The Fitness and Food Ins and Outs of Surviving the Holidays

It’s that time of year. According to a study done by The New York Times, Americans gain an average of 1 to 2 pounds from Thanksgiving to New Years. It’s understandable. Family is in town and stressors can increase. You have work parties or get togethers to attend and at every single event, there’s delicious food that is virtually impossible to say no to. We get it. How do you make it through all this without having to buy a new pair of pants though? Well, lucky for you – I’m going to give you my 5 biggest tips for surviving the holidays. 

  1. PLAN YOUR WORKOUT DAYS. It’s hard to say no to good food, especially when your family and friends are pestering you over and over to eat more. We’re gonna have to give in a little, but the one place you have total control is with your workouts. You don’t need a lot of time but you HAVE to maintain your workout routine. Even if its a 10-minute AMRAP in your garage on Christmas Eve. If it’s supposed to be a day you normally workout, make the necessary time for it. It’s one thing to consume excess calories every day, but it’s a whole other one to not be putting those calories to use.

  2. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO CONSUME ALCOHOL EVERY DAY. When it comes to unnecessary weight gain the worst thing you can do is drink your calories. I realize alcohol is a huge piece of these gatherings, BUT it’s not prevalent at EVERY gathering. If you have some events where it’s not a necessity to drink, you need to take that opportunity to abstain. Alcohol not only carries the sugar associated with the drink (yes, beer and wine have sugar), but there’s also the calories associated with the grams of alcohol in the drink. Your liver also has to get rid of the alcohol before it can start burning any of your fat calories. Avoid it when you can.

  3. PROTEIN COMES FIRST. Again, it’s gonna be tough to say no to things. However, you can do yourself a HUGE favor by eating a few servings of protein first. Animal protein to be exact. Before you start eating any of the sugary stuff or side dishes, start out with a few big servings of turkey, ham, or whatever other entree is present. The protein will take time to digest and will keep you full. The more full you get, the less likely it is that you go overboard on all the sugary stuff.

  4. BE MINDFUL OF YOUR TRIGGERS. The holidays are a stressful time. Work is tough enough, but the added stress of family in town can be a lot. It’s important you take notice of what causes you to want to have an extra drink or reach for the treats you have at home. When something triggers you, take a deep breath and say out loud, “I don’t need that drink or treat. I can do without it.” It may not work every time, but verbalizing this out loud will make you have a conflict with yourself if you decide to have that drink or treat.

  5. AFTER A BIG MEAL, FAST.  We’re all going to eat a lot. It’s going to happen. The best way to combat a large meal is to go into a 16-hour fast afterward. If you know you’re going to have a large Thanksgiving lunch, eat it and then don’t eat again until lunch the next day. If it’s a large Christmas breakfast, don’t eat again until at least 8 p.m. Your liver needs time to catch up. If you’re constantly just overloading your blood glucose, your liver won’t see a need to tap into your stored fat tissue to produce new glucose. A large meal can leave your liver satisfied for quite some time. Your digestive tract also needs time to catch up. It needs time to break down all that food without the interruption of more food. Remember, a fast is NO CALORIES at all. Only water or black coffee.

Enjoy your holiday season, but add these into your repertoire to make a reverse dent in the calorie count this holiday season. Your January self will thank you.


To learn more about food, fitness, and how CrossFit Virilis can support you in both, schedule a time to talk with us.

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