The holidays are right around the corner and it doesn’t matter if you’re celebrating Noche Buena, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, what brings together family and friends the best is going to be food. With over ten years of competing under my belt, I have dieted and prepped through almost every holiday on the calendar year. Here are a couple strategies I use to stay on contest prep and still indulge and some of my favorite foods during the holiday.
- If you are prepping for a show during the Christmas holiday, it would be wise to do one of two things. 1) If you planned on scheduling your “cheat” meal with your friends and family, you should eat your normal prepped meals as you would normally do but keep it to protein and veggies. 2) Another option would be to try some intermittent fasting throughout the day and break your fast when it comes time to eat the big meal.
- With whichever option above you choose, it would be wise to start with any protein and veggies first and fill up with that as much as you can. At my family’s house since its tradition in a Cuban household, we have a green salad and pork as options for protein and veggies. (Plus a ton of other crazy delicious carbs) The reason I plate myself with these first is to kill some of my appetite and cravings for carbs.
- Now that my stomach is nicely settled with pork and unlimited salad, the part I look forward to the most when it comes to holiday dinner is going to be dessert. I’m a huge fan of fresh baked cookies, brownies and ice cream as much as the next person. I make myself one plate of desert usually a mix of all three. Since I limited my calories/carbs all day, that allows me to go ahead and enjoy myself to target my caloric numbers for the day.
- The following day, I make sure that I go right back to my normal diet, drink plenty of water and possibly do a few extra minutes of cardio. In the event that you overindulge (I don’t blame you for enjoying), you may want to try an intermittent fasting day to allow all the food to digest from the night before.
No matter what option you choose or don’t choose to diet at all during the holidays, I think the most important part is to be around friends and family. Fitness is not the single most important thing in the world and should not hold you back from having fun especially if you are approaching it smart and with moderation. Happy holidays from myself and the team here at RYSE.