The Holiday Splurge Diet for Golfers
But, by the end of the holiday season, do you usually have trouble buttoning your favorite pair of golf pants? Those buffet tables and holiday sweets can be bigger land mines than a pot bunker at the Old Course at St. Andrews links. This weeks article offers some practical strategies that can help you survive the holiday food free-for-all. My name is K.C. Craichy, and I specialize in performance nutrition and super health. Like a swing coach for your diet, Ill tell you how to avoid the Holiday Five and sail through the season fit and trim.
Before you step up to the tee box and start swinging, here is your holiday season pre-shot routine:
Staying hungry isnt always a good thing.
You wouldnt play a round of golf without eating something first, would you? Well, skipping meals during the day and thinking you are saving calories for the big splurge doesnt make much sense either. By the time the evening meal arrives, hunger pangs and low blood sugar can drive you into a feeding frenzy of sweets and carbs.
Chew your food!
Dont gulp down all your meals like you are just grabbing a snack at the turn. Chewing your food thoroughly can greatly assist your digestive system -- with the added bonus of helping you eat less. Savor your foods taste and enjoy!
Consume a nutrient dense whole meal supersmoothie for breakfast and lunch.
A Big Bertha driver may be your secret weapon off the tee, but a supersmoothie is truly the secret weapon in navigating those holiday eating land mines. Enjoy a satisfying and ultra-nutritious supersmoothie for breakfast and even lunch before your holiday meal gathering. You can turn a traditional smoothie into a supersmoothie by starting with your favorite smoothie recipe and using mostly water and ice but cutting the amount of high sugar fruits and juices by 75%. Now, be sure to add at least 25 grams of high quality protein and a fiber supplement. The result will be a low-calorie, low-glycemic, highly-nutritious meal that will stabilize your blood sugar levels and help you control your appetite. There are plenty of other healthy ingredients you can add later, but this is a super healthy start.
Eat the treats but cut the calories.
Cutting strokes off your score can lower your handicap. Likewise, cutting calories and sugar from your holiday meals can lower your chance of weight gain. If you decide that youll be eating holiday treats and desserts, be sure to first load up on salads, vegetables and turkey.
Make a Commitment!
When you stand over a putt, you make a decision about what line to follow and stick to it. Similarly, you should make a decision about what you are willing to consume prior to getting into any eating situation ' and stick to it.
Have a party plan!
If you have a tendency to slice the ball, you can create a plan to deal with that. You can do the same thing with your personal trigger binge foods. Is it chocolate cake, onion dip and chips, or pecan pie that sets you off? Consider bringing along your own healthier alternatives like nuts, seeds, raw veggies, cut fruit, chips that are baked and not fried, and dips made of humus, avocado or yogurt instead of hydrogenated oils.
Youre already nuts about the game of golf. During the holidays you can go nuts about well, nuts. Certain nuts and seeds such as almonds, walnuts, cashews, macadamias, coconut (not a nut but very beneficial), and chia seeds are extremely healthy and often offered as an alternative to chips, breads and sweets.
Think before you drink.
Just like after a round of golf, drink in moderation. Alcoholic drinks contain a surprising number of calories that leave you feeling empty but pack on the pounds. The bottom line: if you are going to drink alcoholic beverages, consider each drink to be a dessert and govern yourself accordingly.
Water, Water Everywhere!
Drinking water makes you a winner on the golf course and everywhere else. You cant beat water for no-calorie, rehydrating refreshment. Water is your bodys favorite drink and your secret weapon in the fight for the right to a low-calorie party.
Avoid Portion Distortion.
Keep your portion sizes small -- just like the number of strokes you use on each hole. If you cant stay away from high sugar/starch foods that make your mouth water until you start to feel full, make your portions smaller so that you take in fewer calories. When eating from a buffet, start with larger portions of greens and non-starch veggies with some hi-protein foods such as turkey. Now, take your time eating before going back for seconds. This time gives your brain the opportunity to let your stomach know that its had enough.
Use the 3-hour/6-hour rule.
Stop eating three hours before bedtime. This allows your body to use precious sleep time to renew, replenish, rebuild and regenerate, rather than digest that second piece of pumpkin pie. You may find your sleep quality improve, too! Allow at least the time it takes to play a full round of golf (4 ' 6 hours) between meals so your metabolism is allowed time to function optimally.
