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What to Eat During the Holidays to Keep Your Body Composition

Key Points

Three steps to maintaining your body composition during the holidays

 

The holidays are upon us. Between the frequent gatherings and endless shopping trips, it’s hard to keep a consistent gym schedule, much less a healthy eating schedule. One study found that people gain an average of 500% more weight per week during the holiday compared to non-holiday weeks!

No worries. Nutrition Nation is here to help you maintain your body composition and provide support to avoid holiday weight gain.

Body Composition

First, come get an InBody scan at the store. You can test your body composition to get your biometric data like percent body fat, muscle mass, and fat mass. Use the InBody to set a baseline to see how much fat you lose, or how much stronger you’ve become over the next few months.

In less than 60 seconds, an InBody scan can provide you with additional information like:

Segmental Analysis: Learn how much muscle and fat is in each of your body segments (right arm, left arm, torso, right leg, left leg) to identify areas of weakness.

Visceral Fat Analysis: Learn how much fat is surrounding your major organs. Visceral fat is associated with risks of developing diseases like cancer, diabetes, and stroke.

Basal Metabolic Rate: Find out how many calories your body burns while at rest so you can calculate how much food you should be eating per day.

Read more about body composition

plate with fork and knife icon

Eat Healthy

Second, watch what you eat for the next few months. You’re going to be tempted to indulge in all the salty, sweet, and carboliscious foods associated with Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s, but you have to be strong!

Here are a few nutrition tips to stay on track during the holidays:

Eat 1 plate of food. Fill it with lean protein (like turkey), vegetables (greens are best), and healthy carbs (like sweet potatoes). Have small servings of guilty pleasures. 

Limit alcohol and sugary beverages. This may be a hard one. Have seltzer with a lime, or if you absolutely have to, have a glass of wine. Sip it and savor it. 

Drink a ton of water. This will keep you full and dilute the sodium found in many holiday foods.

Have dessert. Make it something REALLY worth it. Have a half serving. Or, make your own healthy dessert and bring some to share. 

Protein up. Drink a protein shake 60 minutes before mealtime. This will bring you in to the meal already satiated and not ravenous.

Stop before you’re full. Eat slow, chew slow, enjoy the heck out of your food. This will allow your brain to catch up to your stomach and keep from over-eating.

Learn how to count macros. 

man doing workout at home

Work Out

Third, make time to work out. Holiday foods are high in calories, so you need to do something to work them off. Even if you can’t make it to the gym, go for a walk or jog, do some isometric exercises when nobody’s looking, pack some resistance bands in your suitcase when headed to the relatives – hey, something is better than nothing! 

Here are some core exercises you can do without equipment. 

Happy Holidays

Enjoy your time with your family, just pay attention to what you’re eating and make time to work out. Then head back to Nutrition Nation to get your body composition to see how well you did!

By Leslie Radford

Healthy Snacks to Curb Your Cravings

Healthy Snacks to Curb Your Cravings

Sometimes you just need a snack. But don’t turn to chips when you need something salty, or candy when you need something sweet. There are more nutritious, satisfying treats available.

Curb Your Cravings

Blood sugar dips three to five hours after you eat. Eating small, frequent snacks keeps your metabolism revved up and helps normalize blood sugar and ultimately keep you from reaching into the cookie jar.

Nutrient-poor, sugary snacks like candy bars may give you a quick jolt of energy, but then you’ll crash. That can leave you hungry, cranky, sleepy, and unable to concentrate. Good-for-you fruit sugars, honey, dairy products, whole grains, and many vegetables lift mood and battle fatigue without the roller-coaster effect.

Healthy snacks derive an extra mental boost if you include protein in your snack, like fish, meat, eggs, cheese, and tofu. They contain an amino acid that increases the production of neurotransmitters that regulate concentration and alertness.

Guidelines

When choosing a snack, keep these general guidelines in mind: 150 to 250 calories, about 3 grams of fiber, 5 grams of protein, and no more than 12 grams of fat.

Healthy Snacking

Healthy snacking curbs cravings, fights weight gain, regulates mood, boosts brainpower, and gives you the energy you need to keep going. Nutrition is the key to a healthy life.

Foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, dairy products, whole grains, and legumes are satisfying and are packed with the nutrients, fiber, and protein your body needs. They guard against sugar highs and lows.

Here are some examples of healthy snacks:

  • Fresh fruits and veggies

  • Roasted chickpeas

  • Popcorn

  • Nuts and seeds

  • Whole-grain toast with peanut or almond butter

  • Plain yogurt or cottage cheese (Add freshly cut fruit)

  • Fruit and veggie smoothie

  • Whole-grain crackers with canned tuna or salmon

  • Unsweetened dried or freeze-dried fruits

  • Frozen banana slices

  • Frozen grapes

Always remember to check the nutrition label when shopping. Watch for added sugars and salt, and try making healthier versions of packaged snacks at home so you can choose the ingredients.

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