The holidays are a time to unwind, relax, and catch up with family and friends. But, because of the multitude of social events at this time of year, higher-calorie foods and extra temptations are more readily available than usual, and calorie consumption can easily skyrocket.

So, how do you maintain your macros and healthy eating habits during a holiday party or family feast? The emphasis, like flexible dieting in general, is on moderation!

Quick Holiday Health Tips for Macro Trackers

Whether you're planning on tracking the entire meal, or using estimation, we hope these tips will help make things a bit easier.

  1. Plan Ahead

    "Consistency over perfection" is a mindset and mantra we encourage our clients to focus on all year long, and the holidays are a time to put everything you’ve learned to the test. Make a plan with your coach before the holidays so you can approach each meal with that plan in mind. Making your plan in advance of the meal is key—it allows you to make these choices before tempting treats may change your mind.

  2. Don’t arrive on an empty stomach

    Avoid skipping breakfast or lunch just so you can splurge on a holiday meal. Have a protein- and veggie-rich breakfast and lunch to help manage your hunger before the meal. If you go into the meal on an empty stomach, it will be hard to avoid being ravenous.

  3. Focus on the people, not on the food

    Enjoy the time you have with your family and friends, the conversations, and the time of year. Avoid conversing over the appetizer table, and if you want to mindlessly crunch, stick to veggies and save denser treats for when you can be more present with your plate.

  4. Use your hands

    If busting out the pocket scale at the dinner table is not your cup of tea, familiarize yourself with the estimations using your hand, palm, and fingertips. Estimating is always better than the “screw it, I might as well go overboard” attitude. You’d be surprised how precise you can be by estimating. Even if you've chosen not to track macros during a meal, sticking to familiar portions still goes a long way.

  5. Double up on the greens

    Prioritize foods that you know easily fit your macros. Fill your plate with non-starchy veggies and meat first; then, if you go for seconds, you will be less likely to indulge in the high-fat and high-carb options. High-volume foods should be a priority.

  6. Make alcohol rules

    Alcohol is its own macronutrient—it has 7 calories per gram. (Learn how to track it correctly here!) If you choose to drink alcohol, drink slowly and aim to stick with 1-3 drinks. Drink a non-alcohol option between beverages, and don't be afraid to get creative with adding seltzer to wine or water to whisky to make your drinks last a little longer.

  7. Leave room for your favorite treats

    Don’t waste your macros on the things you don’t really love—save them for your favorites. The holidays come around once a year, and we encourage you to have some of grandma’s famous holiday cookies but avoid mindlessly snacking on high-fat or high-carb treats that aren’t special to this time of year. Love egg-nog? Enjoy! 

Additional Holiday Resources from WAG