You find a favorable spot to tee up your ball, dont you? Do the same thing at parties. Dont stand right next to the buffet or the snack bowls to socialize ' find a spot thats inconvenient to the food but comfortable. Otherwise, if you start a conversation right next to the chips, before you know it, the bowl may be empty.
Restrict calories on alternate days.
You can still become a better golfer even if you arent able to practice every single day. In fact, it will improve your game if you occasionally take time off. Well, it turns out that the same thing is true with restricting calories. In fact, according to a recent study from the Louisiana State University Medical Center, not only can alternate day calorie restriction help you maintain your weight, it may even help prolong your life. So, plan to eat less on non-splurge days.
Dont take a break from your exercise program.
Just because its the holiday season doesnt mean you should take a holiday from exercise. When the weather outside is frightful, working out indoors is delightful. By keeping up with your workouts, you lower the risk of putting on holiday pounds of body fat. Try to be active every day; this will help you burn off calories and reduce holiday stress. If you arent somewhere warm enough to play a round of golf, you can always swing a club in the garage or basement. In my book Super Health: 7 Golden Keys to Unlock Lifelong Vitality, I write about a wonderful indoor exercise system that requires no equipment and can be finished by just about anyone in about 15-20 minutes.
Manage holiday stress.
The holiday season brings its own special brand of stress. Injected into already busy schedules comes holiday functions, gift buying, family gatherings ' all of which can lead to feelings of panic, anxiety and stress eating. Prayer, meditation, exercise and other forms of relaxation can help alleviate holiday stress and lower your risk of overeating to eliminate stress. Weather permitting; you can always squeeze in a round of golf. Or at least a trip to the driving range!
Focus on faith, family and friends.
Food doesnt have to be the focus of your holidays; it is only one of the many pleasures of the season. The heart of the holidays is family, friends and community. It is a time for gathering in good company, a time to share stories, catch up on family news and be active in community functions. Plus, theres lots of special programming to enjoy on The Golf Channel. So take time to relax, give thanks and remember what the season is all about.
From my family to yours, our Living Fuel Team wishes you love, joy, peace and super health this Thanksgiving and throughout the 2008 holiday season! And, best wishes with your golf game, too!
EDITORS NOTE: Golf Fitness Magazine is the only national consumer publication dedicated to golf-specific fitness, mental focus, and improving ability, performance and health among all golfers. Our priority is to maximize your potential, lower your scores, reduce your risk of injury, and extend your golfing years. Each issue has departments dedicated to men, women, seniors, and juniors along with tips, advice and simple exercise routines from GFMs team of experts. If you want to improve your golf game, and hit the ball farther, click here for special offers on a subscription so you can have all this and more in-depth advice delivered right to you! Get cutting edge fitness & mental tips sent to your inbox each month with our FREE golf performance eNewsletter, Shape Your Game. To contact our Senior Editor, Publisher or Online Editor with questions or comments, please visit our web site golffitnessmagazine.com for more information.
McIlroy: U.S. Open MC 'blessing in disguise'
CROMWELL, Conn. – Watching a major championship unfold from the comfort of your living room is never an ideal strategy for any top-ranked pro, but sometimes players are forced to make the best of a bad situation.
Case in point Rory McIlroy, who ballooned to an opening-round 80 at the U.S. Open and never factored after that. The Ulsterman struggled to find a comfort zone at Shinnecock Hills, missing the U.S. Open cut for the third straight year.
But given a few extra days to prep, McIlroy appears to have cured what was ailing him after leading the Travelers Championship field in a number of ball-striking categories during an opening-round 64 that left him one shot behind leaders Jordan Spieth and Zach Johnson.
“Obviously you never want to miss a cut in a major, but it might have been a blessing in disguise for the rest of the year,” McIlroy said.
Even after hitting 17 of 18 greens in regulation during his second trip around Shinnecock, McIlroy went back to the drawing board as he looks to emulate the swing he used in 2010 and 2011 when he won twice on the PGA Tour including the U.S. Open. While he notes that changes to his body will limit his ability to conjure an exact replica, he’s more in search of the positive thoughts that helped get his burgeoning pro career off the ground.
“It’s just trying to go back and, OK, I was swinging it really well then. What was I doing? What was I thinking about? What was the focus on the swing?” McIlroy said. “Just trying to rack your brain to recreate feelings that you had back then. That’s basically what I did over the weekend. I got a feeling that really sort of resonated with me, and brought me back to a time when I was swinging it really well, and just sort of went with that feeling.”
