Nobody likes to be left out of the holiday fun, including all those holiday parties. Here’s some pointers that will allow you to be social and enjoy yourself without splitting your pants before the New Year:
1.) Train With High-Intensity Activity Before and/or After a Big Meal or Holiday Feast
I know, I know, tell it to the judge. I promised diet strategies, but I simply cannot go without recommending some activity. Your body is most receptive to higher carbs within 30 minutes before and within three hours following an intense workout. Ideally you would want to workout out before AND after a big meal, but if you can only do one, that will suffice. Don’t obsess over it – just pick one or the other and do it. Your best options will be 20 minutes of circuit resistance training or cardio interval training. Even a 20-30 plus minute walk a few hours afterwards can help a little bit..
2.) Do NOT save up your calories for your Holiday Feast
Eat as you normally would on a good nutrition plan – Every two to four hours, get in your protein and veggies. If you go into that huge meal in a fasted state, you are going to overeat, and because you are so hungry, your body will be craving all the high sugar and fat foods! You are just setting yourself up for a sugar crash and fat gain.
3.) Do NOT Gorge Yourself
Maintain your discipline, and eat until you are satisfied, not until you have to loosen your belt. Remember this: binge eating is not the habit of lean individuals. It is imperative to understand that that holiday meals are not a ticket to eat as much as you can in as little time as possible. Eat to live, don’t live to eat.
4.) Eat a High-Fiber, Protein-Rich Meal An Hour Before the Big Party
This is another great way to help you from stuffing your face with sugar cookies. Fiber and protein are a powerful combination in helping you be full and satisfied. A great strategy is to have a protein shake with some flaxseed. Nutritious, delicious, easy to prepare and it won’t go from your mouth to your hips.
5.) First Things First – Eat Your Vegetables
Just because it’s a holiday meal doesn’t mean you can’t eat any nutritious food. Head for the vegetable and meat tray and get something good in you. This will leave less room for the unhealthier, higher calorie treats.
6.) Water, Water, Everywhere
Water competes for space in your stomach and really does help keep you from overeating. For every plate of food you eat, drink a glass of water. After that second plate, when you have 1 full liter of water in your stomach, I bet you might just throw in the towel!
7.) Immediately Resume Your Normal Eating Schedule at the Next Meal
Ok, you had your fun, and what’s done is done. It’s time to get right back on the wagon, and back to normal, healthy eating habits. Don’t let one meal become one week become one month.
8.) Don’t Eat Junk Food at Breakfast or Bedtime
Eating a highly refined carbohydrate meal first thing in the morning will make your blood sugar levels go crazy for the rest of the day resulting in greater junk food cravings and uncontrollable hunger. On the other hand, eating a big meal before bed will result in a bunch of unused energy that will be stored as body fat and can cause trouble sleeping.
9.) Don’t Drink Your Calories
It is way too easy to get way too many calories in liquid form. One can easily consume over 1,000 calories per day from liquid calories alone. This means that in one week, you will gain 2 lbs of body fat from just fluids! Those holiday lattes ARE good, but the extra fat attached to your backside not so much! Also, sugar laden and alcoholic beverages tend to make you hungrier in general and often hungrier for junk food in particular. Furthermore, your body cannot burn fat until the alcohol is processed out of your body, as well as the fact that alcohol consumption actually lowers leptin levels. Decreased leptin levels increase hunger and decreases your body’s use of fat for fuel. Thus alcohol can prevent the fat burning process from resuming until several days later and/or even cause unwanted fat gain, setting you back anywhere from a few days to as long as a full week!
10.) Avoid Eating Meals that are High in Both Fat and Carbohydrates
The absolute worst thing that you can do is to eat a meal that is high in both fat and carbs. The high amount of carbs will lead to a rapid increase in blood sugar levels , which increases the potent fat-storing hormone Insulin. The high amount of fat will lead to a large increase in free fatty acids in your bloodstream. Since Insulin is already present in large amounts, in addition to there being a large amount of free fatty acids now available in your blood, the stage is set for all those free fatty acids to be gobbled up and stored by your fat cells. Good for a Sumo wrestler, bad for you. Following the strategies outlined above will keep this eating pattern to a minimum.
Don’t give into the mindset that holiday fat gain has to happen. Following these simple strategies will help you enter the new year better than ever!
Fat Loss Forever,