Eight Holiday Hacks to Prevent Fat Gain | Mind Pump

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Key Takeaways

  • Eat with intention, the speed and approach to eating are often large factors in gaining weight over the holidays
    • Fast before and after your meal; the constant snacking and grazing is what’s worst for you
    • Eat your proteins first – they have the most macronutrients and have an appetite suppressing effect
    • Slow down – enjoy the bite in your mouth, don’t get caught up anticipating the next bite
    • Say no to leftovers – keep the holiday meal as a standalone special event
  • The holidays are about spending time with your friends and family, don’t rush through the meal
    • Make Thanksgiving into a 6-course meal – start with only turkey on your plate, eat it, wait 15 minutes, and grab your next dish
    • Try to take small portions of everything rather than one heaping plate, take breaks and talk in between portions
  • Physical activities can be a great form of social fun and interaction during the holiday season
    • Nature hikes, flag football, turkey trot/walk, and weight training challenges
    • Simply taking a walk after your meal can be great for digestion and an awesome time to socialize

Intro

  • In this episode of Mind Pump, the crew discusses their strategies on how to prevent fat gain over the holiday season
    • The average American gains 8-20 pounds over the holidays, from Halloween to New Years
    • These strategies can be applied outside of the holiday season as well
  • Hosts: Sal Di Stefano (@mindpumpsal), Adam Schafer (@mindpumpadam), and Justin Andrews (@mindpumpjustin)

#1 – Bring Something Healthy

  • When you are at a holiday potluck, be the person that brings a vegetable, low-calorie dish, or lean protein dish
    • You’ll guarantee that there will be at least one healthy option that you like

#2 – Organized Physical Activity

  • Organize a collective physical activity, make a tradition out of it
    • You get all the social and bonding benefits from the holidays while staying active
    • Don’t present it as a traditional workout – make it fun, informal, and competitive
      • E.g., Nature hikes, flag football, turkey trot/walk, weight training challenges

#3 – Fast Before and After the Holiday Meal

  • Fasting helps put your mind at ease; it puts you in a better psychological state to enjoy your meal
  • The meal isn’t the worst thing for you anyway, it’s the constant mindless grazing (deserts, appetizers, drinks)

#4 – Eat Your Food in Order

  • Be strategic about the order you eat your food during holiday meals
    • Eat protein, vegetables, starches, and then other foods
    • This strategy should cause you to eat less – proteins are shown to have an appetite-suppressing effect
    • Proteins (with some fat content) provide your essential macronutrients so it makes sense to prioritize them before consuming lower nutrient / higher calorie foods

#5 – Be Present

  • Be present, be in the moment
    • Enjoy the bite in your mouth, don’t get caught up anticipating the next bite. Set the fork down, it’s not a race.
    • Your food will be more enjoyable and you’ll be more present in a conversation
      • Other countries prioritize the social setting of a meal far over the food itself.

#6 – Want Seconds? Wait

  • If you want seconds, wait 15 minutes and see what your stomach communicates to your brain
    • This is better for your digestion as well. Allows the stomach an appropriate time to send the ‘full’ signal up to the brain.
  • You could also try making Thanksgiving into a 6-course meal – start with only turkey on your plate, eat it, wait 15 minutes, and grab your next dish
  • Or, try to take small portions of everything rather than one heaping plate, take breaks and talk in between portions

#7 – Post-Meal Walk

  • Invite your family and friends on a walk after your meal
    • You’ll be surprised by the response, accountability often has a chain reaction

#8 – Say No to Leftovers

  • It’s hard but say no the leftovers
    • Make it a one-meal event, not a week-long gorge. Keep the holiday meal as a special and rewarding event.
    • If you do take leftovers, at least focus on the food group priorities mentioned in #4, grab the proteins and vegetables
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Notes By Drew Waterstreet

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