If you practice intermittent fasting, you know the power of consistency and planning. In addition to all of the great things holidays bring, they can also bring a lot of chaos to the best-laid plans. So how can you plan now, to keep on track through the holidays?
Intermittent Fasting on Holidays and Vacations
One of the best ways to minimize the damage done to your body when you’re eating, drinking, and spending more time visiting with family than in the gym is to keep going with your intermittent fasting.
If you use intermittent fasting in your daily life, you should keep doing it simply because of the consistency factor and keeping your body in ketosis. No one wants to get hit with the “fasting flu” after they’ve just spent a few days relaxing, right?
You already know the health benefits of fasting, such as enhanced insulin sensitivity and a lower risk of heart disease. Still, there’s an even more straightforward truth, and that’s the fact that eating in the morning kickstarts your stomach, making you even hungrier than if you’d held off. So instead of naturally consuming fewer calories throughout the day by limiting your eating window, you’d be that much more tempted to eat all day long.
But holidays and vacations are not about deprivation! What’s the point of traveling and visiting family and friends if you’re going to pass up on all the delicious food?
You’re probably aware of the multitude of health benefits of intermittent fasting, such as improving disease biomarkers, weight management, preserving learning and memory ability, and reducing oxidative stress.
But think about why it would be essential to try intermittent fasting during the holiday season!
- Fasting helps counteract the effects of culinary overindulgence. AKA “pigging out.”
When you’re reckoning with pastries, biscuits, potatoes, and pasta dishes, it’s easier to balance things out and not throw your body into shock by keeping the intermittent fasting going.
- Fasting supports a healthy metabolism, even in the face of the holiday “slacker” mindset.
Let’s face it, we all take the last two weeks of the year off in one way or another!
- While intermittent fasting is never all about weight management, the holidays are known for packing on a few pounds. Intermittent fasting can help prevent weight gain in a more manageable way than traditional dieting.
- With so much going on, fasting helps prevent sluggishness and forgetfulness.
Did you get your niece that gift your sister asked you to get? Yes, but where the heck did you put it?
- Keep focused on what really matters — spending time with family and friends — instead of on eating.
The holidays are about gathering, loving your family, and making memories. None of which involve eating as a required component.
- Adjust your fasting times for both practicality and joy of the moment.
- Stick with bulletproof coffee if you have to join in during breakfast, since breakfast can be the king of refined carbs, and you don’t want extra!
- Focus on the protein. Load up on turkey, steaks, seafood, and chicken so that at times when you’re faced with more carb options than protein or fat, you won’t mess up your average macros.
- If you’re traveling, especially to somewhere with warmer weather, don’t forget to take time to get your exercise in. Sightseeing on foot, playing volleyball on the beach, whatever you can do. If it’s cooler or cold, maybe get a game of tag football going to get everybody moving.
- If you’re bringing a dish, go for fat bomb truffles, nut-based pies, cheese platters, or even some lovely 90% dark cacao chocolate.
- When you get home, depending on if you’ve got time zone complications, remember that you’re going to find it difficult to adjust back after a week or two of taking it easy. Re-acclimate slowly. Break your fast earlier if you have to for a few days, and then slowly adjust it back. Don’t shock your body—intermittent fasting is about your health first and foremost. Also use your intermittent-fasting super-powers to beat jet lag!
- Remember, if you don’t want to fast during the holidays, and you’d rather relax and just enjoy life (and maybe a little alcohol) – don’t do it. Nothing will permanently affect you for life if you take a break for a week or so. You can always get back to it and deal with the “consequences” later. Have fun when you can!
Get a Coach
A fasting coach can be a great asset during the holidays. Not only can they help you strategize when chaos arrives, but they can be a source of consistency when everything else feels chaotic, and a source of accountability when every other force in your life is pushing you to do the “normal” thing.