Christmas, New years and then the afterparties. Whether you’re partying in a club or staying at home; delicious food is going to be a staple for everyone. We bring you the Top 10 tips to stay fit during the holiday mayhem to avoid going into 2016 out of shape!
10. Don’t be hungry
This one’s pretty standard. If you walk in a party feeling hungry, there is a higher chance that you will binge on oily and greasy food. While I do understand that the festivities call for this, do remember that you want the perfect balance of enjoying this time of the year, without giving up on your hard earned gains. Interestingly this is also one of the rules to live by while grocery shopping as you’ll end up buying more junk whilst hungry.
9. Stay hydrated
Water is a calorie free beverage that your body not only needs but also thrives with. It is needed to prevent dehydration and cushioning of the joints in the body. Having one glass of water before, during and after your meal, not only reduces meal energy intake, but will make you feel fuller, whereby you’ll have a tendency to have less junk and this can add up to a significant amount of fat loss over time.
8. Watch portion sizes
Relatives asking you to have their favourite dessert? Have it, but don’t expect to see your abs after devouring an entire cake! Children using bigger plates in studies have shown to intake 50% more calories than required. If the resturaunt in question serves food on a bigger plate, have that in mind and keep your portion size small. Plus its psychologically satisfying to go for a second helping so keep the plate small.
7. Limit Alcohol
A no-brainer really. It’s devoid of any nutrients and yet is calorically dense. What that means is that whilst you’re drinking, empty calories are going in your body and if you go above maintainance then you’ll most likely get fat. Plus, after you’re buzzed, the alcohol will impair your judgement meaning that you’re judgement skills go for a toss and junk food seeps in. Alcohol and muscle building don’t go hand in hand. Period.
6. Eat Strategically
Honestly eating strategically doesn’t mean that you have to eat bland food. Counting calories means that now you can eat in a healthy yet flexible way especially this holiday. A few pointers to remember:
- Load up your plate with veggies and meat- Veggies are practically calorie free and thus fill your stomach and meat in any party or function provides you with sufficient protein
- Skip the Sauce: This is just a way of carbs sneaking into your diet and a lot of processed sugar. Ditch the sauce when it comes to the kebabs and tikkas and you won’t notice that much of a change post your celebration
- Take some rest before the 1st and the 2nd helping of food: This ensures that your body has enough time to tell you whether you’re full or not
- Eat a small meal before the big party. Will keep your digestion rolling and you will not eat quite as much junk as you would
- Try Intermittent Fasting- Intermittent Fasting or I.F as the gym rats call it, is when you fast for 16 hours (sleep included) and you eat for 8 hours only. This way your total caloric intake is minimal and you might actually end up losing some fat!
- Don’t skip dessert- Yes, I know its the new year and that’s exactly why we need to celebrate. Have halwa or jalebi but do control of how much you eat
5. Sound Supplementation
Supplementation can actually help a lot in keeping off the fat during the holiday season. Fat burners can help you burn more calories during the workouts and especially the cardio but BCAA’s can also help you in maintaining muscle mass. Just remember that taking a fat burner doesn’t mean you can eat whatever you want. Supplement with whey protein but remember that you can’t out train a bad diet.
4. Try some H.I.I.T
I hate saying this as much as you do, but cardio is going to be your best friend during the holidays. Because not only will this keep your heart healthy, but it will also keep the fat off from all the partying and New Year’s celebrations. H.I.I.T or High Intensity Interval Training refers to a special kind of cardio that requires short maximum bursts of energy. So you would be sprinting full throttle for 30-40 seconds and pacing for 50-60 seconds. Do this for at least 15-20 minutes and see your fat melt off! A great alternative to sprinting would be the jump rope!
When I say relax, it means you need to get your sleep. Inadequete amounts of sleep increases your insulin, which means you can kiss fat burning goodbye but futhermore causes low testosterone and higher amounts of stress. Since the holidays call for a lot of things to be done and places to go to, a lot of people take undue stress. Stress releases the hormone cortisol which isn’t productive for your gains as it will hinder muscle building and fat loss.
2. Have your 2016 plan ready
New Year’s resolutions are in vogue once again and we seasonal gym goers always know it’s new years because now it means that there will be more people in the gym. Don’t be in the new years crowd because they leave as soon as they arrive, and have no said game plan. Document every rep, every set, every gram of chicken taken in and that is how you will make progress. Gym motivation is tricky but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. 2016 won’t change anything until you do.
1. Train throughout
Training is the stimulus that we give our bodies to grow and it is only by pushing ourselves to the limit that we can achieve unreal results. I know holidays are a time to spend with family and friends but that doesn’t mean you can’t take an hour out for your workouts. Take control of your environment rather than be controlled by it. For the holidays a quick tip would be to workout before your lavish party, because then all the nutrients, good or bad, go into replenishing your glycogen instead of going to your fat stores. Also, training is going to create a deficit of calories, meaning even if you go above for one day, you can still use that to set PR (Personal Records) in the gym. Use the junk food to your advantage and happy holidays!