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Holiday Eating

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! And with it comes all the tasty treats and seasonal feasts that some of us have been dreaming about for months (myself included). You’ve been disciplined with eating more protein, fruits, and veggies, and less trans fats and refined carbs, but now you’re wondering if you can make it through your Grandma’s casserole or your friend’s sugar cookies while keeping your waistline intact.


First, the good news. You’ve already survived Thanksgiving, so you can put the initial onslaught of calories behind you. However, you don’t know if you can endure the coming days or even weeks of pressure from your friends and family to eat to excess. Well, I have the secret to surviving the holidays both psychologically and physiologically. Want to know what it is?


RELAX.


Enjoy yourself. Don’t stress. Don’t even count calories or measure macros. Within reason, eat and drink what you want. It’s only a few weeks out of the year, so kudos to  you and your willpower if you can say no that second (or third) helping of pie… but don’t punish yourself if you can’t.


I know what you’re thinking: “But what about all my hard work? What about all the weight I’ve lost and the healthy habits I’ve developed?” And you’re right, you’ve made great progress towards your goals, but a little bit of indulgence during this special time of year won’t derail you.


Don’t believe me? Let’s do some quick math. From Thanksgiving to New Year’s, if you eat 3 meals per day for 35 days, that comes to 105 meals. Out of those 100+ opportunities to make healthy choices, the number of extravagant family meals (whether at home or a restaurant) in which you’ll partake will probably be around 10-15. That’s about 10% of the time. Is that really enough to say “forget it” and just throw your nutrition plan out the window until New Year’s? Definitely not. And it’s also a small enough percentage for you to enjoy yourself without worrying about ruining your progress. You can still stay on track with your goals without being the Debbie Downer of the holiday season.


So enjoy Aunt Judy’s chocolate concoction without feeling guilty. Maybe say no to that second helping of yams or dressing… or maybe not. Maybe you’ll sneak an extra serving of fruits or veggies onto your plate, or maybe you’ll just go straight for the mac n’ cheese. It’s your call. But regardless, don’t beat yourself up. Enjoy the food, and more importantly, enjoy the time with family and friends. Then when it’s time to re-enter the real world, get right back on track with what you know is good for you.


Let’s finish the decade strong, and I’ll see all of you in 2020!


Spencer Smith

Owner & Head Coach

CrossFit Donelson

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