How to eat like a pro during the holidays
By Roy Kim, Dec 09 2014
Professional athletes, bodybuilders and nutritionists work hard to get those slim and fit physiques you see on the covers of magazines. That’s why we call them pro’s. But they too struggle with temptations that can get in the way of maintaining their pro status during the holidays. They know what types of foods will sabotage their goals, and they also know how to eat in order to stay on track. Follow these holiday diet strategies this year so you can eat like a pro.
You might think that to maintain your ideal weight it’s a good idea to cut calories when you can. But skipping meals during the holidays can backfire. If you’re not eating regularly, it’s only easier to fall victim to cravings. And the longer you go without eating, the stronger those cravings can get! Before you know it, you may find yourself reaching for calorie-dense or fatty foods to satisfy your hunger. Allow yourself a filling breakfast that includes protein, healthy fats and a good source of naturally filling fiber to start your day. Also continue to keep hunger at bay with nutrient-dense snacks as soon as you start to feel hungry throughout the day.
Our bodies often confuse the thirst signal for hunger, which can lead to the consumption of hundreds of extra calories. Stay hydrated with the recommended amounts of water (between 2-4 liters a day) to help flush out toxins and eliminate snacking due to dehydration.
Remember… not all beverages are created equal. Sweetened beverages usually have more calories than unsweetened options. Did you know that in the Standard American Diet about 36% of the added sugar we consume can be attributed to beverages? Sugar is a major contributor to weight gain, so skip the sweet beverages and always opt for water when you can.
Fuel Your Body
During the holidays you’ll probably notice that there are plenty of decedent food options. But what the pro’s know is that it is best to choose a food based on nutrient content rather than taste. Pro’s eat foods that contain things like protein, fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals in order to supply their bodies what’s necessary to maintain muscle tone, boost fat-burning and to keep toxins and pollutants down to a minimum. So if there’s a choice between let’s say pumpkin pie or chocolate cake, a pro would choose the pumpkin pie. Why? Because pumpkin puree naturally provides a good source of beta-carotene, along with fiber (a nutrient that helps you feel fuller, for longer). The chocolate cake is loaded with sugar and offers very little nutritionally. Remember to use your brain to make healthy food choices, not just your taste buds this year.
Professionals know that they’re not always going to be able to avoid temptations, and they also know that constantly restricting themselves will only lead to binge eating later down the road. So how do they conquer this conundrum? They plan on success. That means they’ve always got healthy, satisfying snacks on hand in case they are confronted with temptations. If they know they’ll be attending a holiday party, pro’s plan on eating a satiating snack before they arrive so they don’t overeat when they get there. They also plan full meals days in advance so they can keep track of calories consumed at home during the entire holiday season.
Maintaining a champion diet doesn’t mean you have to actually be a professional. But you can eat like nutrition and fitness pro’s this holiday season by following these simple tips!
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