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Navigating Holiday Eating for Athletes...While Still Being Merry!

Posted by Field Work Nutrition Co. on
Navigating Holiday Eating for Athletes...While Still Being Merry!

Let's face it, the holidays are great.  We get more time with family, for some of us things at work can tend to slow down enough to take a breath, there is often vacation or time off involved somewhere...and so much glorious food, drink, and celebration.  

The holidays are often a time to let your guard down, if ever so slightly, and reflect on the year coming to an end.  But with letting your guard down can come a few more drinks, some nibbling on things you might otherwise avoid, and an overall feeling of "I'll deal with it in the new year..."  While we fully support enjoying and partaking in festivities this time of year, a bit too much overindulgence can set you back further than you had intended (or imagined!). 

Below are a handful of quick tips for the athlete (or anyone active) to better help you navigate the holiday season, cruising into the new year ready for world domination.  

1.  It's okay to indulge...just don't make it a habit!  This is the time of year to enjoy, so if you feel the urge, go ahead and have that drink or eat that cookie!  Just don't make it a habit.  Know that like all good things, the holidays must end, and when they come to a close, it's a good time to get back in the saddle and operate by your normal standards.

2.  We all need time to reset...and the holidays are a perfect time to do so.  There is a natural break in the rhythm of day to day obligations during the holidays.  There are more opportunities to socialize and get together - take advantage of them!  We are all so busy with work, training, and other obligations during the year, allow yourself to go with the flow during the holidays, back off the gas pedal, see some faces you might not see often enough, and just enjoy.  You'll be refreshed and ready for action come the new year.

3.  Drink a full glass of water before every meal, especially at parties or "special" meals.  This sounds simple...and it is!  It will help you from overeating, and will also help reduce the effects of any alcohol you may have been drinking...bonus!

4.  Drink a Primo Smoothie before going to your party!  This will help keep you full, reducing the likelihood of overeating or showing up hungry and immediately chowing down on a bunch of appetizers.

5.  Make the veggie platter your friend...and / or generally just survey food and drink options so you will know what you can and should fill up on, and what you may only sample a bit of.

6.  Drink water throughout the night!  Easier said than done, right?  This will help keep you hydrated, reduce the effects of alcohol, and likely increase your chances of still getting up and getting in some sort of workout the following day.  

7.  When the holidays are over...leave them in your rearview and get back to business as usual!

8.  Try some new training activities.  Seriously.  You've likely got a reduced training schedule (or no training schedule) for the time being.  Instead of grinding out your normal workouts, take advantage of the flexibility and try some things you would otherwise pass over the rest of the year.

9.  Be realistic.  Don't try to lose weight or gain significant fitness this time of year.  Instead, make it a goal to maintain.

10.  Plan your workouts around eating occasions if possible.  If you know you are likely going to indulge later on that evening, try to get in a bigger, or higher quality workout to offset things a bit.

11.  If you do overdo it at one meal (or for a full day or two), try to rebound with a day or two of intentionally light eating and / or drinking.  Balance in all things!

12.  Don't overeat if you don't have to.  Look for "downtime" within the holiday season to intentionally keep things moderate.  This may be during the week or any time away from parties or social events.

13.  At parties...hang out away from the food!  This will minimize "unconscious eating."

And beyond all that...enjoy it!  The holidays only come around once a year and should be enjoyed.  There is nothing you can do to your diet or fitness over a couple of weeks that can't be undone shortly thereafter...it's not the end of the world!  And Primo Smoothie is a great tool to have in your toolbox to help keep things on track, or get them back on track after the fact.  

Happy Holidays!

 

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