Whatever you are celebrating this December, the holidays are a time to unwind, relax and catch up with family and friends. Thanks to 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 sky-rocket.
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!
Whether you're planning on tracking the entire meal, or using estimation, we hope these tips will help make things a bit easier.
Staying consistent is something we preach 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 the plan in advance of the meal is key, as you be deciding at a time when you are less likely to be influenced by others or the tempting environment.
Avoid skipping breakfast or lunch just so you can splurge at the holiday meal. Have a lean and protein rich breakfast and lunch, to help manage your hunger before the meal. You are more likely to meet your fat and carb goal but fall short on protein during holiday meals. Plus, if you go into the meal on an empty stomach, it will be hard to avoid being ravenous.
That’s what parties during the holidays are all about anyways, right? Enjoy the time you have with your family and friends, the conversations, and the time of year. The holidays are about quality time with the people you love – not stuffing your face.
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.
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 on the high fat and high carb options. High volume foods should still be priority.
Alcohol is its own macronutrient – it has 7 calories per gram. When we know the total calories of a drink, we can “pretend” that those calories are coming from carbs or fats – but it is more damage control than anything and we use the calculation to limit overall calories in attempt to balance things out. That’s the long winded way of saying, if you choose to drink alcohol, drink slowly and try to limit yourself to 1 or 2 drinks at most.
Don’t waste your macros on the things you don’t really love, same them for the things you DO! The holidays come around once a year, and we encourage you to have one 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? Have a small serving and treat it as a dessert.
What other strategies are you planning for the holidays? Share them below!