THE MOST COMMON question I've been getting this past week from my clients and a question I see every single year: "How can I survive this holiday season with all of the temptations?"
How can we ENJOY the holidays, especially this year amidst a global pandemic, without added stress?
I got you. We'll not only survive, we gonna THRIVE.
1. Eat Breakfast. I know that sounds counterintuitive... you're looking forward to eating all the yummy foods on the holi-day and maybe some zoom holiday parties... so you're thinking of saving up on calories until then.
read that again.
Probably NOT a good idea to skip an entire MEAL! Restriction usually leads to binging! Make sure to get a nutritious breakfast to support all the energy you'll need to cook, to converse with fam (safely and distanced), and especially if you're having all day holiday cocktails!
Plus, when we wait so long to eat, often times our bellies can bloat or get full super easily when we take our first bites.
2. Let go of the pressure to NOT overeat.
Sometimes just the anticipatory anxiety can lead us to start the day with restriction WHICH as we already know, ultimately will lead to binging. Let go of the need to be perfect during this season...especially on a holiday taking place during a global pandemic. If you're lucky enough to spend this time with family and friends... ENJOY IT. Not everyone has this opportunity or maybe it looks a little different this year. Be kind to yourself. Excess pressure on yourself is not helpful during a stressful day full of entertaining and cooking, not to mention during the current political climate and a global pandemic.
3. Trick Your Brain by going for Round Two.
This is my favorite trick of all time. For me personally, I KNOW I will need a second helping. I ALWAYS need a second helping. That's just how my brain and taste buds work.
In order to prevent myself from overeating or getting a belly ache, I'll fill my plate up modestly knowing that round two is comin' up!
This allows my belly time to digest and process the food before having to get up and walk over to fill it up again. Often times on days like Thanksgiving, Christmas or any holiday, we fill our plate up SO HIGH because we rarely have Holiday food. Our brains think "I'll never have this food for a whole year so I have to get it all NOW". When in reality, there's probably enough food for multiple servings, plus left over sandwiches for a week. Try not to live in scarcity by piling your plate so high that your belly aches and you feel sick. This is not your last opportunity to eat hearty homemade food, I promise!
Most fitspos will say :
"Fill up on protein first! Fill that plate up full of turkey or ham and avoid the pie and ignore the bread and stuffing!"
That's not my intention for you. I want you to enjoy this holiday season in all of its glory, pie and stuffing and bread and cocktails included. This year especially is a time for gratitude, joy, community, and love. Show love to YOURSELF. You are allowed to enjoy this day, fully.
Be Safe, Be Well, and Happy Thanksgiving.
Amanda Jane Snyder is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, Certified Personal Trainer, and Mindset Coach living in Brooklyn, NY. She has been vegan for 4 years. She specializes in Strength and Conditioning for Actors, Singers and Dancers.