We get this question all of the time: How do I not gain weight during the holidays? The endless cascade of holiday parties, dinners and after-work drinks makes this perhaps the most gluttonous part of the year. What is a person to do if so many pitfalls stand between fab and flab? Trying one or even a few of these tips can save you from throwing all of your hard-earned workout results down the drain during the holidays.
Step Up Your Workouts
We’ll get the first few obvious ones out of the way first. If you know you have more than a few potential landmines in your way over the next several weeks, step up your workout game. An easy motivator in the gym is to set your eye on increasing the intensity of your workouts in an effort to burn more calories to stave off weight gain. If your goal is maintenance (or even gains for some), this can make the difference. Trying to lift heavier weight (safely of course), resting less between sets and/or circuits or increasing the amount of overall work you do can go a long way to salvage your gains.
Try a New Workout
This might sound silly and somewhat redundant given the above point, but you’d be amazed how many new folks we see in the gym around the holidays. Whether you’re looking for a new workout (like i.e. Fitness boot camp 🙂 all together or just want to change things up for a while, finding a new place to sweat can be huge for your psyche while giving you the extra motivation to work hard through the end of the year. As mentioned above, even the slightest tweaks to your workout style can have an enormous impact in a short time. Add in new psychological dynamics of being in a new place can really spice things up.
Eat Less Often
If you’re playing the calories in/calories out game, this should be your first plan of attack. If you know you have more than a few social outings in your future, starting a very short-term calorie-restrictive nutrition plan can save you from your gut-busting holiday outings. Staying in the 1,200-1,500 calorie range can allow you to have fun while you’re out without having to worry about what you shouldn’t be eating.
Maximizing Your Off Days
By off days, I mean days in which you won’t be out partying and eating poorly. If you have a calendar and you know what days you’ll be out, use every other day to eat as cleanly and leanly as possible. Staying in a caloric deficit on your off days while working out as much as you can will allow you to have an uninhibited great time when you’re out indulging.
Don’t Give In
The least popular option. There’s always a few people who somehow can look at the plates of cookies or trays of Fireball shots and put both hands up and say no. Those are the people that escape the holidays without doing any damage to their physique. The main culprits are the almost obnoxiously-dedicated souls who can go out and abstain from all that makes the holidays great. If that’s you, hats off to your dedication and determination.
As always, if you have questions about workouts or nutrition, contact i.e. Fitness. Happy Holidays, everyone!