Every year the US media reports that the average adult gains 7 to 10 lbs (3.2–4.5 kg) during the holiday season. While that number might be slightly exaggerated, the fact is that many of our clients tell us that they often stop their regular nutrition, forget about their usual portion sizes, and drink way too much alcohol over the holidays. I’m completely supportive of friends, family, and libations, but you don't have to forgo your High Performance Nutrition strategies this time of year.
At Tignum, we are all about easy-to-maintain strategies to help you stay on track. However, this doesn't mean you should prevent yourself from enjoying the celebration of food around the holidays (remember 80/20). Food brings generations together through traditions and large family meals. For many of us, those special meals from our childhood and passed-down recipes of yummy foods are what we look forward to all year long. I know I do! We encourage you to use food as celebration, and we also encourage you to consider how many opportunities there are to actually choose High Performance Nutrition options during this time of the year.
One strategy you may want to try during the holidays is intermittent feeding. This is where you don’t eat any food or drink any alcohol for 12 to 16 hours during a 24-hour period. This can be easier than you think because it includes the time you are sleeping, and you can eat normally the remainder of the day (be sure to stay hydrated). An easy way to do this is to simply choose to skip either breakfast or dinner. You may find yourself more in control of how you feel and what you eat by incorporating intermittent feeding during one or two days of the weekend.
This strategy can help your metabolic flexibility, give your body a chance to detox after one too many eggnogs, and support your immune system. All of these can be a huge benefit after your end-of-year push and celebration. We have also found that intermittent feeding is a great mindset tool to increase your awareness of your eating and help you gain control of your choices.
When you choose to implement High Performance Nutrition strategies, you're able to celebrate food, have more energy, support your immune system, and have more passion for enjoying the holidays. Don’t wait for the new year to revamp your nutrition; just build it into every day to help you truly enjoy this special time of year.
As always, we'd love to hear what you think.
By Patti Milligan
Tignum Director of Nutrition