Fit for the Holidays: Nutrition
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Ahhh food, when it comes to the holiday season most of my thoughts turn to food. You too? 😉 Staying fit for the holidays via your nutrition is easier than you think.
Now I don’t want you thinking you can’t indulge now and then, because I highly recommend you do. It’s important to keep in mind the 80/20 rule: 80% of the time you eat as per your clean eating diet plan and 20% of the time…you don’t. This is the exact “system” I use and not only does it keep me on track, it keeps my nutrition balanced as well.
Life’s for living, not dieting. In fact, the word “diet” connotes visions of deprivation, rabbit food and crankiness, doesn’t it? NO THANKS! I am giving you permission right now to stop dieting immediately. Losing weight and getting healthy (which is primarily what this whole website focuses on) is not about dieting, but about finding a way of living that makes sense to you, in a healthier way. That is what a Clean Eating Lifestyle is.
When it comes to food, I want you to celebrate – but with control! These simple tips will make sure your nutrition doesn’t suffer, while still enjoying your meals and snacks.
Go Ahead and Snack
Speaking of snacks, keep plenty of easy and healthy snacks on hand. Fill your pantry with unsweetened nut butters (I just love this one), unsalted almonds or cashews, whole grain crackers and quality protein powder. Don’t forget grab and go snacks like string cheese, apples, bananas and trail mix.
Keep these nutritious snacks strategically placed in your purse, car glove-box, office desk, coat pockets, diaper and gym bags. That way, when the munchies strike (and they will), you will have healthy and quick options to choose from, instead of hitting up the local coffee house for a donut or muffin (hello unhealthy calorie bombs).
Having good snacks close by to nosh on every few hours will keep you from reaching for holiday goodies that, when added up over time, can pack on the pounds. Keep nutrition in mind when you do opt for snacks on the fly.
Hydrate for Energy
Chug-a-lug more water. Seriously, go and grab a water bottle right now and start drinking. Ok, maybe that was more for me as I find my water intake dwindles a lot this time of year. Who wants to drink cold water when it is freezing outside, amIright? 😉
Hydration will not only keep you fuller longer, it will also help to flush out your system and boost your energy levels too. Feeling sluggish from the holiday dinner party you attended last night? Flush it out with water! Blinding hangover headache from one to many cocktails at the office Xmas party over the weekend? Water! Water! Water!!!!
Ideally, you should be drinking 1/2 your body weight in ounces of pure water daily. No, those “vitamin” waters don’t count. In fact, toss ’em as they are filled with unwanted sugars and chemicals (seriously, read the label and you will see what I mean). There is absolutely zero nutrition in those “fake” waters.
If you find you can’t drink cold water when it is cold outside, drink room temp water. My mom keeps her Brita water filter-jug-thing on her kitchen counter as she is not a cold water fan, either.
Plain water too boring for you? Add some berries (frozen works great in a pinch), lemon or lime slices, cucumber slices or even fresh herbs like rosemary or mint. No more excuses about not drinking your water, ok? You need it!
Stay Away from Processed Carbs
Foods like pasta, cookies, bread, cakes, and crackers that contain enriched flour and process sugar are the biggest culprits. Almost everything in a package contains sugar and/or sodium as preservatives, and that is so bad for our bodies. Processed foods contain contain almost no nutrition. Think whole, fresh foods first!
A lot of peeps bake with ingredients that contain saturated fats, simple sugars and chemical bad guys. Just this morning when I was scrolling through my Instagram feed I noticed one of my clients posted a picture with all her baking ingredients. Right smack in the middle of the picture was high fructose corn syrup, one of the unhealthiest food offenders on the planet. There are plenty of healthier options for home baking (like brown sugar for instance — not exactly healthy per se, but waaaay healthier than corn syrup), so look for recipes that contain those ingredient options when baking your own holiday goodies.
The most important part of this whole Survival Guide is one thing: your health. If you are sick, tired or sick and tired, you are less apt to enjoy your holidays and I really want you to have fun this year.
Sometimes that means saying “no” when we want to say “yes”. Other times we do get to spoil ourselves a little. The key is to find balance: if you indulged yesterday, don’t indulge today. Or skip two days between indulges.
Food does not define you. It is what gives us energy and stamina.
If you like feeling sluggish with lots of brain fog and little patience, then by all means, keep eating crap. But if I know you girl, and I think I do, you just want to be happy, contented and healthy this holiday season. And quite frankly, you deserve that.
These are the reasons why putting the gingerbread cookie back is a better idea than having “just one more”. It’s the reason why “volunteering” to be the Designated Driver (so you will have an excuse not to drink when the boss wants to have “just one shot for the road” with you) is a great plan.
Don’t get hung up if you went a little too far, just acknowledge it and move on to your next healthy meal. Tossing in the towel because you messed up doesn’t make you a bad person. You are only human and it’s a-ok! Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, be kind to yourself (laugh it off, maybe) and get back on the Clean Eating wagon. There will always be a spot for you there.
Let me know if any of the tips in this blog post, or any part of the TPS Fit Holiday Fitness Survival Guide helped by leaving me a comment below. I’d love to know what your wins and struggles are; I’m happy to help you out.