It’s that time of the year gain, the off season, the season of joy and sugar binges, the season of giving and cheat eating.. Christmas is notoriously a time to indulge, but don’t let this be the green light to overindulge, Eat smart
TRAIN BIG EAT BIG
If you know you are going to eat a lot of food (and that’s a lot) then you might as well exploit the anabolic powers of food to help you keep or make some muscle-building progress, use all those carbohydrates for a hard hitting workout either pre workout or post workout, working out a few hours after a large meal will give help burn those calories and keep your metabolism active after wards.
Your workouts could be Intense like a “Leg Day with lots of volume” for example, try include compound movements like the Squat, Lunges..etc to name a few as these will burn more calories during your workout, or If you are more of a cardio person ( that is if you are) you could do a HIIT session to get those calories burning, the amount of calories you burn depends on how much food you eat, so if you are on 3000+ calories for the day, your training should be more intense.
Cardio is the last thing you would want to hear or do during the holidays, and yes it sucks, but its effective and doesn’t necessarily have to be long and boring, try performing HIIT (High intensity training), these could last for around 15-20 minutes and should be completed within intervals, try to keep it short and intense, Combing high intensity with interval training speeds your metabolic rate and “translates into a metabolism boost for up to 48 hours after a complete HIIT routine, you will be still burning fat after you leave the gym after a HIIT session.
Calculate your Macros
Calculating your macros and your daily calorie intake will help greatly in knowing how much Protein, Carbohydrates and fats you need for the day, and especially during the holidays, it’s a 100% guarantee that your calorie intake is about to be off the hook, so before things go out of hand, know your daily calorie intake and balance things out through maintaining your diet and working out. Here’s a macronutrient calculator for your reference: https://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/macronutrients_calculator.htm
Monitor your calories
It might be hard and annoying to monitor your calories during the season , especially during December, but try to keep track of the calories you eat for the day, doesn’t have to be accurate at least an average of it, this will aware you with a target of the calories you need to burn at the gym while you workout, also for eg: if your daily carbohydrate intake is 200g , and you binge on some Christmas cake, try balancing it out later throughout day by eliminating your carbohydrates in the next meal or snack, this will help you from over eating.
Eat your Protein first
Start out with the protein first, Meat or anything that has a hint of protein in it
Eat a small portion of lean meat before beginning on mashed potatoes, stuffing, sweet potatoes, breads and rolls, etc, the reason for this is because your body uses more calories to digest and assimilate protein that it does for carbs and fat. The protein also has a stabilizing effect on your blood sugar and will help you to feel “full” more quickly.
Water can also help with the recovery process. Drinking water can help decrease your appetite when you’ve been overindulging and can prevent the dehydration that comes with drinking alcohol Plus, if you’re dehydrated you might be tired and suffer from headaches, which is not going to make it easier to hit the gym or make good food choices.
Getting water in will also help get your digestive system back in gear if you’ve overtaxed it with a bit too much food.
Yes its cold and you will feel the need to chill out with family and friends, and so often time we have to cut corners- eliminate some training sessions or do less cardio to make time for other holiday obligations and responsibilities. But even if you can’t keep to your regular training schedule, focusing on simply “moving more” will help increase your overall caloric expenditure and keep unwanted holiday weight gain away.
Some good ideas would be to park further away from entrances to increase the steps you take when running errands or shopping or to take the stairs and avoid elevators and escalators. You can also add in some short walks or cardio sessions daily, whenever possible. Walk during your lunch break for 5-10 minutes. Do the same after work. Come up with some workouts that require no equipment and can be performed outside of a gym so that in the event you have to miss a workout you have some fast options that you can easily perform in the convenience of your own home. Don’t allow the holiday season to become sedentary season- keep moving.
In Conclusion, Stay FIT and ENJOY the HOLIDAYS
Dont push yourself too hard if you went overboard on the food, there is always a new day and your body doesn’t change within a day of over eating , it changes to the lifestyle you perceive, so stay motivated and push harder the following day plus it’s the Holidays, so chill out and enjoy life!