How I survive the HOLIDAY'S
We are in one of my favorite times of the year: THE HOLIDAYS. This usually means lots of food, booze, and parties. Two things that come to mind: FOOD TRIGGERS and MODERATION.
I always go back to food triggers on a topic like this one. Let's be honest, we all want to indulge a little during the holidays and believe me, I do my share of indulging! I am a firm believer of watching your macros when it comes to dieting, however, when holiday parties happen it can be a little more challenging to stick to something this rigid. When eating outside of your normal meal plan, I try to be extremely mindful of my food triggers. Triggers are foods or beverages that cause bloat, digestion issues, fatigue, and/or brain fogginess.
These are the main three I personally try to stay away from - high fat foods, wine, and eggs.
I'm sure a couple of thoughts are coming to mind - - >
- How do you know these are your triggers?
- How do you stay away from those three things during the holidays? That's impossible!
- It's not worth sticking to a diet during the holidays.
Let me share with you how I do it.
1. FINDING YOUR FOOD TRIGGERS:
This takes some time and patience (and that's ok if you don't have it figured out before this year's holidays
). I food journaled for 9 months before I learned that eggs caused major bloat for me! I also learned that my body doesn't feel the side effects of food until about 36 hours after consuming, whereas my husband's body takes 8-12 hours.
There are different ways you can approach this. I personally journaled, some try an elimination diet, and others use apps like this one. However you want to track your food, do it with commitment and confidence knowing that this temporary way of eating will cause a lifetime of comfort and happiness.
2. HOW I AVOID THEM:
Find an equally pleasing substitute. If I know that wine causes major fogginess and bloat the next day then I choose tequila (my favorite is my skinny margarita recipe). There is no FOMO and I know that I will feel so much better the next day.
Some of my personal favorite swaps:
Wine -> Tequila or champagne
Fatty foods -> Carbs
i.e. I try to avoid extra butter, grease, and go for grains, fruit, or crackers. Salsa over guacamole or queso, avoid snacking on nuts, and no fatty meats like burgers or bacon
I always try to travel with a shake or a bar so that I ensure my protein levels are up for the day
Eggs -> No eggs ;)
Learning what had eggs in it was the hardest habit to get used to. I avoid pastries and indulge in things like frozen yogurt, a few pieces of my favorite candy, or when I can I'll bring a vegan pastry I can find at my local grocery store.
Drink lots of water. This is probably a given, but also a good reminder for all of us. Take a refillable water bottle everywhere you go and drink plenty of FILTERED water!
3. WHY IT'S WORTH IT:
You work hard, you put in hours at the gym, and days of eating clean so why would it not be worth it to go full blown cheat weekend for the holidays? Two reasons:
- You're risking a psychological downward spiral. It's never fun to come back from one of these and to have to get in your groove again.
- If this is really a lifestyle, then do you really need a full blown binge on dirty eating? Or can you find a few swaps that allow you to enjoy the holiday season AND keep you away from your food triggers?
My goal for you is to learn how to live in perfect moderation of clean eating and satisfaction so that you don't ever go off on food binges. I by no means am perfect at this, but I am pretty darn good at eating clean with balance and reason.
You may not know this about me, but for over a year I was beyond frustrated, self-conscience, & embarrassed that I was the trainer and didn't have it all figured out. I even thought about a career change a time or two just trying to freaking figure out what was causing my bloating. Who would have EVER thought it was eggs??
So my best advice for you and the upcoming Holiday's is to try your best at avoiding your triggers and remember that you are choosing to nourish your body this way because you want nothing but the best for yourself. Don't ever let anyone make fun of you or tease you about the way you eat.