It’s a war zone out there. At first you’re just walking along, plastic plate in hand, grabbing some turkey and some ham when all of the sudden… BOOM! Carb bombs. POW! Fat grenades. BANG! Hidden land mines of trans fat posing as innocent looking vegetables. AHHH!!!
How can we combat the dreaded holiday luncheons aka nutritional plan wreckers? Easy – with a little bit of planning and some strategic plate filling!
There’s no simple way to say this… if you’re serious about maintaining decency at the all-you-can-eat company luncheon, you’re going to have to say no to some deliciousness. But, the key word is some. Not all. Here are six simple ways to battle and save your belly come turkey time.
True story; my company had its Thanksgiving lunch today. I followed the steps I’m going to lay out for you… except this first one. I assumed, incorrectly, that simple water would be a beverage option to compliment my lunch. Nope. There were sodas galore – diet and regular, as well as tea (sweet, of course, this is the South) and even lemonade. But there was no water. I wanted water. I settled for Diet Mountain Dew (it’s delicious!) and thought about the antifreeze-colored liquid I was washing my turkey down with.
I could have avoided Doing the Dew if I had just brought my Tervis down to the basement with me. So, wartime tip number 1, BYOW. Bring a canteen full of water to the battlefield. You may not get another chance at some high quality H2O.
Portion Size Control
This is probably where most people take a bullet in the belly. All the food looks so dang good and is usually served with big shovel sized spoons and spatulas. Well, guess what? Shovels make for some pretty large portions! Here’s a pro tip. Take a scoop of that sweet potato casserole, then shake a little out back into the dish, then spoon it on your plate. Trust me, you’ll still get plenty of taters.
Eat All The Protein
It is a gift from Ares/Mars himself; eat all the yummy turkey/ham/chicken/meat/whatever! Generally, the protein is the first thing in line when you make your way through the buffet of doom. Load up. Don’t worry about whatever is further down the line. This is your chance to eat as much lean protein as you want. Eat it all. Fill up on that protein!
Give a third of your plate to stacks of meat. Sure, this isn’t perfect nutritional advice, but this is war. This isn’t training. This is Thanksgiving or Christmas or whatever other feast day you want. You’re gonna blow your macros; this is a way to only lose a finger and not an arm. Or some war reference like that.
Eat All The Vegetables
But, with a caveat. Eat the real veggies. I know, I KNOW, I love me some green bean casserole. But, I also really enjoy regular green beans. And, if I’m going to have some wonderful carby carbs, I need to make sacrifices somewhere. Going for the green beans over the GBC is an acceptable trade for me. I’ll also grab some carrots and broccoli and whatever else is on a veggie tray in lieu of the cheesy broccoli casserole. Well, hold that thought for a moment but as long as we are talking vegetables, then make sure you get vegetables in as close to their natural form as possible.
Skip The Bread
You’re right, those little rolls are super delicious. They are also plain bread that you can eat any other day if you really wanted to. How many days are you going to have perfectly smooth whipped mashed potatoes or that golden delicious cheesy broccoli casserole to devour? (told you we’d get back to the broccoli!) When you look at the spread of weaponry in front of you, don’t the rolls look like wimpy six shooters next to some super bazookas?
If you have your water, you have your load of protein, and you have some quality non-starchy vegetables… then you are free to take no prisoners and eat whatever else you can fit on your plate. This is where the splurge comes in. It is bound to happen. Have that mac and cheese. Have the sweet potatoes with the toasted marshmallows on it. Sure, make smart decisions if you want… but if you don’t, you’ve made good decisions up until now so fire away at the good stuff, solider.
Have A Dessert
You might think I would say to avoid stepping on a land mine such as dessert. Nope. Eat dessert. Eat A dessert. If your workplace holiday feast is anything like mine, there will be almost as many desserts as entrees and sides! And if your coworkers are like mine, some get an entire plate of desserts. It’s pretty epic.
Here’s your ammo for dueling with dessert: one. Pick one. Have a slice of pie or cheesecake or cookie or whatever you want. Just pick one. I know, one sucks. But it’s the only way to survive the sugar shit storm of holiday desserts. You don’t want to know how many burpees you’ll have to do if you eat multiple desserts. Food punishment aside, eating extra dessert is just something we need to say no to. Have some more turkey instead.
Adhere to these six tactics and I assure you, you will be victorious in your fight with the feast. Happy eating to you!
Your turn -> What’s your favorite holiday food? Any other tips you’d like to share on how to survive a workplace holiday feast?