It’s the holidays and food is everywhere. If you’re like me, you feel bombarded by the never-ending food-fest that begins around Thanksgiving and lasts through New Year’s. What can you do to overcome the temptations and prevent entering 2013 a few pounds heavier and with a guilty conscience? A lot, actually. I suggest you apply the same principles you do at the gym, to life….
1. Don’t over-WOD = don’t overparty.
Just as you wouldn’t hit three WODs in a day, you shouldn’t RSVP “yes” to multiple parties on the same day. In WODing, the more you over-exert yourself, the more likely you are to get hurt. During the holidays, the more parties you attend, the more exposed you are to crappy foods. It’s up to you to limit your risk for injury. By minimizing participation in holiday parties, the less susceptible you are to making bad food choices.
A warm up helps you mentally and physically prepare to exercise. Just as a proper warm up safely prepares the body for increased demand, a light snack before attending a party, will satiate you and prevent you from overindulging. It’s common knowledge our worst food decision-making is done when we’re hungry and have not planned. If you eliminate these two game changers, you put yourself on the path to cleaner eating.
3. Know your game plan.
Experience has taught you that some of your best performances and PRs have come from planning how you’re going to hit a WOD. Plan when you’ve “earned” a cheat—know precisely what that cheat will be and when you’ll consume it. The smorgasbord of sugar “treats” at parties exceeds any earned cheat.
4. Focus on technique before you work intensity.
Just like you focus on proper form before you go heavy, learn and understand how to balance clean eating with a cheat meal, before you try to tackle holiday party after holiday party on your own. If need be, consult an accountability buddy to help keep you clean and on track.
5. Know what’s on your barbell.
Use the same diligence to monitoring how much food you put on your plate, as you do how much weight you put on your barbell. How you do anything is how you do everything. You wouldn’t put more weight on your bar than you could lift, so don’t put more food on your plate than you can handle.
6. Don’t overchalk = Don’t overindulge.
An extra cookie is like excess-chalking: it does nothing good for you. While it’s important to live life in the moment, be aware of your body and what you’re doing to it. Listen to the feedback it gives you. It’s similar to the pulling sensation you feel seconds before you tear. You can prevent the stomachache and self-loathing by only eating when you’re hungry and not eating (excessive) processed foods.
7. Hydrate & mobilize.
We’ve all felt the detrimental effects of insufficient hydration PRE-WOD and lack of mobilization post-WOD. To avoid the fatigue, muscle soreness and regret, do the right thing and drink plenty of water pre- and post-party, and resume hitting the gym on the regular.