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How to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

Gnarly faithful, when you talk to the people around you this time of year, it seems inevitable to most of them, the holidays mean a lot of time shopping and hanging out with family and a lot less time training and focusing on keeping fitness goals going. Between parties, the colder weather and the crazy amounts of food everyone feels like they need to prepare It’s not a surprise that December is a hard month to stay active and trim in. Most folks would throw in the towel, give in to the bottomless eggnog, fudge and prime rib and tell their fitness that they’ll see them on the other side of the new year.

Well, that’s not us. We’re not really the type to settle for a less active lifestyle just because a couple parties get in the way or it’s a bit chilly outside. Granted, it’s a good idea to give your body some rest from the intense training most people put in during the summer months. In fact, it’s downright healthy to ease off the workload a bit and let the body recoup (TIP: How To Train In The Winter Months). But, just as in all things, there must be a balance. If you’re all about your gingerbread and mashed potatoes this season, and not so much about countless hours spent on the trails, in the gym, in the pool, on the mountain, or wherever else it is you like to play, you need to figure out a balance that lets you enjoy your friends, the food and the holiday season, without undoing all that hard work you’ve put in the rest of the year. So today I thought I’d throw out a few tips on how to avoid that holiday weight gain that plagues even the best and gnarliest of us.

Realize that Emotions Can Rule What You Eat

I’m sure a lot of Gnarly faithful will think this isn’t something us active folk need to worry about. I mean, we follow fitness like a religion, we realize food is fuel and you don’t get a nice stomach by heading to the drive through to deal with the stress of the day -no way- that’s something other people do. We’d rather put in an extra couple miles or go find a rock to climb. But trust me, it affects almost everyone. When was the last time you finished a long ride, run, or training session with a friend and you decided to go celebrate the hard work with tons of great food? It’s part of what we do. Even the most disciplined among us like to celebrate and treat ourselves.

Eating is absolutely tied to our emotions -good or bad. In a recent study published in Obesity, Heather Niemeier, PhD, and her colleagues found that emotions play a huge roll in how and what we eat. They also found that when eating is triggered by emotions, it’s harder to make smart choices and manage what you’re putting in your body. The holidays can be quite an emotional and stressful time for a lot of us. Family and social functions bring out a lot of emotions, good and not so good, and with all the food around, it’s easy to let those emotions start to dictate what goes in our stomachs. The holidays also mean celebrating. And celebrating means alcohol. Most people are prone to drink a bit more this time of year than they normally would -which is fine in moderation of course, but when we’re a little tipsy it’s easier to let out our emotions (hopefully not the crying ones) and start to ease up on what we’re eating.

Remember to Plan your Meals

The best way to handle emotional eating: plan to have a good meal before you head out to functions. If you’re preparing your food, you have complete control over what you’re putting into your body.This will ease stress over wondering what you’ll eat when you arrive somewhere and you’ll feel better knowing you have control over your food choices. Even if you don’t have the resources or time to make and eat a full meal, you’re less likely to indulge if you’ve already had something that satiates your appetite. If you find yourself in a rush, Gnarly Feast is a great way to get in plenty of clean eating before you head out to a holiday function. Plus, with 12 grams of whole food fiber, it’s going to keep you feeling full for at least a few hours.

Make Your Holiday Functions Active

So, if you’re like me, as much as you love hanging out with family and friends, you absolutely hate sitting around a living room watching some holiday special you’ve seen fifty times since you were a kid and heading into the kitchen every half-hour or so to grab another cookie. Especially if there’s great winter weather outside to get into and explore. I get antsy. We’re active people, and the living room usually isn’t big enough to hold me and my wanderlust.

So why not grab some of the family and head out to a local ice rink for some skating. Maybe get everyone together to go sledding. Snow football games, an awesome snow hike on a decently groomed trail, and, of course, ski and snowboard days up on the montain with the family are all good ways to get everyone off their butts, out enjoying the winter and earning the pecan pie you know is waiting for you back home.

Some More Tips on Winter Sports to Try, Click Here

Plus, if you really work up an appetite, you can warm up and get some amazing grass fed protein in your system with a delicious little invention of mine I like to call Toasty Gnar: Just mix up some Chiseled Chocolate Gnarly Whey, throw it in the microwave until it’s nice and hot and you’ve got a hot chocolate alternative that doesn’t have crazy amounts of sugar and is actually doing something righteous for your body.

Happy Holidays!

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