Survival Guide to Holiday Eating

Welcome back fit family!I hope everyone is ready to kick off the holiday season because turkey day is just around the corner (tomorrow). I LOVE this time of year because I get to spend time with my family and eat an incredible amount of delicious food. Having been born and raised in North Carolina I can say my Thanksgivings are the epitome of home made southern cooking. This year I am helping my Nana prepare our Thanksgiving feast and a few items on the menu are turkey (of course), homemade stuffing, squash casserole, green beans, mashed potatoes, corn soufflé, and one of Nana's made from scratch pies. Doesn't that just make your mouth water...I cannot wait. With that being said, the holiday season is a time when we tend to take a few backwards steps from our fitness goals. It is easy to get wrapped up in all of the delicious food, drinks, and desserts and lose site of what we have been working so hard towards! Let me tell you what, it is possible to enjoy yourself and still continue working towards your lifestyle goals. Follow the simple guide below and work your way to a healthier and happier holiday season!


1. Don't Be Afraid to Make Two Plates

I bet you got excited when you saw this one. Have you ever heard of "your eyes are bigger than your stomach"? This saying definitely comes into play around the holidays. I know the second I set my eyes on the feast in front of me I am ready to go to town! I want double servings of everything, two plates? Yes please! But let's be honest here, after you finish those two plates full of food you are stuffed, tired, and maybe even have a stomach ache. So here is the key...eating two plates is totally ok! However, let's just start with one and then evaluate how hungry you actually are. Take one plate and fill it up with a little bit of each food you want. Rather than scooping a serving worth of mashed potatoes that could feed a small army, start with maybe a single scoop that takes up a small portion of your plate. Chances are after you eat your first plate and get a taste of all of the delicious foods, you will actually be more full than you think. Take some time, talk to the family, and if after a couple minutes if there are some foods you want seconds of, then girl you go get some!

2. Stay Hydrated

Chances are along with the yummy holiday foods, you may want to indulge in some holiday drinks. No worries, a glass of wine can really compliment the turkey, but be sure you are also drinking water! Keep a glass of water near by so that you can be sure you are drinking throughout the day. Staying hydrated will keep you full so you may not want to eat quite as many rolls or pieces of pie. Water will also help with digesting all of the goodies you are eating, we need to keep things know what I'm saying?

3. Don't Skip a Meal

I know you are thinking it...if I don't eat breakfast maybe this Thanksgiving dinner won't be as bad for me. WRONG! Skipping breakfast and lunch could lead to a massive over eating session...which leads to food guilt. Go ahead and eat your breakfast, have a light lunch, and know that your holiday meal is one to indulge in. If you eat ahead of time you will not be going into your holiday cheat meal like a ravenous monster, this will help you stay on track with your serving sizes. Indulge, enjoy yourself, but remember proportion size is key!

4. Get Back on Track

Go ahead and have a plan to get back on track after your holiday. A day worth of free eating is not going to kill you however, a free week can really set you back. Know that you have a day to enjoy yourself, but have some meals prepped and workouts ready so that after your day of eating you are ready to get back to it! Use all of those extra calories you consumed for good and go kick some butt in the gym!

5. Stick to One Leftover Meal a Day

I will be honest with you, one of my favorite parts about holiday meals is the leftovers. As a broke college student nothing is better than going back to school stocked with a months worth of homemade goodness. I would hope that you wouldn't let that leftover food go to waste (you can always send it my way). Here is how to manage those leftovers without going overboard. Stick to one meal a day of leftover food. Try to eat that meal before or after your workout because chances are it will be higher in carbohydrates and that is when your body will put them to the most use. Having one meal a day of leftovers is ok, but go ahead and get the rest of your diet on track and be sure you are getting all of the nutrients you need.

I hope these quick tips help you have a healthier and happier holiday season!

Sometimes the smallest things can make the biggest difference.