In two more weeks, Thanksgiving will be upon us and I will assume for most people it involves giving thanks for not only family and friends, but also for the obscene amounts of food and alcohol most of us fail to avoid. We drink, eat several servings of food, and then hope we can work off all the crap we continue to consume through New Years because why start a diet now since New Years is right around the corner?
Personally the last thing I want to do is see the scale increase so I will be following these tips in order to maintain my weight throughout the holiday season.
1. Lift Heavy and Lift Often– The best way to keep off the weight gain is to utilize the energy you are consuming which is best done through lifting heavy and giving yourself a kick in the butt by intensifying the workout. In order to come close to deplete your muscles of its energy stores, your body must feel the need to activate as many muscle fibers as it can in order to successfully finish the lift or amount of reps required. Lifting heavy (I am not talking going from pink dumbbells to 10lb dumbbells for walking lunges–heavy means heavy) or time under tension (think of working a muscle for at least 30 seconds–so high exhausting reps) are great ways to get the job done. By utilizing a large amount of energy and creating small tears in your muscles, your body will be begging to rebuild and restore in the form of carbs and protein. This does not give you the permission to eat pumpkin pie for every post workout meal from now to January, but if you happen to “cheat”, at least your body will utilize the food. (High intensity interval training is also a great way to burn some calories!–sprints or all out intervals on stairmaster/bike/etc.)
2. Stock Up on Veggies and Protein– Veggies and protein are filling, slower to digest, and require more energy to break down. Before your festivities start on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, etc, make sure you start your day with a hearty breakfast of veggies and protein and eat some of the same before you arrive/the food is put out. By doing this, you will be more satisfied which will decrease cravings and hunger in general. The worst thing you can do is to not eat until you arrive at the party when you are starving and hope you will not consume everything in sight–good luck with that.
3. Drink Plenty of Water– Water helps with metabolism and flushing your system in general. Water can also help you feel more full–ever try drinking a cup of water when you think you are hungry only to find yourself no longer hungry afterwards? Sometimes if you are low on water, your body will send hunger signals to try to get you to drink. Try drinking water before every meal so it fills room in your stomach and potentially takes away some of your hunger before you decide to throw half of the bowl of stuffing down the hatch.
4. Pre-Plan Your Cheats– If you know you are going to let loose a little on Thanksgiving, pre-plan your attack. Ideally you either cheat by drinking alcohol or by consuming foods you don’t allow yourself to eat normally. If you are going to cheat, pick the number of drinks you will allow yourself or what you will cheat with food wise (skip stuffing but have dessert). If you don’t go in with a set plan, most likely you will drink more and eat more.
5. Get Social– When we are having fun or interacting with others, we tend to focus on the interactions versus the food calling our names. Distract yourself because if you are anything like me, nothing makes me more hungry than boredom!
6. Know Your Vices– I know that if I see something, I will most likely eat it. Because I am this way I know that I have to “hide” things from myself or simply not have them in the house. Maybe that means not making cookies unless you are giving them away or taking leftovers home from a family dinner.
I hope these tips are helpful! Remember that the holidays are a great time to be thankful for all that you have been blessed with in your life and to give to others.
Share your love and give praise 🙂