‘Tis the season to be awesome! You’ve been working hard, staying on track, slaying goals, and you’re happy with the way you look and feel. You’ve got big goals and the holidays are right around the corner, rounding out another year in the books. While this time of year may be the most joyous and celebratory time, it can also be an intentional (and unintentional) bulking season. I mean, how are you supposed to stay on track when you’re hosting Thanksgiving, attending multiple holiday parties, and you have access to literally every open bar and mini Bundt cake? As you cruise through the holiday season, jovial as all hell, you may also find that you’ve been cruising through the last three months eating everything in sight.
Guess what? You don’t have to lose all your progress, motivation, or routine through the holiday season, and we’re going to tell how to stay on track and stop holiday weight-gain before it even starts.
6 Secrets to Staying Fit During the Holidays
1. Get Moving
So what it’s cold outside and the sun doesn’t come up early, that’s really going to be the excuse you use to not stay on track? Come on now. Just because it’s the Holiday season and all your favorite tear jerker Hallmark Movies are on doesn’t give you the excuse to sit on your ass and eat everything in sight (sorry, not sorry). Whether it’s an indoor workout, catching a class at your local gym or CrossFit box, or running with the dogs, get moving already! If you don’t make much time or have the motivation, keep your workouts short and spiffy. High-intensity workouts (think 20-40 minutes) with bodyweight and constant movement. Better yet… do your workouts in a fasted state and up the ante!
2. Intermittent Fasting for Weight Loss & Weight Management
Fasting in times feasting? YUP!
Intermittent Fasting (IF) is different that it’s not about what you eat per say, but when you eat. Let’s face it – most diets don’t work. And dieting through the holiday season sucks for more reasons than one. The goal is to be healthy and fit without the trends or fads, it’s about creating a maintainable lifestyle focused around your health and wellness goals. IF does just that!
Intermittent Fasting is not a diet – it’s a way of life that requires your body to use food more efficiently, optimize hormones (insulin and cortisol) and fuel weight loss and supporting healthful weight management. It can be done in conjunction with exercise as well to accelerate results.
RELATED ARTICLE The Quick Guide To Intermittent Fasting
If you're looking for a FREE comprehensive guide to the benefits of Fasted Workouts & Fasted CrossFit, click HERE.
3. Cut the Crap: Increasing Protein Intake & Decrease Simple Carbs
Yes! I am completely aware that this is a ridiculous request. With beautiful arrays of mashed potatoes, stuffing, and rolls how could you possibly pass up delicious comfort foods, for another helping of Turkey? You don’t have to, I’m just simply telling you to eat less of them.
For most of you, your protein of choice will most likely be Turkey or Ham.
For those of you not participating in traditional Holiday meat choices, namely Tofurky and Pizza, I’ve already lost you, and I can’t help you at this point (just kidding).
Let me tell you something. Fat, despite its bad rap, does not make you fat. Simple carbohydrates do. You see, when you eat carbohydrates, the digestive system breaks them down into glucose (sugar), which then raises your blood sugar levels causing your pancreas to produce insulin, a hormone that prompts your cells to absorb sugar for energy, which turns into glycogen and stores body fat. Not only that but the starchy carbohydrates you eat during the holidays are simple carbohydrates.
Simple, meaning they have simple chemical structures, mainly composed of sugars (glucose), and are easily and quickly utilized for energy by the body, often leading to a faster rise in blood sugar and insulin secretion from the pancreas. What does that mean? Simple carbs don’t keep you full for a very long time. Often times, this means going back for seconds and thirds, because the simple carbohydrates don’t keep you satiated. Which leads me straight to our next secret...
4. Avoiding Overeating With Portion Control
Nobody ever said you had to stop eating mashed potatoes, cold turkey. Yes, pun, one hundred percent intended. But seriously, it’s not about what you eat necessarily; it’s about how much of it you eat. When we’re stuffing ourselves with simple carbohydrates, we don’t stay full for very long. So, we eat, and we eat, and we eat. Leading us to hate ourselves and debating whether or not to purge the last four bites of green bean casserole your stomach was unwilling to take down, but that which your brain convinced you otherwise.
Our secret to avoid overeating; pace yourself.
Eat a well-rounded plate of food, which a steady balance of protein, carbohydrates, and fat. THEN WAIT! Don’t just jump to making yourself another plate. Wait for 10-15 minutes, so that your body can digest the food you’ve eaten, and your brain can recognize that you’re full. Otherwise, you’re going to lose the gains you’ve made in the gym, and acquire the gains you never intended.
5. Hydration During the Holidays
Drinking more water is hard. And drinking more water during the Holiday season is even harder. With all of the amazing beverage choices, (which usually coincides with booze) you’ve got everything from eggnog, wine, seasonal pumpkin ales, and soda. Again, I’m not saying that you can’t drink your eggnog paired with rum, brandy, or bourbon. I’m simply suggesting that you don’t drink the whole bottle.
Remember, that the human body consists of 70% water, and with more water, comes more satiation, increased protein synthesis, and metabolic rate. So instead of eating three to four servings of carb-loaded madness, drink water after your meal. This way you can stay full and hydrated between the glasses of wine. And no, I am not trying to mess with your buzz. So please, do what needs to be done.
6. Everything In Moderation
If there was one underlying message to this entire article, it’s to eat everything in moderation. Nobody wants to experience you, when you don’t get what you want, or when you’re hangry and upset. Holidays do not tolerate divas. Diets don’t last, and if you can’t eat what you want, then there needs to be a serious recalculation in your goals. But, having too much of one thing is never good. And the saying stays true during the Holidays. So eat some cookies, have a glass of wine. Just don’t drink the whole bottle and hate yourself later for doing it.
How To Avoid Weight Gain During The Holidays: Takeaway
Don't be a glutton. The hard work you've put in, day in and day out, can disappear with a few bad decisions, that can turn into bad habits. Be conscious, be mindful. Remember why you started. Don't give into peer pressure. And above all, believe in yourself.
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