How to Survive the Holidays
The holidays are a time when we as individuals come together and spend time with family and friends. This time of year can also wreck havoc on all of our training and dieting goals. However, this does not need to be the case. There is a way you can make it through the holidays without destroying all of your progress. Here is your own “Holiday Eating Blue Print” to stay on track!
– Train Hard
Just because its the holiday season does not mean you can take your workouts lightly. In fact the opposite is true. This time of year is perfect for working out harder. By training harder it makes it increasingly more difficult for your body to store fat. Also you might as well put all of those extra calories consumed to good use… building muscle! Also if you are not currently doing cardio add in 20-30 minutes of low intensity cardio over the holiday season for some extra calorie burning. The best time to do cardio is first thing in the morning and after your lifting session when your glycogen levels are at their lowest.
– Consistent meals
The biggest mistake people make around the holidays is skipping meals. You know what I am talking about; you have a big dinner planed so you starve yourself all day to make up for it. The worst part is people think that actually helps them! What happens is when its time for dinner they end up consuming twice as much food and more junk then they would normally. The better option is to stay on your 5-7 meals per day as you should all be doing. However, It can be beneficial to “plan in” extra calories but that just means to go a little lighter on the meals leading up to the big meal. DO NOT SKIP MEALS!
– Eat Veggies
Eat all the veggies you want with your meals. This is something I have my clients do year round and it can be even more beneficial around the holidays. I very rarely count veggies in a calorie count and consider them FREE. For a list of all of the veggies I approve to be FREE, check it out the Hunt Fitness Clean Food List . Veggies are low in calories and loaded with fiber which creates a feeling of fullness and can help you eat less.
– Make quality choices
The good news is most of the holiday meals have healthy options, the trick is finding them. For starters one of the best lean protein sources is turkey breast. Like always you want to include a lean protein source with each meal so load up on the white meat! As for the side dishes sweet potatoes are excellent carb sources as long as they are not loaded with sugar. If possible ask whoever is cooking the meal to leave some plain sweet potato out for you. Those are two excellent options right there. I have turkey breast and a sweet potato almost every day! Add some veggies to that and you have a solid meal! Of course I don’t expect you to only have turkey breast and sweet potatoes but its an option.
– 72 hour window
If by chance you go wild and chow down on a meal wait at least 72 hours before checking your weight. It will take that long for your body to readjust. Sugar/fatty/salty foods cause water retention so you will most likely be bloated for a few days, that’s normal. If you have been following your program the rest of the time you will bounce back without much noticeable difference after a couple days.
– Enjoy Yourself
That brings me to my next point….enjoy yourself! The holidays are supposed to be a fun time so don’t stress too much about blowing your diet. If you want to eat something then eat it. Consider it a high carb/high calorie day. You can even use it to your advantage on a carb cycle but that is a whole different article haha!
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