“I need tips for the Holiday Season because I Don’t Want to Get Fat This Season”!
This is the single topic every year that seems to interest most of our readers.
I have written a few articles on and it’s so popular I am doing it again!
Each year they say the average American gains 5 pounds each year over the holidays. If you do a little math, you could be 20 pounds fatter in 4 years if you do nothing.
That is pretty shocking.
I am sure this does not apply to the majority of my readers but it will apply to some. I am willing to bet that a good percentage of you do gain something over the time period between Thanksgiving and New Years!
With that in mind I am going to give you a list of things to do to keep you from getting fat or at least minimize it for the next month. My list as usual is totally random and not structured, I’m just going to brain dump it on you. My editors in the fitness magazines hate this, but hey, I am my own editor here right?
Cut Carbs during the week.
Cutting carbs back or out during the week does a few things and I have written about this numerous times but for those of you who have not read it here is a brief list of what it does.
Cutting Carbs (especially for 5 days of more) causes a net caloric reduction. This alone will help to prevent fat gain.
It switches your body’s energy pathway over to burning and liberating fat as fuel instead of glycogen. Again, this helps to free fat stores and reduce them!
Cutting carbs for 5-7 days and then RE-FEEDING with a bunch has positive effects on your metabolism.
Here is the skinny: cut carbs out during the week or around scheduled parties. Do this for about 6 days or more.
EG: You have a party on Saturday and you want to EAT!
Cut out the carbs Monday-Saturday afternoon. Replace them with more protein (not a ton) and healthy fat. When the party rolls around on Saturday night, eat what you want.
I don’t suggest a whole tray of cookies, 4 pieces of cake and a half pound of candy, but its America and you can do what you want. A better idea is to eat whatever you like in moderation.
On Sunday morning, go right back to the near zero carbs and follow it until next week. Go ahead and indulge again after 7 days.
This sounds crazy but it works. You may even get leaner by doing this!
Modify Your Training-Add in Some HIIT
Yeah I know, it is busy and it is hard to stick to your training schedule. That’s ok. Modify it. Change your training days to accommodate events or change your training style.
Switch your style of training over to metabolic circuits if you normally do straight sets. Try and add in some super high rep, heavy weight compound exercises.
If you go into the gym and do a good warmup and then bang out 2 sets of 20 rep squats with a weight that is a challenge for 12-15 reps you really don’t need to do anything else.
This also takes a very short amount of time and will jack your metabolism up to the skyline.
This works for other big lifts too!
If you normally train 4 days a week and it is all strength training, drop off to two and do two HIIT days.
HITT gets a bad rap these days but it works. HITT is short for High Intensity Interval Training.
“In research, HIIT has been shown to burn adipose tissue more effectively than low-intensity exercise – up to 50% more efficiently.” It has also been shown to speed up your metabolism which helps you burn more calories throughout the day.
That’s their way of saying it works.
Here is a sample session:
- 20 Burpees
- 20 Dumbell thrusters
- 20 Ball Slams
- Rest 60 seconds, repeat 8 times.
Here is another:
- 15 Jump Squats
- 15 Sledgehammer Hits per side
- 15 Heavy Kettlebell Swings
- Rest 45 seconds, repeat 10 times
You can also get creative and make up your own. There is no real magic to these; I just made them up as was typing. The magic is in the amount of effort you exert.
HIIT only works if you do it HARD. It works even better on a low/no carb cycle. HIIT gets the glycogen out of your system fat so you switch over to using fat as fuel even quicker.
Did you hear that?
Follow the low carb plan I laid out earlier and do a few HIIT sessions during the week and watch the fat actually come off this year.
Forget worrying if you will add any fat. I’d be more concerned with having to buy new clothes because you are too ripped and jacked to fit in your old ones.
Want another sweet tip on how to avoid gaining weight this holiday season?
I thought so.
You won’t like this one and will think I’m am huge you know what.
Have an unyielding passion and commitment to your goals and don’t let things get in your way.
That means you won’t change anything if what you are doing is working now.
You will FIND the time to train. You will FIND the willpower to stick to your meal plan and not cheat when it is not allowed.
You will find a way to manage your time so that all of the things necessary to get you closer to your goals will happen, while allowing you to still socialize and have a great season.
I know, it’s just word, but a long time ago, before I had my son and had a totally different mentality, I did this. My training partners did too.
We were at the gym, we meal prepped before it was called meal prepping, we were at the stadium running stairs on “cardio” day, we were doing what we needed to do.
We were not whining and making excuses.
Times have changed because now I’ll be skipping the carbs and modifying my training as I suggested you do. I’m not as hardcore as I used to be.
The point is that your goals don’t achieve themselves.
You have to find a way. If your goal is to not get any fatter for the next month, find a way. If your goal is to get leaner, find a way.
If it is to maintain all of your strength, find a way and don’t let anything stop you.
OK, so we have a few nutrition ideas, a few training ideas, how about time management?
This is frequently one of the hardest ones, especially for the moms. Sorry guys.
We all have 1000 things to do and training is usually the one that takes a back seat. We hear “I have no time” a lot.
Well, sit yourself down and do a review.
How much time do you spend:
On the phone
Playing games on your phone or on Xbox360
On Facebook, IG, (insert social media of your choice)
I don’t want to hear that you don’t do it that often.
A quick search on the Google machine shows us this:
- 18-34-year-olds report spending 3.8 hours a day
- 35-49-year-olds report spending 3 hours per day
- 50-64-year-olds report spending 2.4 hours per day
- (stats from marketingcharts.com)
I am willing to bet you are on for at least an hour a day.
Live your life; don’t watch other people’s lives.
If you treat the holiday season like Lent and vow to give up or cut in half your usage of social media you will gain at least an hour of free time a day. You can do one of the HIIT circuits about 4 times in an hour. That’s a big boost to your metabolism.
Getting back on track and off the soap box, we all have time in our day that we can reclaim and redistribute towards getting our training in.
What about asking for help?
Go ahead and ask a family member, a roommate or a friend for a little help. Have someone else do the laundry today or cook dinner.
It only takes a simple question.
Set appointments for yourself. Keep them. Organize them to save time. Use Outlook or the calendar on your smart phone. For the next month, try and organize your day like a dispatcher would organize runs for their company. This may seem a little anal, but it will save you a ton of time and you can use that time to get less fat.
I’d keep on writing more tips but then I won’t be able to give you more next year, plus I think this is a pretty good list that you can start on.
Take a few of these suggestions and put them to work. You’ll be amazed in 5 years when you don’t add 20 pound of fat.
You’ll be happy too.