Ahh the holiday season approaches...such an amazing festive time as we spend quality time with family, reminisce about holidays past and...EAT! No question about it, with the holidays comes all of food goodies, from cakes and pies, to piles of mashed potatoes and more. From the moment the pumpkins show up until we kiss our loved ones at Midnight on January 1st, many of us take in a TON of extra calories and this creates severe anxiety for a lot of folks, especially those looking to stay in shape or even shed fat before the new year.
The good news is, it CAN be done, you just need an action plan and a COMMITMENT. We can help with the first part, the second is up to you. Below is a 5-point plan designed to help you stick to your fat loss & fitness goals during the holidays.
Plan your daily meals - This is not just about planning your actual holiday meals, we will get to that, but instead, plan EVERY day's eating. Stick to low sugar, high fiber and high protein. Eat in a caloric deficit and stick to healthy snacks (nuts, some fruit, raw veggies) EVERY day of the year. The better you eat year-round, the less a little HOLIDAY EATING FUN will have an adverse effect on your goals.
Plan your workouts - Around the holidays, it is a good idea to up your intensity a bit. If you are in good enough shape, you can even knock out 2 a day workouts to help keep your calorie burn up. Aim for 4-5 workouts per week and include some HIGH INTENSITY INTERVAL TRAINING (HIIT) to help keep the fat burn on high to make room for any extra caloric intake when those holiday meals and desserts start hitting your plate!
Water...ONLY - Opt for water with your meals. Not tea, not soda, and little alcohol whenever possible. Sure, you may splurge when eating holiday meals, but at all other times, make water your ONLY option. It's healthier, will promote flushing of fat, and won't add to your daily caloric intake.
NOW...the time has come, the meals have been cooked, the desserts have been made. Here are some tips to help you get through those meals WITHOUT major regret...
Holiday meal tip #1: Protein-Sure the mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, and stuffing smell and likely taste GREAT, but start with a little more of the protein (turkey, chicken, roast) on your plate so there is not enough room to go CARB CRAZY during your holiday meal. Protein builds muscle, will make you feel full, and will help cut down on the number of empty calories you consume.
Holiday meal tip #2: Fiber-Just as above, any foods that contain high fiber are a better bet to help you stick to your goals than the simple carbohydrate ones. IF you can start with a salad that is mostly greens and veggies (with little dressing) do it. Green beans, quinoa and brown rice along with whole wheat bread are good GO TO choices as well.
There you go, your solid 5-point plan to sticking to your fat loss and fitness goals during the holidays! Just follow the tips, take it day by day, and COMMIT...you can still eat all the tasty foods you love, and stay in shape at the same time. Happy Holidays!