Halloween and Thanksgiving have come and gone. How did you do with your eating plan? Are you the type to just engorge all out on the holidays, or do you keep a cognitive journal and accountability for what and how much you eat? Christmas and New Years is now right around the corner and you and I both know those cookies, alcoholic beverages (if you drink), and home made casseroles are going to be wafting through the air left and right. How do you stay on track? Or do you even want to stay on track? Here's a few tips that you can do during the holidays to keep fat gain to a minimum.
- How you should eat during the holidays will depend on your goal.
- Do you want to stay lean during the holidays and keep fat gain to a minimum? Well, then you will need to keep yourself accountable during your get-togethers and parties. You may have a mental checklist of how you’re going to eat, such as “I’m going to have 1 plate of dinner, 2 desserts, and 2 drinks for the night.” You may be the person to bring your food scale to the parties to precisely measure out portions (although, if you’re not in competition prep or dieting for something major or important, I think this is a bit extreme – just my opinion). You may be a bit more laid back and give yourself the right to eat whatever and however much you want… but in doing so, try and keep your carbs and fat intake earlier on in the day pretty minimal, to compensate for the big meal and desserts you’ll be having later. On the other side of the coin, if you don’t really care about gaining some body fat during the holidays, you won’t need much of a plan. Maybe you’ll continue on with your weight training program and nutrition plan all the way up until Christmas Eve and then go off and enjoy yourself for 2-3 days. How you’re going to eat during the holidays will reflect your priorities and goals. And again, there is no right or wrong way to do this. If you don’t care about added body fat and just want to “enjoy the holidays”, by all means, do that. If you want to stay lean and keep fat gain to a minimum, you will need a plan and will have to be more diligent in your approach.
- How much you exercise during the holidays will also depend on your goal.
- We’re coming right back to what your goals and priorities are. As of right now, I’m dieting for a photo shoot I have coming up early next year, so I’m still very consistent with training 5 times per week, while also doing cardio 6 times per week. However, I will likely save one of my free meals for Christmas day, so that I don’t really feel like I’m dieting. I’ll also do a cardio session later on in the day, once I’ve eaten all my meals and the night is coming to a close. If I weren’t getting ready for anything, I most likely would have taken Christmas off from training and just enjoyed the day with my family (this is what I usually do if I’m not prepping for anything). If your goal is maintenance and keeping fat gain at bay, try fasting in the morning for a few hours, performing some type of high intensity workout the night before, and keeping your water intake high on the day you’re enjoying a bunch of food.