Tis the season
To let one bad day turn into a bad week, then turn into a bad month, and inevitably turn into getting back on track at the new year.
Where does this "all or nothing" attitude come from? And why does it seem to exist so prominently within the sphere of training and eating well?
If I blew it on an exam while in school... I'd be an idiot to give up and call it quits on all future exams.
Same thing with having a bad day at work. (That's it. Might as well just sleep at work for the rest of the month) What??
Insert just about any other "thing" you can think of and rationalize that approach. It doesn't work.
Eating a slice of pie (or two) and drinking a beer (or two) will have ZERO impact on the overall big picture of your health and progress. It may result in you feeling a little lousy the following day (so choose your splurges wisely) but it absolutely will not result in anything that can't be cleaned up shortly after. That is...if you can make the decision to ditch the "all or nothing" approach.
Your success is dictated by overall effort and action over a longer period of time. Have more good and great days then bad or ok days and you'll be good to go.
The reality is that you don't need to punish yourself for enjoying a holiday. Just get back on track immediately after.
There you have it... written permission from your trainer to relax and enjoy yourself a bit. I'll be doing the same right there with you!
If you're afraid of having a little too much fun and need a few strategies to help, keep reading.
If you're someone who struggles eating right through weekends, then you can use these strategies as well.
Create a calorie deficit beforehand.
If you know you're in for some fun later in the day and likely to gorge, try to create some wiggle room through the meals beforehand or afterwords. If you track calories that should be easy. If not here are a couple of easy ways to create that wiggle room:
Eat slow and until you're 80% full. Give your body a chance to process whats happening. Often times when you stop consuming food at say about 80% of feeling stuffed, youll find yourself completely satisfied within 20 minutes or so.
More protein, more veggies. Try to keep meals high in lean proteins and vegetables. Lean proteins are obviously lower in calories, and protein in general keeps you feeling full and satisfied. Vegetables also work to take up space in the stomach (making you feel full) but cost very little in terms of calories.
Drink lots of water. A lot of times when you're hungry you're really just thirsty,
Use the hand size portioning method
Rather than adopting the "all or nothing" approach, if you're someone who routinely falls off track during holidays or weekends adopt a "good enough" approach. Put the food scales and calorie tracking apps aside and instead make use of hand size portioning. This is 100000x better then just saying "oh well" and eating whatever you want.
Aim to get back on track... FAST
The faster you can get back to feeling good as opposed to derailed, the less tempted you'll be to cave in altogether. Enjoy the holiday, but make it a priority to make good choices shortly after. This might mean forfeiting pie leftovers. Eating a healthy dinner (if you celebrate lunch with family). Getting a good night sleep, and or getting some movement in. Set yourself up to win, and to win fast.
Enjoy the holidays. Eat, drink and be merry. Don't beat yourself up for doing so.
If you DO find yourself itching to move around a bit (whether it's to offset the splurge, help you win fast, or simply because you enjoy this stuff) then I've got your back.
Here's a Thanksgiving workout for you to enjoy.
Burn some calories. Break a sweat. Enjoy!
Driven Outdoor Performance Thanksgiving Warm Up
Driven Outdoor Performance Thanksgiving Workout