Spieth, McIlroy get back on track at Travelers
CROMWELL, Conn. – What a difference a week makes.
Players speak in unison about a desire to peak four times per year when the major trophies are on the line. But it’s a soft science, easier said than done. Sometimes the key is to play your way onto the biggest stages, while other times the best practice is to build reps far away from the PGA Tour rope line.
Jordan Spieth got to Shinnecock Hills the weekend before the U.S. Open began, logging two full practice rounds before sitting down for his pre-tournament interview. Rory McIlroy went to an even further extreme, basically establishing residency in the Hamptons while playing every top-100 golf course within a 20-mile radius.
They were concerted efforts, carefully calculated plans of attack that both men hoped would yield a second U.S. Open title. They also blew up in their faces in record time.
Spieth was 4 over after just two holes at Shinnecock, while McIlroy played his first 11 in 10 over. Just like that, the best-laid plans got lost in the knee-high fescue as one of a finite number of legitimate shots at major glory went by the wayside before lunch was served.
Both players snuck off the premises well before the course became the weekend storyline, each bearing the battle scars of a missed cut. But given a chance to quickly reverse their fortunes, they both took full advantage at the Travelers Championship.
Spieth has spoken openly in recent weeks about the wars he continues to wage with his own game, as his putter has been downgraded from balky to outright uncooperative. Just as things started to turn around on the greens at the Memorial, his reliable ball-striking began to fade. A full-blown game of whack-a-mole has ensued.
“It’s certainly a testing year for me, and it’s a building year,” Spieth said. “It’s one where I can actually come out stronger. I’ve kind of looked at it that way the last couple months.”
It’s also been difficult for Spieth simply to get out of the gates in recent weeks. His third-place showing at the Masters remains a high water mark, but it was the product of a scintillating finale that came after starting the day well off the pace. Spieth remains candid about the fact that he has lacked a quality chance to win this year, one that he has previously defined as being within six shots of the lead entering Sunday.
All of those factors combined to make his opening 63 especially satisfying, as he returned to TPC River Highlands as defending champ and quickly grabbed a share of the lead, once again carving up a lush layout where he has nothing but positive memories.
“First rounds have been tough for me, trying to do a little bit too much. Trying to get shots back when I drop one and trying to have to birdie easy holes,” Spieth said. “The putter is starting to look better to me, so I can play a little bit more conservatively and still get a lot out of the round.”
McIlroy was alongside Spieth and Zach Johnson before a bogey on the final hole, but even a 6-under 64 matched his low round of the season on Tour. The Ulsterman downplayed his eye-popping score at Shinnecock entering a fresh week, noting that his tee-to-green performance where he hit 17 of 18 greens in regulation during the second round might be good enough to win this week at a more vulnerable venue.
It appears his thesis has merit, albeit through one round.
“I did a lot of similar things to what I did today. It’s just a completely different animal,” McIlroy said. “Like, it’s nice getting off to a good start here. But as I keep saying, I’m not playing that differently now than I did last Thursday, and it’s a 16-shot difference.”
Just like his last competitive round, McIlroy missed only one green in regulation. But this time the stat line portends even greater potential, as he also led the field Thursday in driving distance, strokes gained: off the tee and strokes gained: tee-to-green.
McIlroy’s ceiling remains absurdly high, as demonstrated by the way he surged from the pack to win at Bay Hill and seemingly took early command of the BMW PGA Championship without breaking a sweat. It also doesn’t need lowering after a couple errant days on a grand stage.
“I played really well today. I feel like the work that I did over the weekend sort of started to pay off already,” McIlroy said. “Being able to work the ball both ways was something I wasn’t quite as comfortable doing last week.”
Despite flooding their respective scorecards with birdies, neither Spieth nor McIlroy created any distance from the field on a day when low scores were ripe for the picking. A total of 22 players opened with rounds of 66 or better, including four major champions not named Spieth or McIlroy.
But after pouring time, effort and energy into last week’s major and watching it all go so horribly wrong, this was a day to remember that sometimes the solutions are closer than the recent results make them appear.
