The holidays are fast approaching, and we’re all scrambling to hit the gym daily, so that we can engorge our faces with an enormous amount of food and try not to feel guilty in the process. Some even resist enjoying the time and food with loved ones, that it becomes a burden, not only to you but to those around you as well. Does this sound like what you have/are going through? How many years have you done that and still gained unwanted weight, hoping that by the time New Years comes around you can start creating your resolutions? Does it feel like you’re stuck going in circles? Tired of feeling emotionally depressed during the holidays, while you SHOULD be feeling joyful and happy?
What I like to do with my clients, who may be going on a trip, a weekend getaway, a wedding or some function where measuring/weighing out their food portions is not possible without making things uneasy, is to carb cycle them prior to the function and after the function. This may be as simple as you make it out to be. In other words, you can make it as difficult or easy for yourself, all depending on your mindset.
Let’s say you have Thanksgiving dinner planned with your family or friends on the 26th. What I would suggest is to continue going to the gym as you normally do and be aware of doing lower carb days, roughly 1/3 of the carbs you typically consume, for about 3 days prior to Thanksgiving dinner. So that would be Monday - Wednesday (23rd to 25th). Keep fats moderate and protein a tad bit on the moderate to higher end, no more than 1.5g per pound of body weight.
On Thanksgiving day, keep the carbs fairly moderate to low leading up to dinner time. Then once dinner hits, go and enjoy the feast with your loved ones without feeling guilty. In this scenario, I wouldn’t have any restrictions as to what my clients can eat. If you want those yams with marshmallows or stuffing with cranberries, go for it. Don’t feel guilty about it.
Then, for the next 2 days, go back to lower carbs again after Thanksgiving. I will guarantee that you wouldn’t have gained those 10lbs that you do year after year. BUT, I must warn you to maintain a healthy relationship with food. Just because you’re cycling your carbs and eating a good amount of food for that said meal, doesn’t mean that you should get stupid with it. You know what I mean. It’s fine to have indulgences here and there in a controlled amount, but for the majority of people they tend to over indulge on a consistent basis without putting in the necessary exercise, and that’s when you fall into trouble.
I hope you can take my advice and apply it anytime you have get togethers, during the holidays or special occasions, so you don’t feel left out. It also makes things uncomfortable for those around you, while you weigh out your food at the dinner table. Remember, develop a healthy relationship with food, so you don’t limit yourself on happiness and meaningful relationships around you.