DIET CONTROL FOR SPECIAL EVENTS
Holiday Eating Plan
How do you enjoy the sumptuous menus presented during
the holiday season without compromising your healthy
eating plan. Here are a few suggestions.
Post Participation Damage Control
Make diet adjustments to your eating plan AFTER consuming
an over-sized meal.
Adopt a reduced calorie and/or carb diet few days before
your big meal day. This allows you to "carb up"
above maintenance without storing fat because the high
calorie meal or day is following a period of calorie
restriction and glycogen depletion.
Pre Participation Damage Prevention
Eat less BEFORE the oversize meal adopting a ‘Calorie
Remember that skippping meals completely is also depriving
yourself of protein (amino acids), carbohydrates, essential
fats, vitamins, minerals and other valuable nutrients
that come from healthy food. Instead reduce portions
of food groups you expect will be present in your celebration
Another banking approach is to do an intensive workout
several hours before the festive meal. This uses the
commonly recognised approach that you can eat more after
an intensive workout without storing fat because the
energy and nutrients are needed for muscle repair and
Competitive Bodybuilder Technique
Bodybuilders diet strictly for 12 or 16 weeks and have
virtually no fat left on their body’s and their
metabolism are really firing by competition time. Post
competition, they enjoy a ritualistic contest junk food
celebration meal, and not only is there no damage, they
sometimes look BETTER the next day!
NOTE: Whilst these are one off occasions, I am do not
support skipping meals or other strategies for "damage
control" if they allow or encourage binge eating
or they discourage the development of consistent, positive
My best advice is, rather than skipping meals before
or after your celebration dinner, just maintain your
normal diet program. This encourages positive habits
such as eating 5-6 small meals every day.
Whether you do adopt one of the above strategies often
depends upon whether you've been on a low calorie diet
for some time, your starting body mass composition and
whether you are already in a caloric deficit state.
If you are already in a calorie deficit for the day,
then the extra calories may only bring you up to maintenance,
not "over" your daily limit, which might not
be as damaging as if you were in a calorie surplus.
If you were already very lean or had been dieting
strictly for a long time (as in a bodybuilder coming
off a competition), a large meal or entire high calorie
day might not have any negative effect either.
Regard this as a planned "cheat meal" or
a planned high carb day rather than a binge on junk
Don’t deny yourself any particular food. Instead
restrict the size of portions. You will not only feel
treated by will avoid that over-stuffed feeling even
lean bodied people feel with over indulgence.
Keep your main calorie intake to as early in the day
as possible and plan a nice long walk for later in the
day to keep that metabolism up.
Continue with your 3-hour dietary cycles, maybe just
cutting back a bit in the latter part of the day to
keep your 24 hour calorie quota as low as possible.
Practicing portion control should be entrenched into
your diet scheme as a daily habit anyway. Enjoy the
holidays. If you slip a bit, don't beat yourself up,
just get right back on the program with your next meal
and treat every day like a new beginning.
REMEMBER: "Small amounts of
ANYTHING - even junk food- will probably not be stored
as fat as long as you are in a calorie deficit where
you are eating fewer calories than you burn" Tom
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