A study has suggested that people gain on average ½ a kilo to 1.5 kilos over the holiday season that they never lose. Think about that. That doesn’t mean they gain it and lose it. On average the population gains ½ a kilo to 1.5 kilos that they never lose. Every year this happens. Year in year out. Every Christmas.
So if you want to AVOID becoming part of this statistic – I’ve got all the tips for you.
First of all – yes it’s tough. It’s Christmas! And if you grew up anything like me, Christmas meant food. Lots of food. Roasts, ham, christmas lollies, chocolate for breakfast. And that’s just Christmas day..
What about the parties leading up to christmas, then boxing day drinks and new years eve and more parties maybe a BBQ or a JetSki beach party – you get the point!
It’s a time of TEMPTATION. And it’s going to be tougher to adhere to your caloric intake if you have a specific one, than any other time of year.
If you’re lucky, you’ve been working with me and you’re already eating in a flexible way with minimal restriction and already understand the mindset of eating and how to avoid weight gain.
If not, we can still use some of the below too – so don’t stress.
Firstly – What I don’t want you to think is that you have to be a hermit and hide from all the gatherings that are on. I do want you to enjoy this time with your friends and family. Because you absolutely should – this is a HUGE part of life.
So.. I am here to suggest you look at it as more of a time to simply maintain your weight, instead of going in thinking you’ll keep losing or…. come out the other side with a heap of regret from going all YOLO over Christmas.
If you simply focus on maintaining your weight over Christmas you are you going to be in a much better position than 99% of people starting 2020. There are 365 days in the year, we don’t need to be losing weight all of them. Put a couple of weeks aside to maintain, heck why not take the month of December to maintain when we hit 2021 we can focus on the next 365.
I really like the option to track your food in MyfitnessPal – with a little bit of planning ahead you will literally be able to have your cake and eat it too.
So here are some of my tips so you can actually enjoy yourself in this holiday season and not stack on ALL the weight.
Tip number 1:
After tracking your food and working out your maintenance calories – I suggest planning for a few higher calorie days – I did a post on Calorie Manipulation on my Instagram to show you how this works. So instead of totally going ham everyday with an ALL or NOTHING attitude, pre plan and allow for the most important days.
Here’s an example of what I mean..
Let’s say you maintain your current weight on 2000 calories. You could consume 1500 calories on 3 days and 2375 on 4 days in 1 week. So the days you know you will have an event or Christmas day of whatever, they will be your higher calorie days, then when you’ll be at work or you don’t have an event of whatever, they will be your lower calorie days. And don’t forget this calculation can be done in many different ways. You could go even higher and even lower. Of if you have less drinking / party days that will give you more calories on your non-party days.
This tip on it’s own can and will literally stop you gaining weight over Christmas. But I’ve got more for you..
Tip number 2:
Just because it’s Christmas holidays – one of the worst things you can do is get lazy – make sure you’re still moving, going to the gym, and if you’re away you can absolutely either find a gym and commit to 3 days training each week or… you can train in your hotel room utilising exercises like split squats, pistol squats, push-ups, you could even grab some resistance bands and do shoulders, bis/tris etc. Maybe enjoy some outside activities a little more with friends and family catching up that way instead of getting all lazy.
Most of the programming that I do it 3 full body days – and this is part of the reason. Out of the 7 days over christmas you should be able to find 3 days to train.
Tip number 3:
I touched on this before – but plan ahead even if it’s just for the day you don’t have to manipulate your calories for the week – you can plan a day to allow for eating out – make sure that you don’t starve yourself all day because that will leave you wanting to feast and easily eat double your calories for the day, but if you know that you’re going to an event – eat higher protein lower calories foods in the morning something like a 5 egg white omelette packed with veggies (it will literally be a mountain on your plate) and a protein shake later on and save some of your calories in forms of carbs and fats for the event. Sometimes what I will do is commit to a certain amount of alcohol that I will consume and put that in MyFitnessPal. Sometimes I actually like to overshoot and add in like 7 drinks as an example just in case things get a little fun.
Keeping in mind that this could be 1000+ calories easily.
Liquid calories are something that people tend to forget so don’t forget to plan for that if you drink.
All in all the best way to cope is having a plan!!! It doesn’t mean that you will have any less of a good time.
Remember not to sacrifice your long term goals with some short term pleasure. And you don’t need to miss out on short term pleasure if you have a good long term goal. And coach.