As a society we all have reasons to celebrate holidays or big events every year. Although those specific days may differ in various regions, one thing many of them have in common is that food is a big part of it. The best example I can think to give is Thanksgiving in the US. The holiday revolves around two things – being grateful and great eating.
By Roger Lockridge
No one wants to be the downer of the party by bringing Tupperware with pre-cooked food. That makes others feel bad because they are enjoying the food and you suffer because of all the temptation around you that you’re trying to avoid. That stress can lead to an increase in cortisol which is anti-catabolic. No one wants that either. So follow these tips so you can prepare accordingly and enjoy the day as you and your loved one should.
Schedule This Meal
I don’t mean make it an appointment on your calendar. What I mean is when you’re developing your plan for your fitness related events, acknowledge at the very beginning that this day is approaching and you will enjoy it. Perhaps that mean you train harder the day before or make the next training day a big one since you’ll have a surplus of calories However you want to do it is up to you, of course. The take home point is that if you know and plan for this big meal accordingly then you will have nothing to stress over.
Train the Day of the Feast
This one might be tough because a lot of gyms close for holidays. If your gym happens to be open that morning, take advantage of that. If not, take the workout to your home gym or follow a bodyweight training plan. Training on the day of the big meal though will help you burn calories, increase your metabolism, and force your body to use a lot of those calories you will eventually take in as a way to help you recover. Make sure this workout involves both resistance training and cardiovascular exercise. By the time you finish your workout, you’ll have no worries about eating the extra calories and if anything, you’ll look forward to it.
Eat Light for the Rest of the Day
Most of these big meal holidays involve the food coming at dinner time. So for all of the meals that you will have leading up to the feast, eat light and low-calorie meals. Don’t starve yourself or fast because you still need at least some calories. Just make sure that when you do eat, it isn’t anything too dense or high calorie. Protein and fats should be what you focus on. Keep carbs to an absolute minimum. Now obviously if for some reason the big meal is at breakfast, then keep all the meals for the rest of the day afterward low in calories.
Make it a Marathon, Not a Sprint
As tempting as it would be to dive head first into all of that awesome food, you need to approach the meal in a calculated fashion. Don’t shovel bite after bite in without allowing your body some time to absorb it. Take your time while you eat and actually enjoy your food. Mentally you’ll be more satisfied with the meal. From a physical standpoint your body will be able to process the calories without you feeling sick to your stomach later. It’s not a race to see whose plate is empty first. You planned this day and prepared accordingly so don’t try to hurry through it.