It’s not how you eat during Thanksgiving.
It’s how you ate prior to Thanksgiving.
The long, calorie-stuffed weekend starts two days early, on Thursday.
And if you’re still worried about how you’re going to approach the upcoming days of dietary fats, laughs, light beers, and liquors...just stop.
There are many reasons why starting a diet during the holidays is a horrible idea.
Larry Lyons is the owner of Mass Muscle Nutrition. He's also been a Nutrition Coach for over two decades preparing bodybuilding athletes for the stage. He says,
"Unless you're in contest prep stage, I always tell my clients to enjoy the holidays with family. If you're staying consistent with your diet, turkey dinner on Thanksgiving won't destroy all your hard work...
Spending time with family and friends is an important part of the holidays and that in itself has health benefits."
I couldn't agree more with Larry. He emphasizes the importance of consistency leading up to the holiday festivities.
That's why starting a diet on one of the most important holidays of the year is plain stupid. Here are my top 3 reasons why:
1. Guilt is More Toxic Than Calories:
Why do 90% of all diets fail? Lack of willpower may be a factor.
However, one of the most influential factors affecting your diet is your environment.
According to health experts, your zip code, more so than your genetic code, is a better predictor of your health.
Quite simply, your environment determines your health.
If you’re planning on spending Thursday through Saturday visiting relatives, resisting the foods you love...that's no way to spend the holidays. That's torture.
Another name for that is guilt.
Will power may be a noble act in theory, but after a while, peer pressure and other social influencers are a greater force.
So the recommended course of action to avoid a losing battle against guilt is shifting the name of the game from guilt to control.
Don’t feel guilty….Just enjoy the food, fun, and family, while remaining in control.
Feeling guilty, anxious, stressed, or defeated means you're not in control.
Prime your mind and your eating habits prior to the holidays to remain in control throughout the holidays.
And this is a great segway for reason #2. Which is:
2. Preparation, Not Deprivation:
Don't worry about how you’re going to eat during the holidays.
Focus on how you eat on regular days.
Don't wait until the next holiday to start worrying about your calorie intake.
Have conscious control over your food intake every day.
3. Misery Loves Company…But Company Loves Food
If you’re miserable during the holidays because you can’t stand the site of all the food, move aside.
During the holidays, most people want to have fun, eating what they want to eat with the people they love.
If you’re showing up to the party to ask for the fat-free turkey or grass fed veal, get real!
Although there are many who'll join you in the company break room to commiserate over the shitty hours and annoying boss, this isn’t one of those times.
If you’re feeling anxious over the unavailability of foods that adhere to your dieting guidelines, the truth is, no one cares about your demand for cage-free turkeys.
Misery loves company...but the company came to eat and drink the wine, not to hear you whine.
So if you're into real food and real things….Get real.
Take control of your eating habits every day, not just during the holidays.
For this weekend, be grateful for your health, your friends and your family.
Now go have a Happy Thanksgiving!
About the Author
Juan is the Founder & CEO at Primal Platoon, Inc. He's a military law enforcement veteran with over 20 years experience in the nutrition & fitness field. With a Master's Degree in Nutrition Education and a deep understanding of employee disengagement, he has helped service members, families, and corporate employees learn strategies to take control of their wellness. He’s a Founding Member of the Men's Health Fitness Council, and has written community health blogs that have been shared around the world.