Everybody knows it can be tricky to avoid unhealthy food during the fall & winter holidays. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah/Christmas--several holidays worth of delicious, diet-shattering goodness. I was born and raised in the South, so, needless to say, hearty and unhealthy meals are a constant temptation for me too. But there is hope! As a boxer, I often have fights in the fall and winter, and have to find something to eat besides the leftovers in my fridge that would put me two weight classes up. I’ve developed a set of guidelines that help me keep my diet on track, and in this article, I will share them with you so you can also stick to your boxer’s diet through the cold winter months.
3 Tips For Eating Like a Boxer During Winter
1. Snacks are your friend
Winter is the perfect time to sit by the fire and munch on some tasty treats while you watch your favorite show after a workout. Keeping healthy snacks around the house is a great way to cut back on cravings. Here are some of my favorites:
Fresh fruit - I love apples in the fall and winter. They are a classic part of the fall flavor for me. With all of their natural sugars, fruit will also help control your craving for sugar and you’ll be less likely to binge on other artificially sweetened candies and snacks. Plus, the fiber in apples will help satiate you and curb your cravings.
Spiced nuts - I don’t generally recommend foods with a high salt content, but in the fall and winter, I find a handful of spiced almonds or pecans to sometimes be just what I need to feel healthy and energized. Nuts are a great snack in general, and the added spices and flavors of the season help pack a punch. Just don’t overdo it. Stick to one serving to make sure you stay on track with your diet.
Dark chocolate - Dark chocolate has proven health benefits and is delicious. It’s packed with antioxidants, but once again, don’t go crazy. A few pieces here and there can be an awesome treat. You can even try substituting dark chocolate in holiday baking recipes.
2. Keep healthy food handy
It's always tempting to go out and grab some fast food when preparing healthy meals can sometimes feel so labor-intensive. Let’s be honest, in the cold and darkness of winter, the last thing we feel like doing is putting together a meal. For that reason, I tend to keep healthy meals (and snacks) as prepared and at the ready as possible: I buy chopped carrots, I shred my spaghetti squash as soon as I get home from the grocery store, and, when it comes to protein, I tend to cook in batches. This makes it much easier for me to stay on track and avoid having my coach chew me out for missing weight checks.
3. Don’t overdo it
Sticking to a healthy diet, especially as an athlete, is important and it’s also an awesome goal to have as we come into the New Year, but it shouldn’t be difficult or feel like a chore. You don’t have to eat the same exact thing every day. Variety is the spice of life, and every once in a while, it's fine to cheat. So if you wake up one day and decide you want a piece of pie or some crispy bacon, then treat yourself, just be sure to balance it and keep to your diet for the majority of the time.
Diets are hard, even for competitive athletes like boxers, so it's important to measure your success by inches rather than miles. Like most things worth doing, it takes time to see big results, so be sure to celebrate every victory you have and not get discouraged if you don’t feel like you’re moving fast enough. Diets are a marathon, not a sprint.
For more nutrition and wellness tips, and content on how to train, eat, and workout like a boxer, be sure to check out the other articles on the FightCamp Blog. Plus, we all know that getting into shape is a two-part process, not only do you have to eat healthily, but you also have to get in those workouts. At-home interactive fitness programs like FightCamp make it easy (and give you no excuse) to work out on your own schedule and in your own time. Fit in a quick 4-rounder or ab session before jumping into your next holiday movie!