I’ve known Anne-Marie for a few years and seeing her at various events. Her energy was always uplifting and I’ve admired her sensible approach to life. As a fitness pro, personal trainer, and nutrition coach she’s a natural motivator (even on social media). Her common sense approach packaged with a high-five and a “you’ve got this!” attitude is a very welcoming one. But how does she approach the holiday season full of sweets and indulgence? She says, ‘Tis the season to eat!
Anne-Marie tells us she often get asked the question “how can I navigate the holidays from a nutrition perspective?” Her answer is always this…don’t deprive yourself, don’t punish yourself, and certainly don’t workout 10x harder.
Now, this might be an unpopular opinion amongst fitness influencers but trying to be super restrictive during the holidays, in her opinion, is:
A) a recipe for failure
B) can wreak havoc on your mental health, and
“Hear me out, I’m not saying go to town 24/7 for the entire holiday season,” said Anne-Marie. “I’m saying, give yourself some wiggle room and forgiveness. A few meals enjoying the foods you love (and might not normally allow yourself to indulge in) is not going to completely derail you from your long-term success. Quite the contrary, it will make your heart, mind and body happy and encourage you to get back on track. A reward if you will!”
However she tells us what can be damaging; is trying to restrict yourself, falling off plan, throwing your arms up in the air, completely binging for the rest of the day and then in turn beating yourself up for it. Rinse, and repeat! This is where cyclical and toxic relationships with food begin.
Anne-Marie believes that sharing a meal with loved ones is a language in itself for many. “It represents unity, celebration and creates beautiful memories. The holidays will be over before you know it, and you will be back on track reaching your goals, so STOP right there and refuse to let yourself feel guilty.”
There are certainly things you can do to help yourself from not completely over indulging and in turn feeling physical ill.
Anne- Marie offers a few healthy and handy tips…
ENJOY A BALANCED BREAKFAST: If you’re someone who likes to “save their calories” for a bigger meal in the day, you may want to rethink your strategy. It’s best to honour your hunger, rather than going into a big meal completely ravenous. A well balanced and nutritious breakfast will make your body feel energized and fueled going into holiday meals.
PRIORITIZE YOUR PROTEIN AT MEALS: When plating your food, prioritize your protein. Fill the plate up with lots of that yummy turkey before adding your favourite sides. A good goal is to fill half of the plate with protein. This will help you feel more satiated.
DON’T CUT OUT DESSERT, CUT IT IN HALF!:I have a sweet tooth like nobody’s business, and you better believe I’m going to enjoy my favourite treats this Christmas with my family. However, I find that after a big meal, HALF a piece of pie or cake is more than enough. I get my sweet craving fulfilled and I don’t feel overly full.
GET MOVING!: I’m not saying do a 2-hour HIIT workout every day, but more movement means more energy expenditure! Might as well try to stay as close to an energy balance as possible (calories in vs. calories out). A great way to do this is get the family out for a nice long walk post dinner, or throw a holiday movie on and walk uphill on your treadmill for 20-30 mins.
Enjoy this holiday season, and remember to be kind to yourself.
Anne-Marie is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Personal Trainer through the NSCA, a Pre and Post Natal Coaching Specialist, A Crossfit level 1 Trainer, and a certified Precision Nutrition Coach. She has a true passion for helping others achieve their fitness and lifestyle goals; whether that be weight loss, strength gains, injury rehabilitation, or just overall health and wellbeing.
Anne-Marie lives in Aurora, Ontario with her husband, and two young daughters, where she runs a personal training and nutrition coaching studio.
Where you can find her…
- Website: www.GetFitwithAM.ca
- Email: annemarie@GetFitwithAM.ca
- Facebook: GetFitWithAM
- Instagram: GetFitWith_AM