The holidays are approaching and in a flash the buffet tables will be filled with special meals and family traditions. Many of these traditional meals are a memory in life’s great photo album and should never be squandered but equally must be addressed from a dietary perspective of a dedicated athlete.
First and foremost, one day of excessive amounts of food will not ruin your life and set you on a tailspin. Relax, enjoy another serving of ‘who pudding’ and enjoy the moments with those you love the most.
That said, there a few ‘tactics’ to ensure the many thousands of calories are not problematic and potentially help fuel your training efforts.
- Drink more water: I cannot express how few consume sufficient amounts of water despite its enormous importance in all factors of health and obvious physical development. Drink more water during the day as well as before and with all meals.
- Slow down at the table: If you do not allow yourself time to properly chew and digest your meal the nutrient value plummets.
- Take smaller proportions. Let’s be honest, most males will over indulge on the holidays when presented with a recipe that reminds them of their youth. If you have a smaller proportion and eat slower, it is less likely you will gorge yourself completely.
- Holiday dietary traditions should not be ‘empty calories’ of processed foods, low quality carbohydrates or refined sugars. Indulge but not in unhealthy ingredients.
- Eliminate diet ‘soft drinks’. Despite being ‘sugar free’, diet drinks are extremely problematic as artificial sweeteners, beyond health concerns, lend to an increased appetite.
- ‘Fat free’ commercial desserts invariably lead to a higher fat content. Avoid.
- Avoid commercial 'Fat-Free' salad dressings. Avoid commercial salad dressings that are advertised as 'fat free' as they are a typically contain high fructose corn syrup or other questionable ingredients. Substitute with olive oil and vinegar.
- Add more protein. Ensure your meal is balanced and if needed, add a protein shake an hour before your meal.
- Stem alcohol consumption. There is a vast difference between ‘holiday cheer’ and ruining over indulgence.
- Go for a walk after eating or stay active, meaning do not turn the holidays into a ‘shopping and television watching marathon’. Make plans to be active, whether home based training or sledding in the new fallen snow but simply, ‘participate’ in healthy physical activities.
Finally enjoy your holiday meal, indulge in your family traditions and build great memories of life.
Prepared by John Davies
The information provided in ‘Instant Training Improvement Tips’, as well as this web-site blog is intended for informational and educational purposes only and should it be interpreted as medical advice for any condition. Always consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program. By reading this disclaimer, you hereby agree and understand that the information provided in this column is not medical advice and relying upon it shall be done at your sole risk