Holidays are terrific occasions for a big indulgence. Here at Kenzai, we emphasize a healthy balance, not flawless perfection. So if you’ve been training hard and your diet has been sharply on-point, hey, why not?
The problem is that a one or two-meal binge can easily snowball, cascading from an isolated blow-out to a weeks-long raging, carb-fueled forest fire. From a diet perspective, for many, a ‘Holiday’ should instead be called a ‘Holiweek,’ or even ‘Holimonth.’ That’s to be avoided. A single day won’t do much to dent those hard-earned gains, but a three to four-week bender certainly will.
So when you consciously decide to let loose, it’s important that you have, and stick to, a plan to get back on track, as quickly as possible. Here are 8 tips.
Deal wisely with the leftovers:
- Hopefully not everything from your fete is ‘non-compliant’. Separate out the healthy veggie and protein dishes to use later.
- Did some reasonably healthy carbs survive the bacchanalia? Split these out into smaller portions when storing, to avoid the temptation to graze from a single, large bucket.
- Often, celebratory salads can be rendered Kenzai friendly. If possible, pick out any high-calorie add-ins like croutons or cheese. Rinse with cold water and then spin or shake out excess dressing and oils.
- If you are having visiting family and friends over, grab some cheap recyclable containers and send the sweets, along with any other rich foods, home with your guests. Outta home, outta site, outta mind, outta mouth!
Plan for the ‘Day After’:
- When out foraging for your feast, be sure to bring along your ‘clean’ shopping list and snag the fruits, veggies, protein and dairy you would normally buy. If fridge space is going to be a premium, go with smaller quantities or buy items that don’t require refrigeration.
- As soon as possible, perhaps the evening after your indulgence, be sure to set out the fruit and healthy snacks to minimizing grazing on carbs and sweets.
- Don’t skip breakfast the next day! Avoid a big craving hit and that blood sugar roller coaster by going back to those frequent, healthy feedings. Not hungry? Fine–just eat less, but do get something nourishing in your system.
- Schedule some time to cook up some healthy carbs to accompany the remains from yesterday, rather than relying on the celebratory version of this macro-nutrient.
If possible, prep your clean food alongside the Holiday fare; you may not have the time or energy for another full cooking session, especially if you are the host. The point of this clean-up and prep is to actually consume a lot of what you made–and avoid extending the binging!
With a little discipline, some advanced planning, and mindful choices you can prevent a reasonable, one-day diet deviation from turning into a days-or weeks-long dietary version of the movie, ‘The Hangover.’ Good luck!
Brett Kuhnert // Kenzai Trainer