It’s that time of year again! The holiday season is officially upon us – LET THE GLUTTONY BEGIN! Chocolate, egg nog, cake, cookies, gravy, mashed potatoes, wine, beer, you name it – BRING. IT. ON. Studies have shown that the average person gains 5-10lbs over the the Christmas holiday season. This would be a pretty impressive stat if they were talking about muscle. With busy schedules filled with corporate parties, and dinners with family and friends combined with little to no physical activity makes the body a prime fat storing facility.
The good news is the holidays don’t have to derail your training or destroy your physique. With a few simple tips and a little bit of discipline you can avoid the holiday bulge and actually make some gains during this festive time. What better gift could you give yourself than a stronger and leaner physique?? I can’t think of one. Enough semantics, let’s get down to business and take this holiday season by storm. Here are 9 tips to stay fit during the holidays.
1. Keep working out – If you already go to the gym, now is definitely not the time to take a break and if you don’t there’s no better time to start. Maintaining a regular training regimen is key to keeping your metabolism revved up and maintaining that precious muscle tissue. Programs like the Pure Payne Method can definitely help you stay on track. Things can get hectic during the holidays but staying consistent with your training will save you a lot of headache come January.
2. Lift heavy – There’s no better way to build and preserve strength and muscle mass than to simply lift heavy shit. Further, this will make you more efficient at burning fat and fending off all those empty holiday calories. You can’t go wrong with the bench press, squat, and deadlift to keep your body in check.
3. Use intervals – Keep your training intensity high with intervals so you can burn more fat in less time. This is a great way to train if pressed for time and want to get more bang for your buck. EMOMS are an effective way to get full body workouts in 15 minutes or less!
4. Eat a healthy meal before you go out – One of the worst things you can do is show up to your company Christmas party absolutely starving. You don’t want to be that guy with his head buried in his plate shoveling food in his face like it’s the Last Supper. This will certainly guarantee that you will over indulge pushing you over your caloric limit. Having a small, healthy meal before hitting the town will allow you to eat more sensibly when you arrive and curb any temptations. Remember, failing to plan is planning to fail.
5. Don’t have seconds – If you’ve followed #4 then this will be less of a problem. Food quality is important but is meaningless without proper food QUANTITY. 9 times out of 10 having a second helping is never in your best interest. Avoid the food coma and have ONE well balanced serving of food. That’s all your body really needs anyway.
Even at the Last Supper there was portion control
6. Replace starches with colorful vegetables – An easy way to increase the nutrient density of your meals is to replace your starchy carbs with more colorful veggies. For example, replace mashed potatoes and gravy with a garden salad with a vinaigrette dressing on the side or replace pasta with steamed broccoli and bell peppers. More nutrients, less bloating. Everybody wins.
7. Mix alcohol with soda or water – If you’re gonna drink, which you probably will, then reduce the damage by mixing your drinks with soda or water. This reduces your sugar intake which reduces the consumption of empty calories and the severity of hangovers. Having less drinks overall will probably help the cause too.
8. Have only one dessert – If there was ever a time to demonstrate some self control, it would be at the dessert table. Pick your favorite one, have a small piece and step away from the table. FOREVER. Like I mentioned in #7, sugar will sabotage all of your hard work and effort in the gym.
9. Stay hydrated – an easy way to curb your appetite and suppress cravings is to simply stay hydrated. Staying hydrated will help you to snack less and regulate your blood sugar levels. Keep a water bottle with you and sip periodically throughout the day.
A little common sense, discipline, and moderation will get you through the holidays unscathed. This year is your chance to be in the small percentage of people that actually get FITTER in the month of December. Make every meal and workout count this month and you’ll be laughing in New Year.
What’s your biggest weakness when it comes to nutrition? Drop a comment below! Don’t forget to subscribe below to get The Pure Payne Method and other great articles FREE!