With Thanksgiving behind us and Christmas slowly approaching, the thought of losing track of our fitness goals has cross the minds of a lot of people. The holidays are meant to be around your family and friends while enjoying those special foods that are only cooked once a year. But if you’re like me, you don’t want to lose yourself in the satisfaction of consuming extra calories. Enjoy it but don’t over do it!
The holidays are very social times where alcoholic drinks may be served. If you wished to save yourself some calories, either drink your choice of alcohol straight or mix it with a zero calorie juice, soda or sparkling water. Granted there are calories in alcohol but if you choose a zero calorie mixer, you’ll save some calories to enjoy other foods and treats throughout the day.
Sometimes when we are around family, it can be hard to say no to food. I completely understand. Growing up in a Dominican family its an insult to turn down food. But I’ll say this don’t just eat everything that is offered to you because you don’t want to be rude. If you have goals and don’t want to set yourself back, don’t afraid to polity tell your family member or friend “no thank you!”. Some cultures may take it personal but don’ worry too much about it. They will eventually get over it and act like you never turn their dish down once the drinks start flowing.
The best way to prepare yourself for a night of eating is getting a workout in first thing in the morning. If you have a specific program that you’re following by all means do that. But if you have some flexibility with your training routine, I would highly suggest full body, upper body or lower body training session. This will ensure that you stimulate multiple muscles groups before your big feast in the evening. I personally enjoy a upper body session,2-3 exercises per muscle group, 3-4 sets each exercise and 10-15 rep range. I’m able to burn away my glycogen stores also known as carbohydrates after digestion and make room for all the delicious carbohydrates I’ll be having that evening.
If there was a day to not skip cardio, this would be the day. Typically when I skip cardio, I’m usually following a strict diet when I leave the gym. But on the holidays when I know I’ll be following the “See-Food Diet”, I shoot for a 10-15 minutes cardio warm up and end with 20-30 minutes once I’m done weight training. Cardio adds to the calories burned during your training session. The more calories you burn at the gym, the more calories you can enjoy when it’s time to chow down.
If you followed these tips but still overindulged over the holidays it’s not the end of the world. Below are some helpful tips to follow the day after to get yourself back on track!
- Drink at least a gallon of water to help release water from the body.
- Eat a high protein diet! Protein has a thermogenic effect meaning your body burns calories during digestion.
- Consume at least 25-35 grams of fiber! Fiber also has a thermogenic effect and helps you stay regular to eliminate waste from the body.
- Go to the gym, get your workout in and make sure you do at least 20-30 minutes of cardio. Don’t try to burn the calories you consumed the night before. Just get your workout done and allow your body to regulate from cleaning up your diet!