We all want to know how to eat over the festive season and still keep your results and enjoy yourself. We will show you how to not splurge and still be on track.
Eating Over The Festive Season – Best Of Intentions
Firstly it is reasonable to suggest that you don’t want to blow all of the good results you have achieved. Dropping fat and building muscle is not an easy process.
Time and effort has a fantastic way of increasing our motivation and momentum towards really positive changes. However, human nature dictates that what should be small hiccups or interruptions can snowball into knocking us right off-track.
Over the festive season there are numerous social events and family occasions that are important to us and damn fun. Typically these events all involve lots of wonderful food, alcohol and little treats to be had by all. Depending on where we are in our journey these situations can really derails our nutrition for weeks at a time.
As a result we can look at eating over the festive season as a game. In this game we don’t have to be perfect we just have to do our best.
Let’s check out some of the easy tips you can apply
How To Eat Over The Festive Season
Plan Ahead For The Big Events
The first thing I want you to do is control what you can control right away. Take our your calendar and actually plan ahead the events that are super important to you.
I know for myself Christmas Day and Boxing Day will be times that I will treat myself. Leading up to these events it will be a good option to
- Track my food – My Fitness Pal is always my favourite tracking tool
- Eat fewer calories leading up to the event
In between events you go straight back to the plan whether you are trying to lose fat, maintain or build muscle. The problem I see is people not planning for events and then veering off track for weeks at a time. Plan ahead and avoid this issue.
‘Real Life’ Tracking
This is my favourite part of treating staying on track as a game. ‘Real Life’ tracking is the concept of controlling and tracking what I can and not worrying about the things I can’t.
For myself on Boxing Day I know I will be able make to make my own meals leading up to 12pm. That leaves 2 meals that I can track and make meet my nutrition goals. Those meals can have plenty of protein, fats and carbs (an omelette and sandwich) and drink 1-2 litres of water per meal. This simple process will
- Reduce my hunger
- Hit my protein targets for the day
- Keep me hydrated
If you take this approach to social and family events this no reason why you can’t be successful in staying on track for parts of the day.
Have Something To Keep You On Track
While we can have the best of intentions over the festive season the period can last for some of us from December through to January. If your goal is fat loss then I have seen some people let this period undo a lot of their good work.
At Fortitude Performance I still advocate for my clients to use their average weekly weight and measurements to make sure they stay accountable.
Average weekly weight is simply taking 2-3 measurements per week and finding the average of these measurements. Consecutive days of eating in a surplus (especially if you reduce activity) can have the effect of fat gain. By seeing what is happening over the weeks to your average weekly weight will guide your decisions. If you are happy to gain 1-2kg over the festive season then you are on track. However, if gaining more weight is not on the cards you have a measurement to track and take action on.
Measurements across your torso, arms and legs taken once per month can be used in conjunction with your average weekly weight. If you are seeing a 1-2kg increase in weight with no increase in measurements you know you are on track over the month. Conversely if you are seeing weight gain and an increase in measurement around your abdomen this is a red flag.
Be accountable to the measurements you take and stay ahead of being disappointed over the festive season.
I understand that how to eat during the festive season can be an uncomfortable conversation. A combination of wanting to relax and recover and family and friends wanting to enjoy this time of year are all real pressures.
However, there is no reason why your goals and path has to butt heads with wanting to achieve these things.
Use your common sense and know that you can’t be perfect with your eating over the festive season. All you can do is plan ahead of time, track what you can and keep your body composition accountable in some way.
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