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Our Top 5 Tips to Crushing the Holiday Season!

Tip #1: MAP IT OUT

  Basically the entire month of December, or really, starting at Thanksgiving to the New Year, is jam-packed with parties and social events everywhere you turn. On top of normal life to-do’s, there’s holiday gatherings everywhere you turn. The more organized we are, the more prepared we are, the more prepared we are, the more successful we are!

If we can pinpoint exactly what occasions we have coming up and can see the clear picture ahead, we can pick and choose which days we will want to indulge a little more and which ones we can stay more on track. If there are parties where we are bringing a dish, we can plan to make something a little more calorie-friendly that we can munch on and if we aren’t we can make sure to plan our day accordingly, knowing that day may be a little off our normal routine.  Maybe your office has all the holiday goodies all month long at work, choose ONE day to enjoy and then leave the rest behind. No one needs 25 days of cookies at lunch! But, maybe your sister is having a killer Christmas party that you know you will want to sit back, relax and not stress over what your calorie intake looks like! Pick what’s most important to you and what’s most worth indulging in, and build your month from there.

TIP #2: DROP THE NEW YEAR EXCUSE!

 It can be so easy to get wrapped up in the whirlwind of the holidays and just use the good ‘ol, “i’ll start fresh at the new year” excuse. Don’t let this be you! Stop the madness! Let’s do some math. Even if you started counting from today (December 6th when this will be released), that gives you 25, 24 hour days where you have a choice to either “wait until the New Year” or make that day a win. So, even if spread throughout the month you had 7 full days of holiday parties where you indulged, that still gives you 18 days where you have the opportunity to choose good, whole, nutritious foods and move your body! Let’s dig even deeper into the numbers. If you ate a 2k calorie diet daily for 18 of those days that would be a total of 36,000 calories. If 7 of those days were even 4k+ calories, those 7 days combined would be 28,000 give or take some. That would be a total of 64,00 calories in the month.  So think, if you decided to splurge ALL of those other days of December, you would be in a MUCH worse place! So stop making the excuses, stop waiting until the New Year and think the entire month is a wash, it’s not! NOW is the time! Even if there are some off days in between!

TIP #3: EAT YOUR VEGGIES!

This is something we tell all of our clients and truly it’s not just veggies, but whole foods in general. If you are going to a party where there’s lots of temptations, load up on protein and veggies before you go. These are always hardest to come by in most scenarios, so making sure to get those in at the start of the day will ensure you are getting some nutrient-dense foods in. Never go into a party hunger, this will lead to over-indulging very easily! Use the same rule at the party, if there are options of veggies and protein, go for those first, it can help keep from going buck wild on the cookie platter from the get go! Lastly, this applies to all days surrounding your holiday events. Focus on whole, nutrient-dense foods to balance out those days where you will be indulging a little more! 

TIP#4: DRINK SMART!

The holidays are a time to celebrate! Celebrate another year, celebrate time with family, celebrate whatever it is YOU celebrate this time of year! This often means alcohol. cocktails, wine, beer galore! Of course alcohol isn’t full of goodness for the body but it’s a big part of socialization and so there are some ways we can lessen the blow of those boozy nights! First, drink lots of water! Do your best to hit at least half of your bodyweight in ounces each day and even more if possible on the day before, of and after you will be drinking. This will help your body rid of toxins faster as well as keep you hydrated and ward off any negative side affects of alcohol. Secondly, beware of sugar! Alcohol in and of itself is loaded with calories, so adding in sugary mixers will only double or triple that number. Not to mention all of the other side affects sugar can have on our bodies! Mixing sugar with alcohol is like a double-edged sword and it will give us a huge blood sugar spike along with the affects of alcohol. We all know what goes up, must come down, so after that spike will come the crash! A recipe for a lot of calories, low energy and potentially a worsened hangover the next day! Thirdly, a good rule is to choose how many drinks you will have and stick to it. Alternate water/ drink/ water/ drink if need to be! Too much to drink can lead to more snacking as well, so be aware what those triggers are for you and do your best to go in with a plan so you aren’t tempted! 

If you haven’t already, check out our Youtube video for some macro-friendly cocktail options!

https://youtu.be/L76tvLxgjLE

TIP #5: ASK YOURSELF : IS IT A HELL YES?

In all honesty, i stole this rule from a friend and fellow nutrition coach, but it’s just too good not to share! Looking at all of the goodies, we can easily want to have one of each thing and just go crazy! But, instead of reaching for foods just because they are there and they look good ask yourself if it’s a ‘hell yes!” Is it truly something you really want? Or is it something you can live without? Weigh your options, is it some store bought, mediocre cookie or is it great Aunt Sue’s famous homemade pie that only comes around once a year? Before you reach for a food, ask yourself if it’s TRULY something you want or if you are just reaching for it because it’s staring at you.

 

Hopefully these tips help you go into this holiday season feeling confident that you can enjoy it, keep a happy belly and a happy balance throughout! We know navigating through this time of year can be challenging, so we are always here to help! If you have any specific questions or concerns please never hesitate to reach out! 

Happy holidays!

Katy & Mallory

 

3 Macro-Friendly Holiday Cocktails

Check out our full Youtube video, showing “how-to” for each cocktail! We also discuss how we recommend calculating alcohol into your targets. 

https://youtu.be/L76tvLxgjLE

Pomegranate Mojito 

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 Cup Lite Pomegranate Juice
  • 1T Lime Juice
  • 1.5 Ounce Rum 
  • 1/4 t. Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Champagne

Directions:

Mix all ingredints (muddle mint in), then fill to the top w/ ice and top with champagne!

