The holidays are around the corner meaning lots of eating and having fun with friends and loved ones. It's a time for being off work, relaxing, and just having a great time.
The downside is that this season is not all that great for your health, though. It is not easy sticking with a diet in this long holiday as we are faced with endless treats and temptations. Without taking action, it is not easy staying shredded during this period.
Here are some tips to help you maintain a fit body and toned muscles.
#1 Stay with Your Routine
You have no reason to stop working out as always. Even if there are so many parties to go to, you can plan time to keep your routine of going to the gym before the party. You can also schedule a training session in the morning after attending the bash to stick to the routine. It is easy once you have started the tight schedule and is committed to balancing fun with your exercising.
#2 Control Your Portions
Even with the many types of delicious foods during the holidays, you can decide to control the portions you eat. Fill the small portions of junk with healthy food, and you will still feel like you have eaten enough of the delicious food.
# 3 Eat More Vegetables and Proteins
Make smart choices about what you eat; cheese loaded food should be totally avoided as it can add you weight and is not worth it. Focus more on eating vegetables and lean protein that will help build your body and keep you healthy.
# 4 Be Strict
There is no option of cheating; the truth is that you just have to be strict with the ratios you eat. Minimize on fat and moderate protein intake while monitoring your carbohydrates. Even a slight increase in sugar intentionally or accidentally will cause your body to revert to glycolysis and flipping back to ketosis may not be as immediate as that to glycolysis. It can take up to three days, and this is too long if you want to burn fat.
However, once you are in keto, staying compliant is very easy, you can eat your favorite foods without worry as long as the ratios are kept in check. Keeping your fat ratios is easy when you stock up on fat powder.
#5 Count the Macros
Having the right nutrition does not just happen, you must work at it. Keep a close tab on the macros you take in; these are the proteins, fat, carbs and the calories. Calories help you work out and stay in shape. The value of tracking your nutrition is not to be ignored as it's crucial. Staying on top of the daily calories count is important even after hitting your daily goals.
This is the reason why competitors measure all the food they take in; this helps in eyeballing the calorie content of even a cup of tea or an ounce of steak. Eyeballing or weighing all help in approximating what you consume hence better management of daily macros during the holiday. Overeating by even a small amount of calories can have a remarkable long-term effect even if you do not realize it during the holidays.
#6 Plan Your Meals
This is the easiest part but can also be the most difficult to implement during the festive season. According to Mens Fitness, avoid fruit juices and full-fat milk that are loaded with sugars, and this meal plan is very effective when followed each day or at least as much as you can.
- Pre-workout meal: a scoop of coconut oil powder, coffee with butter. These do not add flavor. They will fill you up with healthy fats to jumpstart your day. Before you hit the gym, just stir it up with some cinnamon to give you a taste.
- After workout: within an hour, you can eat some carbs. Take some white rice and protein shake (high P-Cal protein powder will give you a high percentage of protein). Add another scoop of the coconut oil and MCT oil powders.
- The third or fourth meal should be a high fat mixed with low protein/carb. This fits perfectly with the target macros and tastes amazingly making it easy to maintain your shredding during the holiday.
- Your fifth meal should of kale salad, 8 oz of salmon and olive oil. Use lemon juice and vinegar for dressing.
- Just before bed, your sixth meal should be a protein shake with coconut oil powder and MCT oil powder.
# 7 Re-feeds
From a physiological point, re-feeds in addition to high carb days are critical. They are responsible for increasing stored leptin while elevating the levels of T3. However, if you usually have two re-feeds weekly, skip all of these in the week to Christmas since you will give yourself more during the holiday week while visiting friends and feasting at Christmas.
Periodically, you need to cycle off ketosis and is the key to muscle gain while gaining the benefits of a ketogenic diet. Re-feed is not exactly a cheat day since it is a planned carb binge. This replenishes your glycogen stores while spiking your insulin production once or twice a week. The temporary insulin spike elevates fat burning hormones that are kept high for days to your advantage. At least re-feed allows you to enjoy the weekend with family and friends.
#8 Give Life to the Party
Even though you should not thoroughly indulge during the party, you can take a glass of champagne that has 80 calories. Keep busy and dance your heart out, this will help in burning the extra calories and keeps you from being active in the eating corner during the party.
#9 Learn to Wait Out
When you initially make the switch from using glucose as an energy source to ketones, for about three to four days you will feel like crap and will be tempted to revert to glucose.