“I’ve been sticking to the process. I’ve been very positive about making progress from how I got pretty off earlier this year. So it’s nice to see a good score,” Spieth said. “Just glad. The first rounds have been kind of detrimental to me, so it’s nice to be in the thick of things.”
Spieth shares Hartford lead; Rory 1 back
Just a few miles north but light years removed from the difficulty of Shinnecock Hills, the PGA Tour returned to week-in, week-out normalcy with the Travelers Championship. Here's what happened in the first round at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Conn.:
Leaderboard: Zach Johnson (-7), Jordan Spieth (-7), Rory McIlroy (-6), Peter Malnati (-6), Brian Harman (-6)
What it means: The two biggest names in the field, Spieth and McIlroy, are looking for a boost of confidence after missing the cut in the U.S. Open. Their scores look good, but McIlroy won't be happy about closing with a bogey.
Round of the day: Johnson and Spieth both put up 7-under 63s. Johnson, after a relatively pedestrian 2-under front nine, caught fire on the back, making six consecutive birdies on holes 11-16. A three-putt bogey at the 17th ended the run, and he parred the last for his 63. Spieth, the defending champion, put up two birdies and an eagle on the front and four more birdies on the back. Like Johnson, he had only one blemish, a bogey-5 on the drivable par-4 15th when he hooked his drive into the water.
Best of the rest: McIlroy, Malnati and Harman each shot 64. Malnati eagled the 15th and followed that with birdies at 16 and 17 and a back-nine 29. Harman had a rare birdie on the 444-yard 18th for his 64, but McIlroy threw away a shot at the closing hole to fall out of a share of the lead. His right foot slipped as he was hitting his approach shot, and he missed the green. After taking a drop to get away from a sprinkler head, he was unable to get up and down.
Biggest disappointment: Bubba Watson, a two-time winner of this event, could manage no better than an even-par 70. Two-under through 11 holes, he bogeyed three of the next four.
Shot of the day: Can we safely say that Spieth likes the bunkers at River Highlands? Last year he got up and down from one at the 18th hole to get into a playoff, then he holed out from the same bunker to win the playoff. On Thursday he worked his magic at the par-5 sixth hole, sinking his sand shot for eagle.
Biggest storyline going into Friday: Most eyes will be on Spieth and McIlroy, to see if they're over their U.S. Open funks and gearing up for The Open Championship.
NBC Sports Group to Showcase Top Players in Women's Golf With Comprehensive Coverage of the KPMG Women's PGA Championship, June 25-July 1
Golf Channel and NBC to Combine for More Than 40 Hours of News, Tournament and Instruction On-Site from Kemper Lakes Golf Club, Most in Tournament History
KPMG Ambassador Phil Mickelson to Join Golf Central on Monday, June 25 Live from Soldier Field
Condoleezza Rice and Olympians Nancy Kerrigan, Hilary Knight and Maia Shibutani to Headline KPMG Women’s Leadership Summit Wednesday, June 27
ORLANDO, Fla., June 21, 2018 – Featuring one of the strongest fields of the year, NBC Sports Group will dedicate more than 40 hours of comprehensive on-site news, tournament and instruction coverage of the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship – most in tournament history – Monday, June 25 - Sunday, July 1. Taking place at Kemper Lakes Golf Club near Chicago, the third LPGA Tour major of the season will be headlined by World No. 1 Inbee Park, No. 2 Ariya Jutanugarn, No. 3 Lexi Thompson, ANA Inspiration champion Pernilla Lindberg and defending champion Danielle Kang. In 2017, the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship was the most-watched women’s major championship of the year.
“Through the partnership with KPMG, the PGA of America and the LPGA Tour, the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship has been elevated to become one of the most impactful weeks of the year in women’s golf,” said Molly Solomon, executive vice president of content, Golf Channel. “As the broadcast partner for the championship, we strive to elevate our coverage each year to celebrate not only the best players in women’s golf but also female leaders in the workplace through the KPMG Women’s Leadership Summit.”
BROADCAST TEAM: Live tournament coverage of the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship will be anchored by Dan Hicks, joined by Paige Mackenzie and Gary Koch in the broadcast booth. Tom Abbott will report from an on-course tower, with Kay Cockerill, Jerry Foltz and Mark Rolfing walking the course. Steve Sands will conduct player interviews.
