8 Tips For How To Survive Holiday Eating Season // Thick N Fit Kitchen (November 2018 Q&A with Dr. Dan)
What up, Queens! Welcome back to another Thick N Fit Kitchen livestream recap with our special guest, Dr. Daniel Reardon aka Dr. Dan (@drdanreardon)!
Dr. Dan is a doctor, educator, entrepreneur, and the CEO/co-founder of a company called Fitness Genes. Fitness Genes delivers custom diet and exercise plans based off of your DNA, and is the program that I did in 2017 that completely changed the way that I now eat and exercise, and helped me lose close to 30 lbs in a year.
Every month I host a livestream with him on a special topic, and this month’s is all about how to best indulge/recover from overeating over the holidays. Lord knows I live to go IN over the holidays, but this year I wanted to learn how to decrease the risk of messing up all my hard work in the gym. So here are the key highlights from our conversation. Hope you find it helpful, and please feel free to follow me on Instagram to find out when the next livestream will take place!
Tip #1: Enjoy Yourself
I know that was definitely not what you were expecting to see, but Dr. Dan encourages us to remember that the holidays are about family, fun, and good vibes. So there’s no need to stress over calories and weight gain since the high amount of calories that you'll consume on that one day is not going to have a significant impact on your health/fitness results in the long run.
Tip #2: Eat Gratuitously
But one way to help you potentially limit how many calories you consume over the holidays without busting out MyFitnessPal is to practice eating gratuitously. This means only eating food that you actually enjoy, and that gives you emotional/spiritual fulfillment. Over the holidays, it is common for people to eat food mindlessly; they’ll eat it just because it’s there, and not because they actually want it, which is where the most potential for overeating can occur. Learning how to eat gratuitously has helped me immensely on my thick n fit journey because it allows me to have my cake and eat it too (as long as it’s bomb ass cake that nourishes my spirit). I definitely plan to write more about this concept in future posts, so make sure you’re subscribed to the email list so you don’t miss it!
Tip #3: It’s All About Consistency
Dr. Dan says that instead of focusing on avoiding food over the holidays, you should actually focus on getting back into a consistent eating routine. Having one abnormally high calorie day, he says, is not going to impact your fitness results in the long run. However, falling off of a consistent diet pattern is usually what will have the greater impact.
“remember that the holidays are about family, fun, and good vibes.”
Tip #4: Leftovers Are Fine… In Macro-Friendly Moderation
So IDK if you’re like me, but holiday food always tastes even better the next day. So I was nervous to ask Dr. Dan about how we should go about handling leftovers. But, luckily, he said that leftovers are totally fine as long as you're eating them in macro-friendly meals. Leftovers only complicate our fitness goals when we try to repeatedly eat them over the following days in the same massive quantities as we did over the holiday.
Macros refer to macronutrients, which is just a fancy way to refer to the fat, protein, and carb breakdown of our daily diet. Everyone has an ideal macronutrient ratio of fat, protein, and carbs that they should be hitting every day to reach their health/fitness goals. You can use a fitness app like MyFitnessPal to figure out what your ratio is. Fitness Genes will also give you a custom macronutrient breakdown based off of your genetics and the fitness plan that you select to follow.
Tip #5: Christmas Coronaries/Hanukkah Heart Attacks Are A Thing Apparently
Dr. Dan alerted us that during the holidays there tends to be an uptick in heart attacks due to the increase in calories consumed (read here for more info). So he doesn't recommend going for a walk right after you eat as that could put more pressure on your heart. He says, instead, that you should aim to get up in the morning, eat a light breakfast, and then go for a walk.
Tip #6: Definitely Aim To Get Some Exercise In The Next Day
Dr. Dan encourages any form of light exercise the day after so as to really make the most of the extra energy you’ll have in your system from the abundance of calories consumed. A brisk 30 minute walk with family or friends is totally fine.
Tip #7: Eat Lightly Leading Up To Dinner To Avoid Over Eating
You don't actually have to starve yourself leading up to dinner to make room for all those calories. In fact, eating a light meal earlier in the day can help you to eat less during dinner, and decrease the risk of over eating.
Tip #8: Drinking Water Before Dinner Can Also Help
Drinking several cups of water before dinner can also help you to eat less during dinner, and decrease the risk of overeating.
“Take this one day to allow yourself to eat what makes you happy.”
But overall, Dr. Dan says to take this one day to allow yourself to eat what makes you happy, and to enjoy the time that you have with family and friends. There's literally over 360-something other days in the year for you to stress about what you're eating. So treat yourself today, and get right back into the thick n fit kitchen tomorrow!
Hope this was helpful, and please feel free to join us on the live streams! Remember to follow me on Instagram (@dayshaveronica) to find out when they're happening. And if you'd like to give Fitness Genes a try, please feel free to take advantage of my 10% off discount code: QUEEN10
Happy holidays, Queens!