Isn't it crazy how fast the year has gone by? It seems like just last month I was recovering from Christmas, and here we are, set to do it all again. Last year I had a big meal, and I vowed I would not do it again. Eating half a roasted turkey pretty much by yourself is enough to make anyone sick, but conquer the bird I did.
This year though, I am taking a different approach. I plan to enjoy the festive season, and keep my hard-earned physique intact! If you have a plan, you can bounce through the happy season by having your cake and eating it too! The better prepared you are, the easier it will be on your waistline—trust me!
Use these ideas to tackle the holidays without losing gains. Who knows; you might even grow some new muscle in the process!
Training is always hard at this time of year. Whether you're staying home, or traveling to the other side of the world to spend Christmas with family and friends, you can always squeeze some training in.
The thing you need to remember is to be flexible, because without a doubt, your schedule will change to some degree. Before we know the extent of the changes, we need to know when and where you will be training.
If you are staying put, make sure you find out the training hours for your gym. If you are traveling, get on the phone to all of the gyms at your destination and try and find a gym whose training hours best suit you. Once you have the location, you can then plan your training.
More likely than not you will be forced to take a few extra days off, but as long as you focus on the big, compound exercises you will be fine
Christmas should have no effect on your cardio training whatsoever. No matter where you are spending the festivities, you always have the fresh air outdoors to do your cardio. Running, swimming, power walking, beach sprints, bike riding, and roller blading are all great forms of cardio.
In fact, if you are the standard 'treadmill' type who only performs cardio at the gym, this could be a very welcome change. I have never been one for in-the-gym cardio because it is just so boring. I would much rather get outdoors any day. The great thing about outdoor cardio is that you can literally do it anywhere. As long as you get the heart pumping, you're getting the job done.
This is usually the biggest pitfall for people at Christmas—I know it's mine. I don't know what it is, but I just seem to go on autopilot from the time I wake up until the time I crash at night.
With my wife being a chef and coming from a family who enjoys the "traditional" Christmas, there is just so much food. This year though, I am making a stand and reclaiming control.
Of course you can enjoy all the tasty treats Christmas has to offer, as long as you don't go overboard. To maintain a somewhat normal diet, it all comes down to when and what you eat. What I plan to do this year is just graze throughout the day. I will resist the temptation to gorge myself on this and that, opting instead for just a taste and moving on.
More often then not, our nutrition pitfall is that we believe we are indestructible come Christmastime. We convince ourselves we won't gain weight, or we just turn a blind eye. I am telling you, though, you need to hold yourself accountable for your actions in all facets of your training lifestyle.
You can also foresee if you are going to slip up, and minimize the effect accordingly. If you perform a high-intensity cardio session (HIIT) before you sit down to Christmas lunch, your elevated metabolism will have a much greater chance against the extra calories you are about to eat. Or better yet, just don't eat as much.
My best advice here would be to remain consistent with your supplement usage. It is very easy to fall into the laid-back, festive lifestyle, but it really only takes a few minutes a day to keep the supplements coming.
I honestly believe that staying consistent with your supplementation, irrespective of whether you're training or not, improves your chances of staying relatively lean and strong!
It's easy to come out on top if you have a plan, especially one that fits in with your other commitments. If this is all a bit too much, I'm sure Santa can pop a few fat burners under the tree for you. We only get Christmas once a year, so above all else, make sure you enjoy yourself.