. Even if we consumed 4,000 calories on Thanksgiving Day, the three day average would be 1,867 calories. This is about maintenance level for us. We’ve managed to enjoy our holiday guilt free without gaining an ounce.
Diet Tip #2: Drink Water Before You Eat
If you drink two glasses of water right before you sit down to eat you’ll end up feeling fuller sooner. You can still enjoy all of the great food in front of you, but you won’t be tempted to go get that third plate of sweet potatoes since your stomach will be screaming at you that there is no more room for food.
Diet Tip #3: Share a plate
If you have a significant other with you during the holiday suggest that you share a plate of food. People that share a plate of food tend to eat slower which gives your body more time to realize that it has had enough food. This also helps prevent the ‘eyes bigger than the stomach’ phenomenon. Even if you scooped as much mashed potatoes as your eyes wanted, sharing that heaping pile of potato will ensure that you only eat as much as your stomach needed.
Diet Tip #4: Boxing Day
We think it is extremely unfortunate that Americans do not celebrate Boxing Day the day after Christmas. In fact, we think that the day after every holiday should be Boxing Day. The tradition of this holiday is that the day after Christmas people would box up all of their leftovers and give them away to the less fortunate. This is an extremely generous act that has many merits, one of them being that it helps you from getting fat! One of the most dangerous aspects of holiday food is that there are always leftovers! We allow ourselves to enjoy grandma’s apple pie because we are celebrating a holiday, but then when grandma sends you home with the leftover pie we end up allowing ourselves to eat it for an entire week as opposed to just that one day. However, if you practice Boxing Day after every holiday, then you’ll get rid of all of the extra calories that don’t fit into your diet plan and you’re better able to get right back into your diet plan.
Diet Tip #5: Add Length to Your Workouts
Leading up to a holiday you may want to consider adding a little more time to your workouts. You don’t have to add hours to the gym. Find a high intensity activity that you can do for 20 minutes in addition to your regular routine. After lifting weights, hit the treadmill for 20 minutes of steady state cardio. Or, if you had a morning workout session, throw in a 20 minutes jump rope HIIT routine in the afternoon.
Throw in a workout the morning of the holiday. Exercise alone will not make up for a 4,000 calorie day, but it will help reduce your total caloric intake for the day and, maybe more importantly, it will probably ease your mind a bit. Knowing that we’ve already gotten a killer workout in that day usually helps us stress a little less about letting go and enjoying all of the great holiday food.
And of course, immediately following the holiday you need to get right back into your regular diet and exercise routine to ensure that the weight continues to fall off.
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