With the holidays closing in and all the wonderful opportunities for food and drink, it is easy to take things to a bit too far.
A piece of pumpkin pie can turn into two and then four pieces.
Cookies can be consumed by the dozen.
And that bottle of beer can quickly turn into a six-pack, which if repeated enough throughout the holiday season can quickly erase your six-pack.
Yes, the season can be a perfect recipe for undesirable weight gain, but if your goal is to stay shredded, there are specific strategies that can be implemented to sail right through the holidays and continue to progress.
Here are a few:
#1. Caloric Management
This is by far the most important factor of any diet.
I think it is important to think of diet in terms of weeks not so much in terms of days and don’t get too hung up on it. Food is meant to be enjoyed, so just make up the difference on the days surrounding your indulgence.
EX. With a caloric allotment of 2450 per day, John has 7350 calories to work with Friday, Saturday & Sunday (3 days x 2450 per.) He is going to a holiday party on Saturday, so Friday he consumes 1675 total calories, Saturday he has 4000, and Sunday he has 1675.
Monday he is back to his regular 2450 calories. Keep it simple!
#2. Strategic Fasting
I have been using some form of fasting for several years as it fits my lifestyle extremely well. Similar to the above strategy of calorie management one could simply limit or “push back” eating until the event itself.
You could have one or several small protein/fats meal such as a couple hard-boiled eggs, or possibly 1/2 cup of cashews, or maybe a protein shake or two. The idea here is to limit the calories and save most of your calories & carbohydrates for the event.
What I like to do is forgo eating anything at all and save all my calories for the holiday meal but I would like to point out if you are new to fasting there is the danger of overindulgence and overeating. Take your time, savor each bite and enjoy!
#3 Strategic Calorie Burn
Another way to stay ahead of holiday weight gain is to give yourself even more leverage by burning calories with a fasted workout before the event.
I like to perform sprints or hill sprints, but a mid-distance run or even a nice long walk can do the trick. This can not only get you into a caloric deficit but can also curb your hunger until you are ready to enjoy all the awesome holiday foods.