If you're reading this, you probably feel like you over ate this Thanksgiving weekend.
I mean, with so many delicious foods, how could you resist? It's not like you're allowed to eat turkey and pie every day...right?
Maybe you feel guilty for enjoying a holiday meal.
And I get it. Gymnastics culture tells us we are not allowed to indulge. That we're not allowed to eat foods with sugar, with carbs, with fat, with dairy, with gluten, with CALORIES. And if you do, then you'll automatically gain weight and everything will be ruined.
So...you feel like you need to make up for it today. Eat less, skip meals, get in extra workouts... Anything to undo the past few days...
So, you're thinking..."Maybe today, I'll skip breakfast." "I'll only eat vegetables and drink water." "I'll schedule in a second workout to burn off that big meal."
Many people believe that they have to "get back on track" after a big holiday meal. But, whether you're doing all these things or not, you're never going to undo Thanksgiving (and why would you want to! It was delicious!). You can't burn off or make up for overeating.
In my experience (both professionally as a registered dietitian for gymnasts and personally as a former gymnast), more often than not, this backfires. Skipping meals or exercising more usually leaves you feeling starving later (and more likely to overeat). Restricting certain types of foods usually just makes the cravings that much stronger, and when you finally do give in to that leftover piece of pie, you eat way past feeling comfortable.
Guess what gymnasts: No matter what you ate this weekend. No matter how you moved your body this weekend. Your body needs and deserves food today too.
One snack, one meal, one day, or even a couple of days of eating differently WILL NOT hinder, stall, or ruin your big-picture training goals!!
Thanksgiving dinner (nor the leftovers) does not automatically turn into body fat. Your body is smart and knows exactly what to do with this food.
And remember, holiday food is just food! It still has the nutrition your body needs (turkey has protein for your muscles and mashed potatoes and pie have carbs for energy).
So, if you're feeling like you overate, here's a few tips to help you move forward:
Listen to your body and honor it. If you're hungry again, Eat. If you're still feeling a little full, maybe choose some foods that feel lighter to you (like soup, fruits and veggies,etc.) or serve yourself a smaller portion until you feel back to normal.
Feeling stiff or cooped up with your family? Move your body in a way that feels good.
Drink some water. Yup, you're probably dehydrated and your body needs water for digestion.
Get back to your normal routine. Bring back your normal meals and snacks schedule (fueling every 3 hours). Even use your favorite leftovers to build your athlete's plate.
Remember, one snack, one meal, or one day of eating will NOT hurt your overall training goals! Enjoy this time with your family.
If you've been thinking about working with an RD to improve your nutrition, this holiday season I have 2 great deals that are sure to help any gymnast!
For the high-level gymnast looking for a simple starting place to improve their performance!
1 60-minute 1:1 nutrition coaching ($150 value)
7 Day food journal review ($49 value)
Complete nutrition assessment ($99 value)