The time is upon us
to see the family, the in-laws, and watch our gains/hard work disappear in a single month. December and I have a love hate relationship. The following tips are strategies I use (about every other year because I love food) to minimize the damage of the holidays. There are ways to choose foods and habits that don’t portray you as “the stuck up prick that goes to the gym during holidays and thinks he’s better than everyone.“
6 Holiday Fit Tips
1) Enjoy Conversation and Slow Down
It is very easy to stuff your plate and face during big family dinners. I can actually do both at once. I only see my family about twice per year. I am able to consume fewer calories by engaging in conversation more with the family. At dinner, slow down the eating, and bond with the family. Don’t talk about lifting. Show them that you have other passions in life besides looking better than they do.
2) Choose Carbs Today
Choose carbs over fats. You will get in a shitload of both if you are not carful. The last thing you need is an insulin spike along with 50g of fat to be shuttled straight to your gut. Take the opportunity to carb up on sweet potatoes. Decline the bread and take one serving of stuffing. Choose white meat instead of dark and forget about the skin. Try to keep the fat low because your body will store fat with all the carbohydrates floating around. That’s just how insulin works. You can’t have your cake and eat it too…..because cake has a shitload of carbs and fat as I’m sure you know. Grab the veggies off the appetizer tray and forget the chips. Don’t worry, the veggies will last a while in the average American home, so you don’t have to hoard them.
3) Water Not Booze
I aim for a gallon of water on thanksgiving. The water will also curb your appetite during the day. Avoid alcohol at all costs. Alcohol reduces the affect of insulin so the body cannot mobilize glucose. This is a double whammy as your body will store fat AND ignore shuttling the glucose to the muscles and store it as fat instead. This is dose dependent. The more you drink, the worse your body get’s at properly shuttling carbs.
4) Workout in the Morning
I’m playing football, I don’t know about you. Get off your ass and do something. You have all day to lie around and be a troll. Drink a cup of coffee or something with caffeine when you wake up. This, in conjunction with exercise, will jumpstart your metabolism for the day and gets things churning. Also, half way through the day, have more caffeine. I like to time this right before thanksgiving and Christmas dinner. It will help curb your appetite and increase metabolism efficiency
5) Eat Breakfast
This is the most important one of all. If you don’t eat breakfast, there is know way you will be able to do any of the first three suggestions in this list. Do not starve yourself until dinner and then gorge on everything in sight. This only ends in loneliness and shame. But seriously, eat breakfast and lunch before the big dinner and you will cut your calorie total.
6) Pumpkin Pie….Eat It.
Desert is where you will really screw things up. Pumpkin pie is a better choice than pecan or apple. Chose sorbet over ice cream. Try a piece of pumpkin pie with milk and a scoop of whey for desert. Put it in a blender with a couple ice cubes. Blend it on high for 30-60seconds. You will thank me later.
Good luck to everyone in the field. And most of all, happy holidays.