I have been getting the question a lot, “What do I eat on Thanksgiving?”
The answer is...
That’s right: enjoy. Unless you're getting ready for a show, competition, or some kind of weird festival, enjoy the day and have fun with your family.
Food is social. Food is tradition. No matter what your cultural background is, food plays a major role in defining that culture.
I have fond memories of my father-in-law. Prior to his passing he would cook an incredible lasagna on Christmas day. I have even more fond memories of my family cooking pork chops and latkes on Hanukkah.
My mom had some weird traditions!
Though my family's food choices sound strange, this is a part of my life and culture. When it comes time to share a meal with my family, I embrace these traditions. Bodybuilding and my health and physique lifestyle need to fit into these cultural events, not run from them. You need to do the same, or you will ultimately fail.
I remember the old Marc Lobliner. He would miss holiday meals just so he could stay shredded. I would eat only white meat and skip the apple pie, just to make sure that all 453 veins running through my abs remained intact after the meal.
Well let me tell you something...I stopped avoiding these meals, and started enjoying the time with my family and the food they cooked. And guess what? Now I look even better. Sure, I cannot grate gouda cheese on my butt year round, but I am happier, healthier and a lot more fun to be around.
The STRESS of counting calories and making sure every meal is perfect will raise cortisol and negatively affect your results. BALANCE is key!
Now I am not telling you to go out and blow it for the entire week. I recommend the 80/20 rule. 80% of the time, eat “well” (I know, broad term….bite me). And you IIFYM’ers (If It Fits Your Macros) will love this: if you know a big meal is coming, save up some calories!
Although food choices matter, this 80/20 approach will help to balance the calories. At the end of the day, calories in versus calories out is first and foremost your main priority.
And before you eat that big meal, try taking in 20 to 40 grams of whey protein. Studies have shown that a simple whey protein shake will curb your appetite and help to prevent you from destroying the entire left side of the Buca Di Beppo menu.
So there you have it. Here's the take home:
- Don’t be anal. You'll ruin the holiday season and miss out on amazing time with the family and the feasts they've prepared.!
- Save up calories. This way, if you do gorge on a BIG MEAL, the damage is much less.
- Drink 1-2 scoops of MTS Whey about an hour before you feast.
For those on a set macronutrient intake, AKA my clients, here is what you will do:
- Eat 50% of your allotted daily macros at meals that are before/after (and not a part of) your BIG MEAL.
- For the big meal, DO NOT count macros, but do not go overboard and binge to the point of feeling sick.
For competitors who are prepping and withing 12 weeks: you're screwed. Weigh out that white turkey meat! Hey, YOU chose to compete. No cheating!
Have a great Thanksgiving!