Thanksgiving is coming up and you’re so looking forward to stuffing your face full of turkey, mashed potatoes and pumpkin cheesecake (not a fan of pumpkin pie). You’ve been working hard at losing weight and this is going to be one epic cheat day for you! You deserve this and what’s one day of over indulgences? One day won’t hurt. Actually, one day is all it can take to totally and completely derail you’re entire progress to date. I’m not referring to a re-feed, I’m talking about a full on binge which most of us take part in.
So you’ve been really good about going to the gym and eating healthy. You’ve lost weight and have been seeing results, so treat yo self! As they say. But this is a sure way to regain weight fast and have a hell of a time getting it back off. When people think of calories consumed, they think of a daily total, right? Well when you are tallying up your calories, you should really be thinking of the numbers as a 7 day total. Examples of numbers would be 1500 calories per day which is 10,500 calories per week! Let’s say you consumed your 1500 calories Mon-Fri and then Saturday comes and you have a “cheat day” for thanksgiving. You blow your 1500 and consume 3000 calories which believe me, is quite easy to do by having the common Thanksgiving feast. Creamy Mashed potatoes , stuffing, fresh baked buns with butter, salads with hidden calories in the dressings, cheese pladders, and let’s not forget the home baked goods and desserts. Oh! And you’re more than likely to have a glass of wine or two with dinner and maybe one more afterwards because you’ve now got a thanksgiving buzz happening (150 calories per glass of wine=450 calories). With all of these added calories, you’ve now upped your daily average of calories to 1928 Which is nearly 500 calories more per day than what you had planned. It may not seem like a lot, but it can easily shock your body and cause you to regain back all the weight that you’ve worked so hard to lose.
After dinner, you head home feeling stuffed and lethargic. You may have had to unbutton your pants, lay down, and maybe even take a nap. The next day, you wake up to check the scale and shocker! you’re up 5lbs. Yes, some of this is water weight from the higher amount of calories than what you’re used to, but some of it is fat due to the binge you’ve just taken part in. So now you panic and reduce your calories to lower than you were consuming before the feast. You now have lost patience and want instant results. So, 1300 calories will do the trick! Thus starts the battle of continuing to decrease calories further damaging your metabolism and setting yourself up for a possible binge in the future.
Now, I’m not here to tell you to starve yourself at thanksgiving or to miss out on the turkey filled festivities. I’m merely here to give you some insight on how to avoid stepping on the scale after your holiday feast, and beating yourself up for over indulging and self sabotaging your goals. Here are a few ways that I stay on track during meals such as these to avoid the self loathing and the regression of my fitness goals.
- Plan ahead! If I think of foods that I’m looking forward to, I will save room in my daily calories/macros for in my day.
- Don’t starve yourself for the meal! This will only cause you to over eat.
- Plan to have a meal when you get home- I always plan to have a protein smoothie when I get home to have something to look forward to! If I’m too full to have it, I know I’ve over done it.
- I don’t drink at occasions such as these because I would rather eat my calories than drink them
- Engage in conversations, not what’s available to eat.
- TRACK! If you track what give eaten, it’s not a free for all and it will keep you sensible in your decisions.
These are all ways that you can still enjoy yourself with your family, moderately indulge in the delicious foods and still keep yourself accountable. Most of all, be accountable and have self control. Enjoy the holidays! If that all goes to hell in a hand basket, I’m always here to help 🙂