Tomorrow is Thanksgiving! Hopefully you guys are all ready to feast your heart out. Since I don’t want to be a party pooper and rob anybody out of their Thanksgiving food glory, I’d like to provide some quick holiday eating tips on how to eat like a king at holiday dinners while minimizing fat gain. Here are my tips for holiday eating outlining what you should be doing the day before and the day of the big holiday meal.
1. Save up your Calories for later
The day before:
Eat 20%-40% less than what you normally eat (depending on what you’re comfortable with_. I know this sounds hard at first, but if you eat the right things, your body will be able to handle it fine. To control hunger pangs, try eat foods high in proteins and fibrous vegetables.
The Day Of the Feast:
If you have experience practicing Intermittent Fasting (IF) it would be wise for you to skip breakfast and lunch and break your fast at dinner time. This might sound hard, but if you’ve done IF for a while, it’s a piece of cake. Contrary to popular myths, fasting for a short period (< 60 hours) of time does not destroy your metabolism, but instead increases your metabolism.
If you have never fasted, you can continue to eat like the previous day (high protein/fiber, low everything else).
2. Workout HARD 1-2 Hours before the meal
Studies show that nutrition partitioning favors muscle rebuilding (instead of fat storage) within the post workout window (1-2 hours after workout is completed). Here’s a great write-up going into the science of why this is the case.
So DO IT, 1-2 hours before your meal, go lift heavy things.
3. Pig Out and Don’t Stress
Scientifically, what will help you post-workout is to eat high protein, high carbs, and low fats until you hit your glycogen store limit for carbs.
But seriously, during the big meal, eat whatever the heck you want. I know this isn’t the best holiday healthy eating tip, but realize that this only happens a few times out of the year and you deserve it for watching what you eat on the other days.
If you REALLY want to prioritize what to eat for the “pig out” protocol, eat your proteins first and use fats and carbs for flavoring. Liquid calories (e.g. soda, alcohol) and desserts come last (after you ate your main meal).
Enjoy your holiday!