How to Avoid Weight Gain During the Holidays
1: Research by the Calorie Control Council found the average person consumes around 3000 calories, leading to weight gain, during seasonal lunches and dinners, and possibly more once you factor in appetizers, drinks, snacks, dips, etc.
2: People gain the most weight during the holiday period. The graph below, which is from a 2016 study, illustrates weight increases in three different countries correlating with their respective holidays.
Researchers concluding: "In these three prosperous countries, weight gain occurs during national holidays and while up to half of holiday weight gain is lost shortly after the holidays, half the weight gain appears to remain until the summer months or beyond.
Meaning: Most of the weight you're going to gain this year will be during the upcoming 3-4 weeks of the holidays and while you may work some of it off, most of it will remain.
3: You're going to slack off the next month or two because you've convinced yourself that as soon as January 2018 rolls around you'll get your ass in gear and finally lose weight because of #NewYearNewMe.
4: You'll then eat and drink as much as possible because 'Who cares, it's the holidays' and in the process, gain even more weight.
5: The New Year is going to come and while the first few weeks will be filled with excitement, zeal, and frenzied action as you hit the gym every day, eat well, and constantly update Facebook reminding everyone that this is your year and you're totally going to crush your fitness goals – in a month or two those same goals will be a distant memory.
What can you do about it?
Remember I wrote to you about Responsibility Debt? Well, the holiday period is the ultimate Responsibility Debt – you put off your health and fitness until the new year but the new year rolls around and other things pop up and before you know it it's 2019 and you're right back where you started.
Repeat for the next 10 years and one day you'll wake up, look in the mirror and ask the strange reflection that use to be you when you let this happen? Well, every year. When you abdicated responsibility for your future self.
Don't worry, though, I'm here to help. Here are 8 tips for avoiding holiday fat gain.
Reduce your calorie intake by 300-500 calories leading to the day. This will give you a caloric buffer of an additional 1500-2500 calories to play with.
On the day, implement a Protein-Sparing Modified Fast during the day. Focus on protein and veggies for breakfast and lunch, or skip breakfast entirely. This will allow you to 'save' the majority of your calories for Thanksgiving dinner. Example: Wake up 8 am – Skip breakfast and drink water and coffee (black) 1 pm – lunch: 2 scoops of protein powder and a piece of fruit. Or, 0% fat Greek yoghurt + 1 scoop of whey protein + frozen berries. 5 pm (an hour before the main dinner) – same as lunch or a chicken salad, no dressing. (Eating something small before the main event will mean you're not going to dinner starving and resultantly, you'll be less tempted to overeat.)
Limit yourself to 1-2 plates of food and dessert. You probably won't do this, but hey, worth a shot.
No, seriously. TRY and limit yourself!
If possible, go for a walk after dinner. This will help with digestion, burning a few calories from the meal you ate, and even improve blood sugar levels
If you did get a bit too crazy, reduce calorie intake the next day by 500-800 calories. Or implement another Protein-Sparing Modified Fast restricting calories to between 800-1400 for men, and 600-1200 for women. This sounds difficult, but you'll find you're not very hungry after a day of heavy eating. (Skip the fasting if you have health conditions that could be exacerbated by it.)
Continue training. Don't use this time of year to slack off. Most gyms will be open, except a few days like Christmas and New Year’s Day, so there's no reason to stop training completely. And if you're wanting to start, here's a lil' something: Gyms are going to be super empty this time of year, so you can go in and learn how to use the equipment and perform the exercises without feeling intimidated. Once January rolls around and the gyms get busier, you'll be a workout ninja.
Remember what this time of year is really about. As a culture, we put a lot of emphasis on food this time of year, which is fine. I'm not one of those dietary nut-jobs who run around screaming, "EAT TO LIVE DON'T LIVE TO EAT". With that said, I also want to remind you that this time of year is about family and friends and appreciating what you have. Make <em>that </em>the emphasis of your celebrations.
One more thing.
There are going to be those of you who will be able to take the above tips, apply them, and that's that. Cool.
But, what if you know the above isn't enough?
What if you've tried implementing the above tips and tricks but still blow your diet around this time of year, every year? And deep down you know this is going to happen this year, too.
Then maybe this is for you.
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You were a part of a supportive community that will:
Help with motivation
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Have me answer any and all of your questions, personally?
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All of this for less than the price of dinner for two. If you like the sound of that then check out the online fitness coaching program!
T.L;D.R – Get fit not fat this holiday season. Here's how:
Reduce your calorie intake by 300-500 calories leading to the day.
On the day, implement a Protein-Sparing Modified Fast during the day.
Limit yourself to 1-2 plates of food and dessert.
If possible, go for a walk after dinner.
If you did get a bit too crazy, reduce calorie intake the next day by 500-800 calories