The holidays are among us again and we all know what that means; Never-ending stuffing dishes, sliced turkey, ham, mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce; not to mention all the various types of treats, chocolate and pumpkin pies. Usually from the time November 1st hits, the holiday fever doesn’t take a break until January. If you’re a football fan, this time can drag even longer until the Super Bowl is over. But never fear, hope is always in sight! I’ve put together the top 5 tips that will help you survive this holiday season without packing on the pounds… enjoy!#1 Exercise EarlyThe best hope to start your holiday season off right is to get a workout in before the temptation has a chance to get you. Pretty much every holiday party, get-together or event is held sometime during the evening. This gives you some time to work with in the morning, especially on weekends. Instead of sleeping in till noon on Saturday, get up a little earlier and get it done. This way, the rest of the day will not be filled with extra guilt because you haven’t worked out yet.A great idea to use on Thanksgiving day is to play in some sort of “Turkey Bowl” game in the morning. If your schedule allows it, getting together with some friends to play football, soccer or even ultimate frisbee can kick-start your fat burning process before you even sit down with the family to feast.
#2 Prepare Your Own FoodThis is easier said than done, but even if you’re the most social person alive, you will not be at a holiday party EVERY single night. For the days that you’re schedule remains relatively normal, prepare your food in advance. Keep your diet simple and concise. A great way to keep the fat loss ball rolling is to limit your complex carbs a couple days before a holiday event. This can be viewed as a form of carb cycling, which is popular among many athletes trying to lose excess body fat. Basically by eating less complex carbs during the week, you’re using up your glycogen stores in preparation for them to be filled back up at the holiday party; thus helping to prevent fat storage.Preparing your own food in a healthy way can take planning and time, but once a routine is established you’d be surprised just how easy it is to get through the holiday season without adding any weight whatsoever.#3 Control Your KitchenChances are, if it isn’t there, you won’t eat it. Have some self control this year and eliminate any foods that prevent you from being successful in your fitness goals. No one ever said that you can’t have a piece of the homemade apple pie at grandma’s… I’m talking about your kitchen, your home base. Keep it clean and prepared with healthy food choices throughout the entire length of the holidays, even after. You’ll find that over time, it’ll be easier and easier to not eat unhealthy foods because they just aren’t around in the first place. And if all else fails and your kids bring home cookies from school, do what everyone else does in America: bring them to your next holiday party for someone else to eat!”Make living healthy a LIFESTYLE, not JUST a fad.”#4 Love and CardioThink these two words don’t fit together? Think again…During the holiday season you must learn to LOVE cardio. After all, it’s going to save your thighs and butt from bouncing fat. Isn’t that enough to love your elliptical or stairmaster? Cardio can be performed in many different ways, but the main goal is to get your heart rate up to the point where it becomes difficult to carry a conversation without gasping for air. Can you afford to sacrifice 20 minutes per day for this love connection? I bet you can. Think about what you want more: An hour of treats and holiday snacks, or a body that your family and friends talk about for months? More importantly, how will it make YOU feel knowing that you actually lost fat during the holidays? Bet it’ll feel pretty good…
#5 Train your Legs and BackThese two muscle groups incorporate some of the largest muscles in the human body. When they are trained with high intensities, the energy demand post workout is incredibly high. If you were to have a cheat meal or something less healthy than normal within a short time after, most likely these extra calories would be shuttled towards repairing the muscle tissue and recovery, instead of adding extra fat to your waist line. Try training your back and legs the day of your next Christmas party, or at least the day before.CONCLUSIONMaintaining your fat loss during the holiday season does not have to be hard or impossible. With a little effort and self control, you can blast through the next couple months with no problem at all. Make living healthy a lifestyle, not just a fad. Anything is possible with the right mindset!Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you!-Mitch Muller
Certified Fitness Expert
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