Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Athletes: Keep these 3 things in mind as you enter the holiday season!

As the holidays approach, I get a lot of nervous athletes in my office. Some worry about undesirable body comp changes, some worry that turning down decadent options will offend family members...and the list goes on. What can you do to calm your anxiety as the holidays creep up? Here are 3 key steps:

1. Right now, determine where you want to be - both physically and mentally - in the new year. What does that mean you need to do with your eating this month? Having a goal to commit to will make you much more successful when you approach the dessert table.

2. On the day of a holiday gathering, think about what type of food you will likely over indulge in - carbohydrates? protein? fat? Whatever you will be drawn to at the party is what you need to slightly reduce leading up to and after the party. Think of it as swapping calories. For example...

  • Planning to have cookies and pie at the party? Then perhaps have simply eggs and veggies with a piece of fruit for breakfast instead of pairing with a bagel. 
  • Decide you want to dig into the cheesy potatoes that you know grandma is preparing for dinner? Then make lunch something light like such as a salad and chicken breast dressed with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and a spritz of lime juice. 

3. Once at a party, take stock of everything being offered to you and do a general assessment of how healthy each options appears. But here's the trick: choose only things that are worth the calories. What does that mean? Don't grab chocolate chip cookies that you can get any old time of the year. Instead reach for Aunt Milly's special strawberry cheesecake she only whips up at Christmas. If you are going to indulge, choose those special, one-time-of-the-year options, but take only one portion, sit down and truly savor that choice!

As you may have noticed, the overarching theme here is to have a plan. Knowing where you are at now, staying present throughout the month's temptations and planning where you want to be when the holidays are over is key to keep yourself moving forward this month instead of taking three steps back.

Your Nutrition Coach,


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