It’s that time of year again. Christmas lights, family coming to town, Will Ferrell’s Elf on the television and that awkward Georgia weather where it is 65 degrees one day and an ice storm the next day. You got to love it! This article is for all the people out there who are struggling to find a way to stay on track with their fitness and health journey while still enjoy friends, family and all the delicious food calling their name when the holidays come around. So, how do we prevent gaining all that way during these times? Let’s get right into it:

Enjoy Yourself
You have been working your butt off for the last couple months making better food choices, getting up early when everyone else is sleeping or hitting a late night workout when you really don’t want to, so TAKE A CHILL PILL. You won’t lose all your gains if you miss a workout or have that piece of cake you have been eye balling since you walked into Grandma’s house on Christmas Eve or having a drink or two with some friends. That’s the thing though, see how I said a PIECE of cake and one maybe two drinks? Yeah, that’s the ticket. It is important to enjoy yourself but don’t binge.

Flexible Dieting
The point of this nutrition concept is to not see how man cookies we can fit into our macros, but on occasion be able to fit some foods we wouldn’t deem “healthy” into our caloric needs. If we have been practicing this method leading into the holidays we haven’t been depriving ourselves of certain foods, so when confronted with a feast of all the salty and sugary foods we can fix a plate and be satisfied. Many, have excluded themselves of a variety of foods for months and crack under pressure and eat until they are sick. Don’t let this be you!

Exercise
Just because it is the holidays doesn’t mean you should drop what you have been doing all year. Get in the gym, lift heavy things, do some cardio HIIT training, and make it a point to be active. Your gym might have some holiday hours you can’t make so get creative. Do some bodyweight exercises in your living room, find a hill to sprint up, those extra calories burned will be beneficial

Have a Plan
Have a game plan. When is the Party? Are you having lunch or dinner? You have options. Eat mainly protein and veggies throughout the day to save those carbs and fat for the big meal. You could have your normal meals throughout the day so you aren’t as hungry when it comes to feast time that way you fill up quick. Have a healthy meal prior to and just have dessert or just drink alcohol. Track your macros. You are a flexible dieter remember? It won’t be spot on, but you could stay within your protein, fats and carbs. Just about the one time I will recommend intermittent fasting will be my last option. Fast during the day and just eat during a small time frame. You can only eat so much during this window, so this will allow you to not over eat your calories.

Conclusion

Hey! You got this. Enjoy yourself and don’t overdo it. The secret is getting back on track the next day. Don’t let the holidays and some fun derail you from the big picture
Evan, CPT and Nutrition Coach