Tips to Avoid a Holiday Meltdown
1. Don't skip your workout! - If you are dedicated and motivated, you are probably on some sort of schedule with your exercising plan. Myself, for example, I get up early morning and do a workout 6 days a week, 5 of those days being before work. It is my daily routine now to get out of bed, hit the gym, then the shower and be on with my day. You may have a similar schedule, or not, who knows. The problem arises on holiday weekends when you may be off work, so your whole routine is disrupted. Chances are, you are going to skip your workout for other "stuff". Don't do that! No matter what your schedule is, make sure you plan to get your regularly schedule workout(s) in so that when you go to reach for that dessert later, you will remember the work you put in that day and either avoid or limit yourself.
2. Write down what you eat - This may seem far-fetched for some people, but there are individuals out there that journal everything that they eat to make sure their calorie and macronutrient scale is balanced. If you are one of those people who like to journal what you eat, keep at it and don't avoid writing down the "bad" stuff you indulge in just because you know you are cheating on your diet. Instead, write it down to remind yourself what you indulged in so that you have motivation for your next workout. For those of you who don't generally keep a food journal, I highly recommend writing things down for a holiday weekend. At the end of the day, brainstorm what you ate that day and write it all down. You may be surprised just how much you "indulged". If it was a lot, oh well, move on and use it as motivation.
3. Summer is around the corner - This is the time of year where people have either continued their New Year's resolutions or are starting up a new resolution to get ready for summer. Maybe you have a Wedding to attend and want to look good. Maybe you have a week-long vacation at a sunny destination and want to look good on the beach, who knows. But keep in mind that roughly every pound of body fat equals about 2500 calories of energy. Indulge too much on a holiday weekend such as this one, and it will take you a few weeks to work that extra poundage off!
4. Eat before you go - This is a great tip. Most party planners like to have finger foods and snacks that people will actually enjoy. There may be a veggie platter present, but chances are its the cheese balls and junk food that populate the snack table. Grab a snack on your way out the door to these events that is high in fiber, protein, healthy fats, or all three. Fiber, fat, and protein digests slower, keeping you feeling full for longer so that when you get to the party or dinner, you will be less likely to pig out!
5. Get the junk out - If you are planning on staying in or are hosting company, either limit your purchases of junk, or don't buy it at all! I know you want to have something that your guests will enjoy (refer to #4) but try and buy just enough so that when your guests leave, you are not left with too many leftovers. If you have junky foods in your house, you are going to find a reason that justifies you eating it. However, if its late at night and you have a craving for a snack before bed, chances are you aren't going to drive to the grocery store to pick up some cookies, so keep it out of the house and you will be less likely to reach for it.
6. Bring your own healthy snacks - Again in reference to #4, if you are going to a party/dinner that you know isn't going to have a large selection of healthy options, offer to bring some yourself. Even if nobody else wants any, you then have more for yourself to enjoy!
7. Don't fill your plate - More and more studies show that we like to, and have been trained to eat everything on our plates. We were taught this when we were younger, your mother would say, "There are starving kids in the world that would love those leftovers!" Although this is very true, you are better off not filling your plate and then eating everything on it, instead, take smaller portions of everything so that you can still enjoy all of the flavors, but at a greatly reduced calorie hit.
8. Don't beat yourself up - Many people are emotional eaters. So to come out of a long weekend after a lot of indulging and be mad at yourself for going overboard is a vicious cycle as you will end up being discouraged and potentially even fall off the wagon. You are better off fessing up to your overindulgence and use it as fuel to fire your motivation to get back to exercising the next day!
I hope these tips can help you on any holiday weekend. Remember that it is human to indulge every now and again, but don't go overboard.