The holidays have long been used as the last fling before the ring. You gorge yourself with the knowledge that come 2016, all the sweets and treats are out the door. This mindset, though, is incredibly detrimental to not only your body but your mind.
Be healthy and enjoy the holidays this year!
All or Nothing
You've started your New Year's diet. It goes great for a little bit but then the cravings set in. You start losing your mind because you can't have one cookie. Eventually you snap and have a cookie. But it's not just a cookie. It's a cookie that comes with the belief that you are a failure. You can't stay with this diet. Who are you even kidding? Might as well bring in a few more treats and a few more and a few more until, by February, you're back to square one.
This is extremely unfair to yourself and your potential. The reality of the situation is that you have spent that last two months (counting down from Halloween) shoving your body full of decadent sweets and rich foods. Your body has adapted to expect these foods. Suddenly, you rip away them away, replacing them with veggies and lean protein. The body overreacts, wrongly assuming you're going to starve. How do you survive this starvation? Seek out calorie-rich foods, thus triggering the cravings.
The biggest problem this time of year is the mindset of all or nothing. You stuff your face with all because, come New Year's, you'll be going on the nothing diet. This is horrible for you. For one, it's an outright lie. You know damn well you'll be sneaking treats in the new year. Two, it allows you to excuse overeating.
The secret is moderation.
Instead of finishing off an entire half pint of eggnog in one sitting, space it out over the course of the week. Don't eat that entire tin of Danish Butter Cookies in two days, eat it in two weeks.
What if you already understand moderation? What if you're trying to keep relatively healthy at company holiday parties? What do you choose from the buffet?
Instead of CHOCOLATE, choose GUMMIES.
Gummies typically don't have high fat content because they aren't made with any kind of fatty products (whole milk, whipping cream, buttermilk, butter, egg yolk, etc.). Therefore if you want to have something sweet, gumdrops are your best option.
Instead of cookies, choose PRETZELS.
Cookies, again, have a lot of fat.
Drink more WATER than ALCOHOL.
No one is saying you shouldn't drink when you need to deal with those in-laws, but to avoid extra calories, water is your best friend.
For the birds, always eat BREAST MEAT.
Breast meat is white meat and therefore the lowest in fat. Now, no matter how well the bird is cooked, the white meat will be dry. To make it juicier, it's okay to use gravy, but keep this amount relatively small.
Instead of SWEETS, choose FRUITS.
Unlike gummies, fruits actually have good things for your body, ranging from antioxidants to vitamins.
Though nuts are healthy, they are extremely fatty and do not make the best snack choice despite what other sites will tell you.
Why limit fats and not carbs?
When you eat food, you consume fuel points.
1g of carbs = 4 points
1g of protein = 4 points
1g of fat = 9 points
That's a lot of calories for just a smidgen of fat. If you really want to eat a lot during the holidays without packing on too much weight, limiting fats means you get to eat more than twice as many carbs or more than twice as much protein before you even hit fat level points.
Co-host of HeroesForge, founder of Battle to Be Better, gamer, singer and all around happy person.