Tips for Navigating the Holidays and Counting Macros

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Around this time every year, as we are staring at the QUICKLY approaching holiday season, one of the biggest topics we hear at Stay Fit Mom day in and day out is “how do I navigate this holiday season and still work towards my goals?!?” It’s a VERY real concern for SO MANY WOMEN. There are so many parties and social gatherings, treats and food-based gifts, I just read the other day that we have a candy holiday followed by a pie holiday followed by a candy and cookie holiday followed by a booze holiday. Our celebrations are literally measured by the food we eat when celebrating them.

So how do we come out on the other side of these next six weeks not feeling terrible and like we failed AGAIN?

The best way to do this is to focus on MAINTAINING our weight during the holiday season- NOT trying to lose weight. If we are trying to LOSE weight, it is an uphill, almost impossible task, that will be frustrating and defeating and is more likely in the end, to lead to OVER indulgence and complacency. If we are trying to lose weight and keep losing to the never ending food temptations, most of us will reach a breaking point and say “screw it!” and stop trying almost altogether. Shifting to a maintenance perspective gives us something to strive for and works towards, while allowing us more freedom to enjoy this season and still be in control and working towards our goals.

Tips for Navigating the holidays while macro counting.

So how do we achieve this?

  1. If you are in a BIG diet phase, or caloric deficit, it is definitely worth considering taking these next six weeks as a diet break. Diet breaks are a GREAT tool to use regardless of the season for achieving your weight loss goals, and this is a PERFECT time to implement it. Raise your calories a few hundred to get out of that steep deficit! You’ll be able to fit more food into your macros which will enable you to still hit them even with extra meals out and treats. You’ll enjoy the season more not being so restricted and you’ll start the new year refreshed and with renewed energy for your weight loss! If you’re working slow and steady with a slight deficit, you may want to stay right there with your macros, anticipating more missed meals and days and extra treats! But shift your mindset to expecting the scale to stay steady, and not have that slow downward trend.
  2. Pick your misses CAREFULLY. There will be DAILY opportunities to NOT hit your macros. You will not be able to take them all. If it’s not an ABSOLUTELY yes, think REALLY hard about whether it should be a no. Friendsgiving with your chosen family and everyone bringing their favorite dish- absolutely worth the missed day and extra macros. A work thanksgiving lunch- that may be worth sticking to turkey and potatoes and a non-casserole veggie and estimating and still making it work for the day. Baking cookies with your kids? Absolutely. Store bought cookies at their school holiday party- not worth it. Say no to some things so you can say a HUGE yes to the big things.
  3. Treat every meal as a fresh start. Not just every day but every meal. We ALL can easily fall into the all or nothing mindset of, I have a holiday party tonight, it’ll definitely be a missed day so I’m not going to bother tracking during the day and I’m going to eat whatever I want. Or the grandparents bought donuts for breakfast and I had two so the day is a wash and I’m just going to indulge and start back into it tomorrow morning. DON’T FALL INTO THIS TRAP. Every meal is a fresh start. And every day, regardless of what’s happening, can be a day where we still meet goals. You’re not going to be in range of all your macros? Fine. Hit your protein. Hit your fiber. See if you can stay within 300-500 calories over your goal. Estimate everything you ate and still log it! Or track everything except your meal out. Don’t let a few little things derail you from the big things.
  4. KEEP MOVING. This is an incredibly busy season. DO NOT let that be the reason you stop moving your body. Prioritize your workouts during this season. Don’t wait for the time to open up to do it- it never will. Schedule it ahead of time. And when the days off come, it can be SO EASY to either fill them with errands and our to-do lists or to spend all the time relaxing- and there is a place for both! But don’t let those days pass without moving. Make it a family event with a walk or hike or use it as precious alone time to recharge while visitors are in your personal space. Whatever it is, keep moving. You’ll feel better mentally and physically and it will help maintain your weight.
Tips for staying on track with Macro Counting through the Holiday season.

The reality is that most people gain less than one pound during the holidays. So you can ABSOLUTELY maintain your weight and still have a lovely holiday season. And it will put you ready January 2nd to get back to working hard and crushing your goals!

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Tips for staying on track with Macro Counting through the Holiday season.

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