It’s almost holiday season and you know what that means; office parties, family gatherings, holiday dinners, etc. After multiple events, eating delicious food and drinking our favorite eggnog, it will be January 1st before you know it -the season of resolutions and “New Year, New Me”.
Our question for you is, wouldn’t you want to have a head start? Instead of gaining 10 pounds over the holidays, why not only gain 1-2 pounds or even better, gain nothing at all.
Here are a few tips to help you during the holiday season:
During the holiday season, some of us travel back home or visit friends in other states. Bring your gym bag with you or if you’re traveling light, just a pair of running shoes and a jump rope. That way you can drop in to a local CrossFit box or go to the gym with a friend. If you can’t make it to a gym, you can do a simple and effective bodyweight workout at home.
During travel, consuming enough protein to support muscle growth can be challenging, so be sure to pack your protein supplement with you.
Short On Time.
We understand that you only have so much time in a day and are trying to cram in as much as you can. Something has to give, and we usually end up sacrificing our gym time so we can socialize more, work more, travel more, etc. Why sacrifice your physical and mental health? All you need is one hour.
Go to a high intensity class (i.e. CrossFit) where you are in and out in 60 minutes. Ideally the high intensity class that you decide to participate in includes weightlifting and other anaerobic movements. Weightlifting causes your body to burn extra calories even hours after you’ve completed your workout. That’s much more effective than cardio alone. So if you’re looking to be efficient with your time, High intensity, anaerobic workouts are the way to go.
We know that the holiday season can be a stressful time. Stress can increase your body’s production of fat-storing hormones. Going to the gym is a great stress reliever that lets you turn off your responsibilities and clear your thoughts. Even if it’s just for that hour.
So let’s take the time to plan ahead. Planning ahead sets you up for success!
This one is self-explanatory. Lack of sleep is not going to help you in the long run. There are multiple studies that show what happens in the body when we don’t get adequate sleep. It really is a never ending list of negative consequences, such as an increased chance of developing cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
Sleep is when our body recovers from it’s daily tasks, and when it builds muscle.
Want another reason to sleep more? The more you sleep, the more body fat you will burn. When you are sleep deprived or you don’t get enough hours of sleep, your metabolism slows down and so does your ability to burn calories at a faster rate.
Limit Your Drinking
I’ll get right to the bottom line. The empty calories from alcohol can and will cause weight gain, especially around the waist. The following day will leave you feeling tired and sluggish; probably causing you to stay at home instead of going to the gym.
We’re not telling you to be a party pooper. We’re just suggesting that you consider limiting your drinking; avoid sugary ingredients, switch to soda water between drinks and remind yourself about how good you would like to feel in the morning, instead of being hung-over on your couch.
Smart Food Choices
You’re about to be tempted by a plethora of calorie dense foods...foods that are highly processed, covered in sauces and added sugars, as well as candies and desserts.
Remember, you have a choice as to what you eat!
We know that the apple pies and cornbread stuffing smell and taste delicious but we don’t need to eat giant servings. Instead let’s be smart.
Before going to the holiday party, eat a healthy, vegetable dense meal. That way you are starting on the right foot. When at a holiday party or gathering, eat responsibly; you again, have the choice.
Stick to eating veggies and lean protein that are not covered in sauce. Avoid processed carbs and the dessert table. If you have the self-control, it’s fine to have a small portion without going back for seconds.
Don’t Quit And Wait Until January
We go back to the question we asked at the top, why wait? Why not get a head start?
You can approach this in two ways:
1.) Start working on your goals now to improve your health and fitness. Grab your planner and schedule your day/weeks. Make time for meal prepping, workouts, and sleep.
2.) “Damage control”. Make healthy food choices 80% of the time during the holiday season and go to the gym 3 to 5 times per week. That will be enough to help you avoid excess weight gain while still enjoying the holiday season.
You don’t need to wait until January 2020 to start your New Year’s resolutions. When we ask you what your New Year resolutions are, it doesn’t have to be “lose the weight I gained over the holidays.'' Don't let the holidays derail you, start today!
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