Build a Better Plate
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It’s holiday time up here in Canada, and even though I personally don’t celebrate Christmas, I do celebrate all the yummy eats this time of year brings! Just today for instance, I indulged in two cranberry shortbread cookies hehe 😉 Maybe that is not how to build a better plate lol
But there is a difference between indulging a little, and getting completely carried away. You don’t want to sacrifice all the hard work, sweat (and sometimes) tears you put in all year long, for a measly plate (or two or ten) of food. Remember, food is fuel, not a reward. Girl, you aren’t a doggie so stop rewarding yourself with food (topic for another blog post).
Today I want to delve a little further into how to keep your gains (or losses!) while still enjoying granny’s family gathering. Here’s how to build a better plate (and not gain weight!) and keep your Christmas meal planning on point!
First, let’s look at our options:
This is the standard Holiday dinner menu, perhaps yours varies a bit depending where you live. But, you get the jist of it, right? So many choices!
To build a better plate, the key is to pick and choose and save the biggest calorie bombs to your absolute fave dish. For me, it’s hands down my mom’s stuffing. I mean, I could make a meal alone just from her stuffing!
So now that you know what your options are, here are the guidelines to building your plate.
This is a marathon, not a race. Keep in mind if you have multiple family dinner obligations this year, don’t go overboard with every dinner just because you can. Make wise decisions!
Eat your normal meals throughout the day.
Don’t skip any meals because you are saving up for the big meal at dinner time. First of all, this puts your body into a temporary starvation mode, and you’ll have zero willpower when it comes to filling your plate properly.
Secondly, your energy will surely crash and that could lead to the grumpies. No one wants a grumpy Gus at the holiday dinner table, so for heaven’s sake, eat your normal breakfast, lunch and snacks. You will need this food for the next point, anyways.
Stick to your workout schedule.
Or, if this is your scheduled day off, switch it. If possible, make sure to make your workout a strength training one. This way, even if you do overeat, your body will store the excess calories as energy, not fat.
Keep some digestive enzymes on hand.
Sometimes there is some ingredient in Auntie Hannah’s cooking that always makes you burp. Or maybe cousin Laura forgot you are gluten free and added plain flour to the apples instead of coconut flour before adding them in the pie. Either way, it’s always a good idea to come prepared.
I always pop a bottle of my enzymes in my purse before going out to any dinner just to be safe. You can take them after a meal (which is what I do cuz I am so forgetful) but it is best to take them beforehand.
The most important thing to remember in all of this is…you are only human. Don’t beat yourself up if you did really well and skipped the dessert line at your office shin-dig but totes blew it at the cocktail bar.
Find your balance (no granny, I don’t want a 2nd piece of pie) and keep practicing. I now can ace a family dinner (being gluten and lactose intolerant as well as having IBS does help sometimes haha) and not feel guilty when I do indulge. I also don’t feel bad when I say NO. It did take me some time to get to this place and lots of trial and error.
Making clean eating my lifestyle not a diet was the clincher for me. Just like you, I have bad days (did I mention the 2 cranberry shortbread cookies) but for the most part, I don’t have a problem making healthier choices. I know how sluggish and just plain ugh I will feel if I overindulge and I also know that food doesn’t define me. It’s a part of my life, but it’s not my entire life.
Practice makes perfect! Keep at it, dust yourself when you fall down and remember…you are worth the work it takes to get (and stay) healthy!