CHRISTMAS IS ONLY 12 WEEKS AWAY – WHO’S WORRIED ABOUT PUTTING ON WEIGHT OVER IT? HERE ARE MY TOP 5 TIPS TO STAY ON TRACK & STILL ENJOY IT!
Christmas is just 12 weeks away? “Oh Dan, leave it out… summer has only just finished!” – I know, I know… scary isn’t it! But before we all know it, we’ll be buying wrapping paper, going to work parties and drinking/eating more than we usually do and then the guilt sets in. Some people will just ignore it, but for most people, this guilt can do one of two things…
1 – It will cause you to say “Ahhh f*&K it, I’ll just worry about it in January and eat/drink what I like for 4 weeks.
2 – It will cause you to cancel events/stay away from social evenings through fear of gaining weight – and then you’ll just binge at home instead!
Trust me… I’ve done both in the past!!!
So, how can we still enjoy Christmas without feeling guilty and still enjoy the social events and the food/drink!?!
Here are my top 5 tips……
1 – USE CHRISTMAS WEEK AS A DE-LOAD WEEK!
Between now and Xmas, you have 12 weeks to work your ass off and then you’ll need a de-load week to rest up! There is no better week to take off/do very light exercise than Xmas week in my opinion. It will show your family that you’re not obsessed. You can enjoy the week knowing you’ve been training hard for 12 weeks and thus 1 week off will have ZERO impact on progression.
Your body weight MAY go up a little, but this is unlikely to be body fat if you have truly worked hard for 12 weeks.
2 – THE ODD NIGHT OUT HERE AND THERE WON’T AFFECT PROGRESSION!
I see this all the time, people have a social event on a Friday with work, or maybe even 2 in that week, and then give up the gym and eating properly for the whole week as there is this “there is no point” mentality. The diet can just start again on Monday, right?
Wrong! Using that mentality is like getting a flat tyre on your car and then slashing the other 3 for the fun of it! Pointless!
What you want to do is simple! Eat and train as normal on these weeks. Having a few drinks or a few meals off your plan, WHILST you are continuing to train and eat right for the other 90% of the week is surely better than giving up on the whole week?
3 – DRINK PLENTY OF WATER
Hydration is one of the most underrated tools to utilise when trying to burn body fat or build muscle. Your body is a machine that is made up of 96% water…. Think of water as the oil in your car! It’s essential to the day to day functioning of your body, so make sure that it’s fully hydrated all the time.
Over the Xmas period, the increase in different food intake will increase your sodium levels and also the increase in alcohol will ensure that your hangovers will affect your progress. So if you are going to drink and enjoy more than just a few classes of wine, ensure that you are drinking AT LEAST 3 litres of water a day. Ideally men should be having 4 and women 3 as a minimum over this period.
4 – DONT WEIGH YOURSELF IF YOU CAN HELP IT!
Body weight will be up and down like a yoyo over the Xmas period and that is mainly down to water retention and carb changes causing physical body weight changes…. not necessarily body fat changes. Therefore, the scales are NOT going to be your friend and will likely cause you to lose focus and get disheartened. Take weekly photos and weekly body measurements to keep an eye on how your body is changing. Try and also get someone else to take the measurements for you, as usually depending on our mood, we can over measure or under measure body parts to reflect that. Using someone else will mean you can get an unbiased reading.
5 – IF YOU REALLY HAVE TO, DO A FEW WEEKS OF LOWER CARBS TO KEEP YOUR MIND AT EASE.
This is the last resort in my opinion, but some people need a mental reassurance of some kind. We all know that Xmas is very ‘carby’. The drinks, the desserts and general Xmas meals are very high in carbs and thus have the possibility to get a little out of hand, carb wise.
So if you really can’t handle any of the above tips, then reducing your carb intake a little for a few weeks will give you some “banked” carbs in your locker to make up for enjoying these meals and drinks without worrying too much.
For example, let’s say you are on 250g of carbs a day. By dropping these carbs down to 150g for a week will mean that you’ve “banked” 700g over a 7 day period. That is a lot of drinks and a decent size Xmas meal stored right there. Yes, your body weight will fluctuate as a result of the carbs being all over the place, but this will settle in a few days after Xmas.
However you decide to use these tips over the coming weeks and months, make sure whatever you do to keep you on track has a clear goal and IS HEALTHY! Don’t do anything drastic and certainly don’t start adding in hours of cardio to compensate for the added kcals.
Now is a perfect time to start thinking about coaching and getting those goals set in place.
…All we do is change lives.