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Originally posted December 23, 2018.

Celebrating the end of year festivities with family and friends does not have to mean letting your health go for the time being. Keeping yourself accountable and not letting things slip would be a much better start to the following year, rather than a cloud of guilt to coincide a gluttonous end to the year. We know what’s coming… lots of food and temptation that can throw you off them fit goals. It’s time to make a game plan for the end of year celebrations to stay in control of that hard earned fitness.

Get in the Gym, Keep Moving

Keeping the training regimen strong during the holiday season is a must for keeping yourself accountable with your health and nutrition. Why? Well it has everything to do with inflammation and your performance. It’ll be the first thing to suffer if you over-do the eating / partying. Keeping the workout routine in check will help to motivate the good eating habits over the holidays. High intensity training will deplete glycogen stores (your muscles very own supply of glucose) which will be used for quickly generating energy during the workout. Now when you eat a carb meal post high intensity training, the glucose will replenish the muscle glycogen stores, instead of being stuffed into the fat cells. It’s not a go ahead for main-lining pudding to the blood stream, but definitely a step in the healthy metabolism direction. It’s important to utilise moderation when you’re being exposed to indulgent meals and sweets over the holiday season. So, what does that mean exactly? Moderation is not going back for seconds, having a glass or two of wine opposed to the whole bottle and not eating yourself into a diabetic food coma. Kinda common sense, yes? Admittedly, it is often harder said than done. But, that’s why we are planning ahead this season.

Intermittent Fasting

Plan ahead when it comes to Christmas parties and eating out. Using intermittent fasting is an excellent strategy to keep your total energy intake in check and to quell excess inflammation from eating a little more than you know you should of, or indulging with volatile munchies. Use it as a tool, but don’t see it as a green light to gorge yourself and binge on mum’s special dessert. If you’ve never heard of this concept before, don’t worry you won’t waste away or lose your hard earned gains or anything of the like. It is a healthy, effective practice that can benefit you right down to a cellular level.

A few tips to mitigate hunger and assist with fasting:

  • Throughout the morning and afternoon, drink black coffee, tea or sparkling mineral water with freshly squeezed lemon.
  • If needed, snack on healthy fats such as coconut, avocado, MCT oil, Bulletproof Coffee, Macadamias or Pistachios. Keep in mind that these are very energy dense (and also nutrient dense) foods. So, be sure to avoid excess intake and any additional carbohydrate sources in general (you can save those for the Christmas Dinner / Party)
  • Keep yourself busy to avoid succumbing to feelings of boredom and unnecessarily snacking. Hunger is only temporary, it will pass, you will not fade away to nothingness. This is where training and exercise or just general movement can help you.
  • Get some beach time, have a walk at the park, get outside and keep moving. Probably not too hard to keep busy this time of year anyways.

Put It To Practice

Combine these strategies for a potent 1-2 combo this festive season. Time a period of fasting and a training session to coincide with a special event, family gathering or party. This is the best way to stay on track with your fitness goals, keep feeling healthy and start the new year with some momentum. There’s no need for feelings of guilt over the New Year. Take control and be proud of the little choices you make from here on. It starts with a game plan, belief in yourself and maintaining a good attitude. All that’s left after that is to execute your game plan and enjoy your time with friends and family.

Stay healthy, have a great Christmas and New Years!