The first few days after a holiday weekend can be tough. There was most likely some (or A LOT) of indulgent food and desserts over the past few days, that may have left you feeling a little lethargic and maybe with a slightly off digestive system. While, I am 100% for giving yourself the permission to indulge a little bit more than usual around the holidays, I also believe that indulging can very easily turn into weeks of binging, and feeling poorly if we aren't careful. And I get it, while a weeks worth of left over's can sounds appealing, and super simple from a meal-prep standpoint, I'm going to tell you right now that relying on holiday leftovers, days after the holiday is over is only going to leave you feeling bloated, tired, and more likely to continue indulging.
I am pretty sure we have all been there, the holiday wipes us out from traveling, seeing friends/family, having a few more cocktails then we normally would, and we are finally home and the thought of prepping food and planning meals for the week ahead sounds intimidating. So we rely on the leftovers we brought home from the holiday, having pie for breakfast, Thanksgiving sandwiches for lunch, and more starchy veggies for dinner. The cycle continues until we are all out of our holiday food, but then its the middle of the week and we don't have a single plan for what to eat for the days ahead, so we order out, or make something quick and easy from what is left in our kitchens. All of a sudden it is the weekend after Thanksgiving and we feel bloated, tired, and most likely craving sugar.
GUYS lets stop this before it happens okay. The holiday's only need to be stressful when it comes to managing weight, and food choices if we let it be. 30 minutes is all you need to make a plan for yourself that will help keep you from going down the 10 pound holiday weight gain rabbit hole, and honestly I want to see you all ENJOY the holiday's this year, and come out of them feeling better and more fulfilled then you went in.
Since this week starts the beginning of the Christmas season, I'm going to be sharing with you methods I trust to keep holiday indulgences from becoming 6 weeks of holiday weight gain, and it really does start with our food, and a plan.
how to avoid the post-thanksgiving binge and get back on track
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Most likely from consuming a little more alcohol then you are used to, traveling, and staying up later than usual most nights your body got dehydrated. When we are dehydrated we are more likely to experience cravings, and it can be difficult to differentiate whether we are truly hungry or not. So the #1 thing I want you to do this week is hydrate.
- Aim from 2-3 liters of water per day, and give your body a good flush.
- If you want to get really fancy, add some lemon and ginger to your water to help your body's digestion readjust to more normal eating.
- Use your leftovers wisely. You had your Thanksgiving meal on Thanksgiving, and then maybe you had a second one at your in-laws house, or made one from your own family at home after traveling. You did it, it was wonderful, you ate all the goodies and now it is time to move on. But I know that throwing out leftovers can be hard so lets find a way to work them into a healthy diet without over-indulging.
- Focus on pairing carbohydrates (squash, potato, stuffing, rolls) with protein and vegetables at every meal.
- Choose ONE carbohydrate from your Thanksgiving leftovers and add it to a protein or fresh vegetable you cook up this week.
- Keep your portions of protein, and carbohydrate around the same size, and double up on your portions of fresh veggies like broccoli, green beans, brussels, lettuce, kale, etc.
- Get moving. Avoid putting unrealistic expectations up for yourself this week and decide how many times you think you can reasonably get in a workout, and commit to it.
- Ditch the alcohol. We already talked about how you most likely need to hydrate yourself, and while you are more susceptible to cravings it is better to avoid alcohol for 5 or so days to give your body a break, and allow it to detox before adding back in your occasional cocktail.
- Use portion control when it comes to sweets. The pie, cookies, pumpkin bread, etc. is most likely going to stick around in your house the longest. If you absolutely cannot part ways with your mothers amazing apple pie, try freezing it in individual portions, or choose a small plate/bowl that you will use to control your serving. Drink water before and after your dessert, and if you feel yourself craving more sweets try having a homemade chia tea latte instead.