There’s nothing better than that time of year where the meals are savory, and the desserts are pumpkin-y?. You’re planning on savoring this, and I don’t blame you. Here’s how to enjoy your holiday feasts to their fullest without setting yourself back on your fitness progress.

Protein is Key

Practically everyone knows protein’s impacts on muscle growth. Without an adequate intake, your body won’t have the resources it needs to turn all your hard gym work into solid muscle mass. However, protein’s lesser known function is how it interacts with appetite. Proteins are much more difficult to digest and absorb than carbohydrates, making them a great way to keep you fuller for longer. Begin your meal by filling up that plate with turkey, ham, or whatever protein source you so desire. Your muscles and taste buds will thank you later.



Lying Liquids

As we mentioned before, protein sources add calories but also satiate hunger. Liquid calories don’t come with this same perk. While a nice adult beverage can really compliment your meal, it can also contribute needless sugar. Now I’m not saying you should shun everything but water. That would be no fun. Instead, pace yourself throughout the meal or replace every other drink with a glass of the hydrating stuff. Save those empty calories for the dessert.

The Gravy Killer

So you loaded up on turkey, moderated your alcohol intake, and maybe even added a few servings of veggies for good measure. At this point, what could go wrong? The answer lies deep within that decorative gravy boat. Animal fat mixed with flour creates a tasty yet fattening sauce that can mischievously add hundreds of extra calories to your meal. The best thing you can do to keep yourself from succumbing to its charms is to skip it altogether or pour it on the side, dipping your food into the gravy instead of drowning it in the stuff.

The Leftover Trap

In all reality, one day of feasting is not going to set you back in your progress. Just as one day in the gym won’t suddenly make you shredded, one day of overindulgence won’t suddenly undo all your weight loss. The only real threat to your waistline hides insidiously within the leftovers. Once holiday feasting turns from a single day affair into a week long binge, its impacts will become readily apparent. Pass on the leftovers, or at the very least remain aware of how they may be impacting your physique goals. And like before, skip on the gravy but don’t fear the turkey.

About the Author

Contributing Writer

Jake Stewart

Bodybuilding.com's authors include many of the top coaches, nutritionists, and physique athletes in the world today.

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