The holiday season is all about catching up with family and friends, going to gatherings and parties that are loaded with lots of food, drinks and treats. And, of course, you want to indulge a bit, given it’s the end of the year and everybody just wants to celebrate the holidays.
So you start to eat and drink more then you normally would and as time becomes an issue you also cut back on your exercise routine and sometimes stop training altogether.
This MORE EATING and LESS EXERCISE results is us coming out of December with a lot of extra kgs of fat to lose.
In fact one study found that people gain an average of 500% MORE WEIGHT per week during the holiday weeks compared to non-holiday weeks.
You might feel like this is just all a part of the holiday season and give yourself the goal of getting back on track when the New Year comes around (New Year Resolution anyone?)
But here is THE PROBLEM…
Did you know that several studies have found that weight gain during the holiday seasons is NOT LOST throughout the rest of the year?
BUT THIS DOES NOT NEED TO HAPPEN TO YOU!
If you don’t want to derail all of your progress you’ve worked so hard during the year for but still want to enjoy this time with family and friends as well as your favourite foods, here are a some SOLUTIONS you can do to help keep the fat off during this holiday season…
To make sure you don’t gain anything this holiday season, you’ll have to plan ahead to be successful. You’ll need to create a plan of attack so that you can reference and stick to during the chaos of the holidays. By planning ahead, you’ll be able to better prepare so that you make better choices about food, exercise dates and more.
It’s totally okay to indulge a bit during this time of year, but don’t fall into the trap of relaxing with eating and drinking anything at every event you go to.
Allow yourself to enjoy whatever you want on Christmas day by following your plan so you don’t feel like you are missing out but for all of the other events make a decision on what you are going to do BEFORE you go to the event and stick to it.
By looking at your calendar and marking all the parties, gatherings and festivities you plan on attending during this busy time of year, you’ll be able to also know what days you might have to workout earlier or later or choose another workout since you won’t have time to follow your regular schedule. And by knowing what events you have, you’ll be able to plan ahead when it comes to your eating so that you don’t attend the event hungry and stuff your face but instead pack a healthy snack option to take with you.
If you have a plan in place, you’ll find it easier to stick to your fitness goals during the holidays.
The hardest part about the holidays and being dedicated to your fitness and health is the guilt. You want to celebrate with your friends and family, but then again, you don’t want to lose track of your fitness goals.
You end up indulging and then regret it, feeling bad about yourself and your progress. Or even worse you say no to all of the foods and drinks that you love and stumble to the end of the holiday season not feeling proud of your choices but instead feeling some serious FOMO.
Don’t beat yourself up!
If you make some poor choices that are not in line with your plan know that you’re not perfect and that you are allowed to indulge every once in a while. The important thing is what you do next. Get back to your plan and work out how you could make a better decision the next time you are in the same situation.
“Progress NOT Perfection”
This holiday season, you’ll probably be confronted with lots of food options. To help beat the bulge, choose better food choices like more vegetables, leaner meats, minimal alcohol and limited carbs.
Focus on eating and enjoying the higher protein meats first, eating protein before starchy carbohydrates has been shown to reduce post-meal blood glucose and insulin responses.
Also eating foods higher in protein first makes you fill fuller for longer meaning you are less likely to make poor decisions based on hunger.
Great high protein food choices are beef, turkey, chicken, pork, prawns and fish just to name a few.
To balance out your extra eating and drinking, make sure you stay consistent with your workouts as much as you can.
You might not be able to do your normal training plan but remember anything is better then nothing.
Focus on doing a 15-20 minute bodyweight workout in the morning on days before any events and for extra points before any big meals. It’s been scientifically proven that if you can get in a workout in the am, you’re metabolism will get revved up and keep working throughout the day, allowing you to burn even more fat. And it doesn’t even have to be a hard routine. A few simple bodyweight exercises for 15-20 minutes in the morning is enough to get that metabolism working!
Below is a link to a workout plan you can follow anywhere, anytime and without any equipment…
All good things must come to an end and to keep you on track, make sure that you have an end date to all your holiday fun. Mark the date in your calendar and stick to the plan to get back to your regular fitness regime.
NO EXCUSES, after all Christmas is just one day and not an entire month.
If you follow these simple tricks and tips, you’ll not only be able to enjoy this holiday period with your family and friends but you will also beat the dreaded holiday weight gain!