How can you stick to better eating when the holidays are around the corner, when there’s pumpkin flavored beers, parties left and right, we spend less time outdoors, etc.
Why do the things we eat change across the seasons?
– Activity Levels change depending on your schedule, sport, job, etc.
– Different types of crops and food are available – not as many salads, more root veggies
– Holidays are associated with certain foods (pumpkin spice, pumpkin beers, halloween, pies, peppermint mochas, lots of wine, drinks, alcohol, more family dinners and get-togethers).
– Change in daylight – you produce less vitamin D due to less daylight hours and exposure, it’s a hormone responsible for a lot of processes within the body so your metabolism changes.
– Seasonal Affective Disorder
Your eating patterns in the summer may not necessarily meet your energy needs in the winter in the same way.
First, lets identify the “traps” or loopholes that we psyche ourselves into to justify eating more poorly than normal.
– “I can lose the weight in the spring…or make it my New Years Resolution!”
     – expectation of instant change…between now and New Years is like almost 3 months. Do you expect to reverse everything you’re doing across several months in a few days? No, it’ll take you to like March to get back to the point where you are now!
– People get into a “it’s too late” mindset, or a, “Ehh, I’ll just let things go now and pick up my healthy habits in January.”
– “Nah, that doesn’t apply to me, I actually do better in the winter.”
– Generally saying it’s too much work, being conscious during that time is too hard and restrictive.
Your vision for where you want to be in health next year starts…today.


Solutions / Tips for Surviving the Holidays:
  1. Changes in activity level: Clearly, this means that you don’t need as much food! So you have two choices: either decrease your caloric intake, or increase your activity level.
    Try to figure out which types of foods you might be able to eliminate or switch out for other foods. Get into a new winter activity – and make it a habit (tough getting into the mindset of a new winter activity when it feels cold and all you want to do is snuggle in and watch Netflix)

    1. A great time to focus on strength training this time of year – the foods are naturally more carb dense.
  2. What are the biggest source of calories that come in the holidays? Usually nutrient-poor foods. Try not to buy or have any around the house at all…only limit to when visiting other people / events. Your environment plays a huuuuuge role in setting off that trigger to cause you to eat. If you have to drive all the way to the store to get gingersnap cookies…well that’s a hassle.
  3. If bringing food to some party or potluck, be the person that brings the healthy dish. Eat food before you go to (a snack with protein, some veggies…so you’re not as tempted). Also know whether you have an abstainer or moderator personality.
  4. Try to substitute recipes for certain flavors that come up in the seasons with more nutrient-dense foods. Instead of “pumpkin spice lattes”, maybe switch it out for a homemade pumpkin protein shake instead.
  5. Limiting alcohol – it does impair and alter your judgement and causes you to make many more poor decisions. Also, if you have to treat yourself, make it damn worthwhile! Instead of dabbling in a little bit of everything that’s like So-so or OK, go for just the ONE thing that’ll satisfy you the most and stick to that.
  6. Be adamant about taking your vitamins & supplements…fish oil, probiotics, multi, ZMA – zinc-magnesium. If you do have the time and resources, get your vitamin D levels checked – so my question is, should everyone be at least taking some form of vitamin D in the winter at all?
    1. How do you know if you’re not getting enough or you might be actually taking in too much?
  7. Be wary of meats that are naturally more fattier in the winter