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With the holidays a few days away, I know some of you might be stressing about what to do about your nutrition while still enjoying time with your family – and yes, it’s possible to do both! Here are a few tips to help you approach the weekend without feeling like you have completely lost control.

There is no right or wrong way to do things here. I think it depends completely on you, what your goals are and your timeline (if any). Just keep in mind, the longer you let the festivities drag on, the longer you might feel a little sluggish in your workouts just due to your body not being fuelled optimally.

If you are wanting to stick to your plan during the holidays, here are some tips:

  • Try to keep your breakfast/lunch the same as usual. Whether you track your food or not, “hoarding” calories (i.e. eating less early in the day to “save room” for a holiday meal) will most likely lead to loss of control at dinner.
  • When you’re building your plate, think about making sure half your plate is veggies, one third to one quarter is protein and then fill what’s left with the fun stuff like mashed potatoes & gravy and stuffing! If you’re hungry, you can always go back for seconds.
  • When the appetizers and desserts come out, put your serving onto a plate and walk away from the table. Personally, I like to pick my favourite desserts/appetizers and pass on the rest. If you want more, you will have to make the conscious choice to walk over and get a second serving. It is not your last opportunity to eat a chocolate chip cookie, but you might not see another butter tart for another 12 months.
  • Try to get back to your regular routine as soon as possible. Sometimes this means saying no to family offering leftovers for you to take home. If you know you won’t have any self-control with the leftover desserts in your freezer, don’t take them. If you typically come to the gym on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, just register for those classes and come to them. No matter how much food (or drink) you consumed. Be patient with yourself – your first workout may feel a little sluggish, but you’ll be back to feeling normal in no time.

Lastly, really try hard not feel guilt or shame for the choices you make. Don’t feel like you need to “burn off” the Christmas dainties or the mulled wine. The holidays are once a year, which means if you have 2-3 dinners, that is quite literally 0.27% of the meals you have in your entire year.  Remember, we come to the gym and work hard because we love our bodies and want to take care of them.

— Coach Roxanne