Meal Plans

How to Build a Healthier Holiday Plate

Don't sacrifice your muscle gains this holiday season. Follow these tips to keep your physique on track.

Thankgiving-Meal-Plate
Brent Hofacker / Shutterstock

With the holidays just around the corner, most fitness enthusiasts are thinking about two things: cheat meals or vacations. After all, what's the point of being in shape and killing it in the gym all year long if we can’t indulge once in a while, especially for special occasions? 

Those who want to stay lean and mean and not destroy the whole year’s worth of training always have a choice. It is still possible to take part in those family gatherings without jeopardizing your hard work and months of training and dieting.

The Rules

1. Eat your regular meals throughout the day.

Don’t skip breakfast to leave room for the large meal at night. Sumo wrestlers do exactly that – eat one or two meals a day and go to sleep.

I’m sure you have the visual of your uncles going to the couch to nap after stuffing themselves. Having your regular meals throughout the day won’t leave you starving when the feasts come, preventing you from overeating.

2. Have one hell of a workout an hour or so before.

That way, even if you overeat, your body will store the excess calories as energy, not fat.

3. Choose wisely and make sure you have digestive enzymes at hand.

I would also suggest some type of glucose disposal herb like fenugreek, which helps your body and insulin deal with the elevated blood sugar.

 

The Macro Split

Split your dish into three sections. One third is protein, another third is vegetables, salads and greens, and the last third is what I call category-two vegetables, which are usually higher on the glycemic index like potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams or rice. The chart above is what it would look like.

It's recommended to stay away from sauces and pies. Sauces always have some kind of sugar, which makes everything harder to digest. The crust from the pies always contain gluten, unless specified otherwise. Gluten is also in most sauces and other desserts. Unless it was planned as a cheat, stay away from desserts and pies.

If you are the host, you can always treat your guests with healthier choices like organic turkey (raised without antibiotics), gluten-free pies, frozen or fresh vegetables and fruits.

Ditch the traditional mashed white potatoes, which are known for being high in pesticides. Opt for mashed sweet potatoes or cauliflower instead. Here are some non-conventional recipes for a healthier and leaner Holidays:

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