Staying lean through the holiday season

Christmas is nearly here. Parties are on the horizon and you start to get more ‘relaxed’ with the lead up to Christmas which means lighter nights, excess food, more booze and no exercise. This is a recipe for disaster.

I see it every year, a few months of being more ‘relaxed’ accounts to excess calories, no exercise and a wider waist line come January.  The new year rolls around and you feel flabby, out of shape and somewhat disgusted with yourself. 

But it doesn't have to be like that every year.  I think you should be more ‘relaxed’ with your nutrition, eat the foods you enjoy and drink a little more than you do.  But that doesn't mean going overboard and be in the danger of blowing all your hard work during the year.

This blog is going to help you not make the same mistake, again. NOW is the time! After reading this blog you’ll have systems in place so you can still enjoy the holiday season and hit the ground running come January.  

OK lets go!

1. FOCUS ON PROTEIN  

Protein will keep you fuller for longer and you’ll be less likely to snack on crap.  Protein builds muscle tissue and spikes metabolism which will help maintain your physique.

 

2. SLOW DOWN

It takes time for your body to digest food and for hormones to send signals to your brain telling you you’re full.  Slow down a bit.  Chew your food, enjoy the taste and texture and be mindful of what you’re eating. Aim for meals to last between 20-30 mins and I guarantee you’ll eat less.

 

3. LIFT HEAVY BEFORE YOU EAT

Resistance training will create a calorie deficit and you’ll be able to eat more that day.  The EPOC effect of weight training speeds metabolism and you’ll continue to burn calories AFTER you train.


4. PLAN AHEAD

Plan your heavy drinking days ahead of time.  Ideally track your calories and macros as you can substitute during the day saving the extra calories for the evening.  If you don't track then eat more protein and half your portions of carbs and fat.  You can still enjoy a drink, you just need to account for it.  



5. USE SMALLER PLATES

It’s been shown then people who use smaller plates eat less food. Eat what you fancy when you’re at a dinner party, but use a smaller plate and you’ll consume less calories.




6. DRINK LIGHTER SPIRITS 

Lighter spirits contain less calories.  Try not to mix your drinks and even have one glass of water per alcoholic drink to help flush it from your system (unless you don't want to)  Some low calorie drinks are

  • Dry white wine

  • Vodka lime and soda water

  • A glass of champagne 

  • Bloody Mary



7. DRINK BEFORE YOU EAT

People that drink 2-3 glasses of water before a meal eat less. This isn’t a magic formula but drinking water helps with fullness.  Also being hydrated controls hunger signals and provides you with more energy.  



8. FOCUS ON WEIGHT MAINTENANCE 

Instead of thinking how much weight your going to put on, shift your mindset to weight maintenance.  Keep your weight the same it has been all year or slightly over (by using some of these tips) and you’ll be ahead of the game come January. 

There are many ways to stay lean this time of year. It depends on what you can adhere to and what fits into your lifestyle easily.  Contact me for if you want a plan specific for you.  I hope you enjoy the party season and have many things to look forward to. 

By Adam Willoughby

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Lisa Willoughby