With the crisp fall, air comes the smells of baking apple pies, pumpkin spice...everything, sweet potato casserole, ham, turkey, stuffing, and all the goodness that the holiday season brings.
But you’re a gym junkie and you’ve worked your butt off all year (literally) and you don’t want to lose the progress you’ve made. You’re pushing forward with your weight goals and muscle gains and are determined not to see your hard work go to waste over a few dinner parties these next few months.
Here are 5 tips to stay in control this Thanksgiving and Holiday season as well as 5 travel tricks to keep your workouts alive on the road away from home.
5 Tips to Avoid Weight Gain During the Holiday Season
1 - Stick To The 90/10 Rule
What is the 90/10 rule? This is a general nutrition rule that calls for 6 days of healthy eating and fitness and 1 day of soul soothing foods, also known as a ‘cheat day.’
With parties and social events going on all through the month, we can forget the guidelines we’ve set for ourselves all year and over eat and then feel guilty for our actions. It’s like that 90/10 rule becomes more like 50-60% of the time.
2 - Schedule Your Cheat Day
Review your calendar for the next few months. Plan out where your most exciting parties and get together's are and adjust your cheat day to fall on those days.
This way, when you attend an event, you don’t have to be the one standing in the corner morning over the breads, and desserts. You can allow yourself to enjoy it, modestly and not drool over yourself.
3 - Prepare For Temptation
If you do go to an event and you want to stick to your ‘eating-clean’ guns, then prepare yourself ahead of time.
Don’t go to an event hungry or tired. Usually, we tend to eat more if we are suddenly around unhealthy foods on an empty stomach, even if you’ve eaten healthy all day!
Just before you go, eat some healthy snacks, like nuts, apples, bananas or a protein bar to help you curb the desire for carbs.
Also, you can help curb that fix by drinking lots and lots of water throughout the day. And by lots, we mean a whole gallon!
4 - Limit The Sugar and Portions
This can seriously affect your waistline, energy, and mood! Let’s keep the Holiday cheer going, shall we?
As much as you -do- deserve a treat now and then, remember not to go overboard with the sweets. Processed sugar is one of the worst things you can put in your body besides illegal drugs. Don’t do it.
The American Heart Association recommends we consume less that 10 TEASPOONS (that’s tiny) of sugar a day. The average adult American misses that mark by a lot. Try 22 teaspoons.
So let yourself sample a dessert, but keep it to just one. You don’t have to try them all!
And about that thanksgiving day plate.
It does not have to be 6 inches high and 12 inches in diameter! Keep the portions small, even on your cheat day, so you can recover from those heavy meals faster. Calories in vs. calories out is the most important thing to remember.
What you put in with the fork, you need to put out at the gym!
5 - Never Skip Your Workout
One of the best things about this time of year is getting to take time off. Being with family, hanging out with friends, and traveling will really help you relax and unwind.
But don’t take a break from your workout routine!
Remember, you are committed to the gym, the WOD, or your box, even though the Holidays. It’s okay to still have rest days, but don’t let things like being out of town keep you from your regular workout routine.
It will be that much harder to start again.
By getting up and putting in 10 minute HIIT intervals you will keep that fit bug alive and well. There are also easy travel gear that you can take with you on the road to keep your routine alive.
Check our other blog post for 5 Travel Tricks and Tools To Keep Your Workouts Alive This Holiday Season