Holiday time can be stressful for people who are on a “diet” or who eat healthy/clean throughout the year. There can be a lot of pressure to pig out and indulge. Personally, I think how you want to handle the holidays is an individual decision and can depend on a number of factors. There isn’t one way that’s best for everyone.
The way I see it, there are 4 options for how to eat:
1. No holds barred. Eating unhealthy food in large quantities for a number of meals or days. This is one extreme.
2. Depriving yourself of enjoying some unhealthy food and sticking to a strict eating regime. This is the opposite extreme.
3. Allowing yourself one cheat meal over the holiday time but sticking to your “diet” the rest of the time.
4. Eating a number of unhealthy meals/food but choosing to have smaller portions sizes and saying no to certain things.
For me, I generally choose option 4. I like the idea of eating some special holiday food, but I make sure I take smaller portions of the less clean food and load up on veggies. However, like I mentioned it depends on certain factors.
- What are your goals? Are you training for a fitness competition or a race? In that case you should stick to your diet (maybe have one cheat meal). For example , when I was 3 weeks out to my figure competition I went to New York City with my sisters. I went to a grocery store as soon as I arrived and prepped all my meals for the weekend. I stuck to my diet except for 2 slices of pizza….I love pizza and couldn’t pass up NYC pizza!!!
- Maybe you’re looking to lose weight. If that’s the case, think about how you eat during the holidays will affect this goal.
- Are you exercising over the holidays? I think if you’re exercising over the break, it can give you a little more latitude to indulge a bit more than if you aren’t exercising at all.
- What’s your regular workout schedule? Will you be back at the gym your first day after the holidays or will it take a few days? The answer to this question should play a factor in how you eat.
Ultimately, choose what’s right for your situation. And make sure you enjoy the time with family and friends!!
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