Many of my favorite fitness gurus and bloggers have already touched on this lovely subject. If you have already read their tips and tricks to staving off the adipose tissue during the holidays, great!
If you haven’t, then I encourage you to check some of them out. In the mean time, here is my take on dealing with such a dilemma.
First of all, I hope you are not strictly dieting during this time of the year unless you have a very event-specific reason to do so.
One of those reasons could be a scheduled photo shoot, modeling work, fitness or bodybuilding competition etc.
If you are just dieting for fun and aesthetics with no specific event to look good naked for, then I wish you luck in your endeavors.
For me and everyone else that requires oxygen to live, late November through the New Year is the hardest possible time to diet.
It is especially hard if you are super anal and OCD about being perfect every single day.
A long time ago, while I was in my saddened state of OCD dieting mode, I just knew that one day of pigging out would surely annihilate my efforts for that coveted physique.
My mentality only allowed me to believe I would magically be fat in the morning from last nights Holiday party.
Thankfully, I have come a long way and have proven over and over again to myself that this is just not true.
Some good tips regarding maintaining some sanity during the Holiday season.
Suggestions such as eating lean protein + veggies before dessert, training with higher volume prior to the event and/or making some better “bad” choices when picking out your favorite treats.
Eating before the party, watching portion size, and even calorie cycling are among just a few of his great suggestions for avoiding holiday weight gain.
I’m not going add anything new or spectacular that you probably haven’t already read or thought of.
I will just be honest when I say I have accepted in full that I plan to enjoy the treats at the holiday party(s) that i will be attending.
I feel it’s of utmost importance that I try a bit of everything.
If I am dieting, I will make certain to do two things specifically leading up to this junk food fun fest.
First I will make sure to be on point with my workouts and dietary deficit as planned for the week.
Second, I will make sure I do a bit more volume (on top of strength work) with lighter weights prior to the party.
This way I am creating a bit bigger sink for incoming calories, not to mention the extra training volume coupled with the extra food may give me a bit of an anabolic response, so I may gain a bit of muscle.
The next day, I would go back to dieting, plain and simple. No problems.
If I was on a hypercaloric diet and focused on gaining lean body mass, I would just write this day off as another day in the name of muscle building.
I would make sure I did not get out of control by resuming my calorie log the next day and thereafter to prevent myself from creating too much of a surplus.
Unnecessary fat gain is not something I am too fond of.
If I were focused on maintenance.
I would insert a PSMF day before and after the Holiday party.
A PSMF is a protein sparing modified fast, in which you basically eat only protein and some fibrous veggies.
Its an effective dieting approach that I will cover in a future article.
Take Home Tips for Holiday Feasting
1. Enjoy Yourself
The holidays only last so long, then you have to wait an entire year to do it all over again. Take this time and really enjoy time spent with friends and family. This time is precious, so just have fun.
If you choose to throw a few back, be responsible and designate a personal chauffeur.
Don’t deprive yourself of the treats you know you want to eat. Just eat them guilt free.
2. Be Smart With Food Choices
IF you are dieting, follow the guidelines as posted above; be disciplined on the days prior to the festivities, enjoy the feasting, then get back to business.
Bulking? Insert food directly into pie hole – you know what to do. Working out helps too.
If you don’t want to over eat too much, fill up with the lean meats and veggies before the special occasion. Please leave your plastic portable containers filled with chicken and broccoli at home.
If you are maintaining, insert the diet days pre and post party day.
3. DON’T Freak Out
The scale weight is not a good indicator of actual weight gain. Water weight will drop after a few days. Attention to Females: I promise most of that weight gain post party day is mostly water…
Bloated? Just a little bit? Don’t worry too much, your abs will be visible again in a few days.
So there you have it.
My thoughts on the Holiday weight gain issues so many seemed to be concerned about.
I hope it serves you well. Enjoy your holiday season, and most importantly enjoy the time spent with those that matter most.
Enjoy the pie and cake too.