NBC SPORTS GROUP TO IMPLEMENT POPULAR “PLAYING THROUGH” ENCHANCED COMMERCIAL BREAKS: Making its debut on NBC at the Ryder Cup in 2016, Golf Channel and NBC will implement the popular “Playing Through” enhancement in an effort to elevate the viewing experience for fans tuning in to the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. NBC Sports Group is partnering with several national advertisers to present select commercial breaks in utilizing “Playing Through,” which will employ a split-screen model for a select number of national commercial breaks. This enhanced break will display both the commercial with audio as well as a continuous feed of the tournament action.
COMPREHENSIVE ON-SITE NEWS COVERAGE: Golf Channel’s signature news programs, Golf Central and Morning Drive, will provide comprehensive, wraparound news coverage throughout the week, produced on-location at Kemper Lakes Golf Club. In addition to daily shows, Golf Central will present special player news conference shows Tuesday and Wednesday, June 26 and 27, at 5 p.m. ET.
Rich Lerner will anchor Golf Central’s live coverage alongside LPGA major champion Karen Stupples and Arron Oberholser beginning Wednesday, June 27, with Lisa Cornwell reporting and conducting player interviews. Chantel McCabe will set the stage each day on Morning Drive with on-site interviews and analysis, with Paige Mackenzie joining her Monday-Wednesday.
PHIL MICKELSON TO JOIN GOLF CENTRAL LIVE FROM SOLDIER FIELD MONDAY, JUNE 25: Kicking off KPMG Women’s PGA Championship week will be the KPMG Windy City Skills Challenge, taking place at Soldier Field in Chicago on Monday, June 25. KPMG Ambassadors Phil Mickelson and Mariah Stackhouse along with athletes from the Chicago Bears, Bulls, Fire, Red Stars and Skywill be conducting a special clinic and skills challenge event with local youth organizations. Mickelson will join Golf Central live from Soldier Field on Monday following the conclusion of the skills challenge.
SCHOOL OF GOLF ON-SITE AT KEMPER LAKES: School of Golf will air Tuesday at 7 p.m. from on-site at Kemper Lakes Golf Club, with Martin Hall and Blair O’Neal hosting a special short-game episode. Scheduled guests include 2018 U.S. Women’s Open champion Ariya Jutanugarn and her coaches, Golf Channel Academy coaches Pia Nilsson and Lynn Marriott, as well as LPGA major champion Morgan Pressel.
KPMG WOMEN’S LEADERSHIP SUMMIT: Golf Central will offer news coverage of the KPMG Women’s Leadership Summit, which will be hosted on-site Wednesday, June 27, featuring an assembly of accomplished leaders in sports, business, politics and media to inspire the next generation of women leaders. 66th Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Olympians Nancy Kerrigan, Hilary Knight and Maia Shibutani will headline the gathering. NBC Sunday Night Football sideline reporter Michele Tafoya will serve as master of ceremonies. The summit will be streamed live on Wednesday on Golf Channel Digital. In addition, portions of the summit also will be streamed via Golf Channel’s Facebook Live.
DIGITAL AND SOCIAL MEDIA COVERAGE: Golf Channel Digital will feature expanded editorial content during KPMG Women’s PGA Championship week. GolfChannel.com senior writer Randall Mell will report from Kemper Lakes Golf Club with columns and daily blogs, and Golf Channel social media host Alexandra O’Laughlin will contribute to Golf Channel’s social media platforms with exclusive behind-the-scenes content throughout the week. Golf Channel and NBC also will integrate social media throughout the telecasts, incorporating social media posts from players and fans using the hashtag #KPMGWomensPGA.
News and tournament action surrounding the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship can be accessed at any time on any mobile device and online via Golf Channel Digital. Fans also can stream NBC Sports’ coverage of live golf via NBC Sports.com and the NBC Sports app.
GOLF CHANNEL / NBC LIVE TOURNAMENT AIRTIMES(all times Eastern):
Thursday, June 28
11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Friday, June 29
11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Saturday, July 30
Sunday, July 1
The PGA of America and KPMG joined forces with the LPGA Tour in 2015 to create a world-class major championship that not only sustains the 60-year legacy of the former LPGA Championship, but also aims to elevate women on and off the golf course. The KPMG Women’s PGA Championship provides a platform to inspire the next generation of women leaders through the KPMG Women’s Leadership Summit and the KPMG Future Leaders Program.
-NBC Sports Group-