In this period, your enzymes are still adjusting to burning the right fuel. You are loaded with lots of ketones that you still cannot burn, and the body is forced to adapt to. Just face these foggy days and wait it out. Some potassium, magnesium, and multivitamins will help out through this transition. The best way to succeed with this transition is to start with a 3 day fast taking only water for three days.
#10 Occasionally Enjoy a Cheat Meal
During periods of food deprivation, the body tends to develop cravings. Instead of eating it all on the re-feed days, allow yourself some occasional cheat meal as a reward for eating right or working out well throughout the week. Get into some moderate indulgence that does not take you so far away from your goals. However when you treat yourself to a cheat meal during the holidays for achieving some milestone in exercising, then it is a good thing that encourages you to work even harder as you expect more treats.
#11 Burn Calories with HIIT
Using high-intensity interval training works so well when you want to burn the extra calories you ate at a party during the holidays. This workout system helps in burning a lot of calories and is also know to boost metabolism within 24 hours after the workout. It takes less time especially when you have so much partying and socializing to attend to.
According to Alex Carnerio, HIIT can be done indoors on your treadmill, on the stair-stepper, in elliptical training or outdoors in addition to your running. Within 15-30minutes, your workout will be over, and you are free to go on to the next activity after burning all the calories you ate last night. You only need to do this twice or thrice a week. Do it right with this video.
#12 Realize Christmas Is Only a Day
It doesn’t hurt to take only a day to indulge when you have another 364 days to watch your diet and portions. Don't be too hard on yourself; there are ways to burn the extra calories that make it difficult to stay shredded during the holidays. Overeating and taking unhealthy sugar sources for days is the one thing to avoid during the holidays. Drink just adequately and be mindful of the fat and carbs as you party with family and friends.
#13 Your Goals Matter
Are you aiming for a photo shoot or some contest come January? You need to eat minding your goal if you are to make it. Staying shredded all through the holidays is possible if you maintain your usual routine and moderating in the partying. Do not restrict yourself too much so that you do not enjoy the fun of the holiday, but be mindful of the general goal. Stick to foods that are nutrient dense and closely track the macros that you eat but don’t sweat it too much; you may end up freaking out everyone. One week of loosening up won't mess up all your yearlong efforts.
#14 Pump It Up
Never lose sight of your cardio, keep the blood pumping even during the holidays. Increase your weightlifting activities. Doing cardio is known to increase calorie burning even as it increases blood flow that results in a healthy cardiovascular system. Anything that makes you comfortable be it the bike, elliptical training or the treadmill can help you burn that extra calorie by cardio exercises for about 30 minutes. The good thing about this according to Bro Science is that it increase your metabolism for many hours after you have stopped the exercise and it gives you more energy through your day with consistent cardio.
#15 While Eating, Burn Fat
Many foods burn fats and are easy to incorporate into the diet. This, we can say is a gift of nature since they help keep us healthy, shredded and tastes good too. Among these are asparagus, cinnamon, and grapefruit among other super foods worth including in your diet to help keep you looking great even with the holiday feasting. Asparagus contains a compound that is known to break down fat, therefore, assist in managing what you eat.
#16 Lower Your Carbs
It ‘s nice to be conversant with the glycemic index then keep within the required ranges of carbs during the holidays. Limiting yourself to the low or medium rated carbs will significantly contribute to your goal of keeping shredded throughout the holiday and even after. This helps in staying lean and can also be applied to drop some weight. Even though carbohydrates play a very crucial role in daily body function, it should be taken in moderation if your goal to stay lean is to me achieved.
#17 Choose Fat Burning Supplements
Other than these superfoods, you can use fat burning supplements that are easily available in the market. These provide faster fat burning and have proven ingredients that won't harm your body. These supplements increase your metabolic rates all through the day helping with the burning of calories.
They also suppress hunger, therefore, keeping you from eating as regularly as you should. There will be fewer temptations to eat junk and snacks that are always available during the holidays. With the increased metabolism, you will have increase energy levels the whole day, with this, you can do more exercises without tiring, therefore, burning, even more, calories to help maintain your shredded physique.
It also helps eliminate water; less water retention results in a leaner look. If you have no time or the discipline to work out as before the holidays, then this is the best option for you to cut weight and look lean even while feasting with family and friends.
It's not bad to enjoy your holiday, feast with family and party with friends as long as you keep these few tips in mind. You can stay shredded in easy ways while having fun during the holidays just like everyone. A little discipline is however required in monitoring what you eat regarding portions and nutrition.