*garnish with mint and pom seeds

Macros: 

Alcohol: Rum= 97 cals/1.5 oz: 11F OR 25C 

              Champagne= 24 calories/ounce x 3ox = 72 cals: 8F OR 18C

Mixer: 5g Carbs

Total: 19F 5C OR 48C (you could log the rum as carbs or fats and the champagne as carbs or fats to mix it up)

Gin Fizz

  • 3 Sprigs Rosemary
  • 1 Small Lemon
  • 1/2 t. Honey
  • 1.5 Ounce Gin (we used twisted lime flavored)
  • 3 oz Club Soda

Directions:

Muddle rosemary, lemon and honey, fill with ice and top off with club soda.

*garnish with rosmary and lemon

Macros:

Alcohol: Gin= 110 calories/1.5 oz: 12 Fat grams OR 28 Carb grams

Mixer: 6g Carbs

Total: 12F 6C OR 34C

Apple Cider Moscow Mule

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 Ounce Vodka
  • 1.5 Ounce Apple Cider (we used Simply Apple Juice)
  • 1 Small Lime Wedge
  • 1.5 oz Ginger Beer (we prefer Fever Tree Light Ginger Beer)

Directions:

Mix all ingredients together, fill with ice, top off with club soda

Macros:

Alcohol: Vodka= 97 Calories/1.5oz :11 Fat grams OR 25 Carb grams

Mixer: 10C 

Total: 11F 10C OR 35C

 

We hope you enjoy! Let us know if you try them and how you like them! 

Cheers,

Katy and Mallory

 

How to track your favorite summer beverage

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Its really that simple! You can create a listing in my fitness pal for your favorite drinks so you have it handy anytime you want to log. Below, we created some cheat sheets for you with some of the most common drinks. Feel free to book mark this page or save these charts in your pictures for easy access later! Of course, keeping alcohol out of our diet is the best way to support health but life is about finding the balance that works for you. We hope you find these helpful!

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To Drink or Not to Drink?? That is the Question!

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I think the real reason for this is I drink much less frequently than I did in my early to mid twenties and I eat much cleaner and balanced now as well. Now when I drink alcohol, my body is much more sensitive to it and being used to clean, whole foods filling my 1800-2000 calories a day, it goes on strike wihen I try to replace those calories with not-so-nutritious alcohol. 

Don’t worry, this post is not going to shame you for drinking, I love a good drink just as much as the next person! I just want to address the subject and some common questions we get. Hopefully I can bring a little more clarity to the subject and help you make a more educated decision next time you do….. or don’t, tip one back! 

We love macro counting because you can fit the foods and drinks you love into your daily macronutrient intake. However, does that always mean that just because you can fit chocolate cake or a piece of pizza into your macros it’s the best decision for your health? Is that big margarita going to make you feel like a million bucks the next day? Not always, but it also doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy those things.

Our bodies require protein, carbohydrates and fats to function. There are 4 calories to 1 gram of carbs and 1 gram of protein, 9 calories to 1 gram of fat and 7 calories to a gram of alcohol. When we consume protein, carbs and fats our bodies immediately get to work to metabolize our food. When we drink, our body doesn’t recognize it as one of those three necessary macros and wants to rid of it as quickly as possible so instead of metabolizing our food, it works on the alcohol instead. This can result in our body holding off on metabolizing our food and runs the risk of storing it as body fat instead of using it as fuel! 

So when should you just say no to that drink and when is it okay to indulge? I say tell me your goals and that will give us your answer! 

Is significant weight loss and body composition change your current goal? If the answer is yes and you really want to do everything in your power to get there, I think it is best to skip the drink. 

“But Katy, one glass of red wine a day is good for your heart health!”

Sorry Charlie, but NOT drinking wine every day is better for your heart and your waist line! I hear all the excuses in the book, but at the end of the day your body is going to respond to clean, whole foods much better than it is to alcohol. 

Is your goal to get shredded and see a 12 pack? Again, I would definately keep the liquor limited. Yes, there are plenty of super lean individuals out there that drink but it is going to be easier and you are going to feel a lot better if you pass up the drinks. If you are in a caloric deficit, your calories are already super limited so to fit alcohol into your macros is probably going to mean that your food intake is going to be super limited. Splitting up an already low caloric intake between alcohol and food is tough to do and can often result in an unwanted binge. It can already be a challenge mentally to adhere deficit macros, let alone when you are drinking part of those calories. 

Is your goal to find the balance of healthy eating, yet enjoy your social life? If you fall in this category of coarse you can have a lean body and look amazing! You may just have to be okay with a little slower progress or not walking around with 6 pack abs 24/7. This also doesn’t mean if you are in the above two categories you can’t have a social life, obviously! This group just may be a little more lax than the others. If you love those Friday or Saturday nights out with your friends or significant other and you don’t want to track during those times or you want an extra drink or 3, then that is okay! You just have to know where you stand with your goals and that things may not move as fast if you are doing this. 

At the end of the day, you know your goals and you know how alcohol affects your body. I encourage you to be honest with yourself and what your goals are. Before you tip one back, ask yourself if that drink is in alignment with your goals. At Flex Fuel we strive to help you create a plan that works for your life, while simultaneously helping you reach your goals. This looks different for each person and if you need help figuring out which path is best for you, we are happy to help you figure that out! Life is not black and white and neither is your nutrition journey! 

Cheers,

Katy