Festive Season Fun, Fitness and Fat Loss… CAN Co-exist!
In todays FAQ show I’m sharing: How To Prevent Weight Gain Over Christmas and New Year.
This is a fairly thorough 6 step survival blueprint so I’m going to split it into Part 1 today and Part 2 in the #181 show.
You can grab a copy of the complete PDF Holiday Survival Blueprint here.
Ok, let’s get rolling…
Step 1. Start on a Peak:
In mid November I start to hear “but it’s Xmas” as I ask my clients about their nutrition and alcohol. Now I guess this isn’t surprising as the supermarkets generally flaunt cheap Xmas chocolates and other such crap-o-la from October.
However, if it’s important enough you’ll find a way to take the actions you need to take and if it’s not you’ll find an excuse. Don’t kid yourself. You absolutely will not maintain your current physique, let alone make any progress if your ‘holiday season’ indulgences last for a couple of months.
My approach is to choose the period of time I relax the guidelines and to ensure I hit a peak with my health prior to that more relaxed time.
This ability to delay gratification is something you already display in the areas of your life you’re most successful. It’s a matter of taking the actions that may not be most pleasant right now because your focus is on the results they will allow you to enjoy in the future.
Equally, isn’t the anticipation of a pleasurable experience almost as good as the experience itself? That’s why it’s great to book your yearly holidays at the beginning of each year, so you’ve always got one to look forward to.
It’s why I get so much more enjoyment from eating bread on the weekend than I did when I ate it everyday… (with the happy primary result being not the extra carb-gobbling enjoyment – rather the satisfaction of maintaining my goal body composition long term).
I’m going to sprinkle the action steps throughout todays show rather than at the end so here we go…
Your action steps:
A. When will you start your period of relaxed guidelines?
(for me it’s a 1-2 week period and that is the maximum I recommend) So I’m looking for an exact Date: ………..
Until then here are the tactics to employ to get you to that date in peak state…
=> When consuming those holiday season beverages – be it xmas parties or catch-ups with friends always choose the low carb option. Yes, it absolutely makes a difference.
Zero carb mixers. Low carb beer. Alternating your alcoholic drinks with mineral water.
=> Set yourself up to succeed before a cocktail party by ensuring you don’t arrive starving. For example have a protein shake prior.
=> Unless you have a vastly less emotional attachment to food than I do, I promise you the “just one” approach will only make it tougher. You 100% know the best choices when that greasy-salty-high caloric-density-more’ish stuff gets passed around, so ask yourself “what would (insert most fit and healthy version of you or person you are inspired by) do?” …and follow suit!
=> You’re likely dining out a lot more frequently, and even the best choices out will not be as ideal as what you could eat at home… so that means every meal and snack you do have at home need to be as ideal as possible. Build these meals around lots of fibrous veg and lean protein.
B. When these tactics get challenging, then focus on the results they will allow you to enjoy in the future… Ask Yourself:
For what purpose do I want this. What will this mean to me – to my ideal life?
Step 2. Gratitude:
Now this may seem out of left field however the benefits are extensive.
Have you noticed that it’s really easy to race through the holiday season stressed and pressured by things that are actually privileges to be enjoyed and appreciated?
Another Xmas party? Getting on top of your inbox and xmas shopping before that 3 week holiday? Finding the perfect party out-fit?
These are great ‘problems’ to have.
To focus on what you are grateful for will not only attract more of the same into your life.
It’s also a vastly more enjoyable approach to take, for you and all those you spend time with. You can feel appreciation for the 7 days off you have or lament that it’s not a month.
My personal experience is that I have always felt lucky to have 7 days off at the end of the year. It feels like a generous amount of time for me to rest, relax and come back fresh and excited for the year to come.
It’s actually the same during the year when I tend to take a 3-4 day long weekend. My believe is that that’s long enough for me to benefit from it… and so I do.
Conversely I know people who grumble that they ‘only get’ 3 weeks off before they’re grudgingly back to work.
Whatever you’ve got – be grateful to have it… AND if this doesn’t come easily then perhaps it’s worth taking a step back from YOU and looking into what other people have. Or, more-so haven’t got.
It’s a reality check.
Your action steps:
A. What are 5 things you feel grateful for?
A great time to focus on these things is directly before sleep.
=> your unconscious mind Loves questions. If you ask it a question it will go hunting for evidence and won’t stop till it gets it! So, best to drift off feeling grateful for what you’ve got and asking your unconscious mind the question “HOW CAN I be even more focused on living my ideal healthy, grateful, successful day tomorrow?”
B. Ensure your time before bed is for all thing POSITIVE.
Goals. Affirmations. Gratitude’s. Visualizing the perfect day tomorrow… get protective of your unconscious mind and what you allow it to dwell on.
Step 3. Plan:
If you’re traveling it’s essential you have a plan of attack (yep, you’re attacking the holiday fat!) BEFORE you leave. For both your exercise and also your nutrition.
Now it doesn’t need to be as locked and loaded as your regular at home training and eating plan… however some guidelines set in advance are important.
With EXERCISE I recommend deciding on the Type and Frequency so that you know it’ll compliment your holiday routine.
=> Now to be clear, this is what you’ll do during your ‘period of relaxed guidelines’ – yep, relaxed doesn’t mean do nothing… perhaps, it’s swimming, cycling or hiking.
Your holiday leanness guidelines are 30 minutes per day. (more if desired).
AND, if you can find 30 minutes a day when you’re working, then you can 100% most definitely find it when you’re holidaying!
Focus on making it Fun, perhaps spending time with those close to you rather than dragging yourself off to the gym. It’s also likely also a great opportunity to get your exercising groove on outdoors and give your body a rest from heavy weights.
Schedule some ACTIVE activities (!) before you leave – actually book them so you’re committed, holidays are a great opportunity to try adventurous, exotic new things.
In case something happens to stall your outdoor exercise intentions or you’re super short on time… Prepare a 15-20 minute do anywhere body weight work-out, or find someone who can put together one for you. There really is a lot you can do with zero or minimal props but if you don’t have it sorted prior to the trip the odds of it happening are near non-existent.
To give you an idea here’s my exercise plan for my 1 week holiday with the family in stunning Noosa:
=> Weights once per week MAX (so I’ll train full body for around an hour)… I want to give my joints a rest and that’s why I’m dropping from 5 times weights a week to 1.
=> Running 1-2 times per week… I never run except when I’m on holiday somewhere stunning and in that case I really enjoy it. (from 45-60 minutes)
=> Body-weight metabolic resistance training circuit (20 minutes only) once per week if desired.
=> Walking any day I’m not doing the above and also any day I do the above ONLY IF I FEEL LIKE IT!!! (from 30-90 minutes)
Basically, I’m moving everyday but I’ve got a lot of flexibility with what I do and when.
With EATING while away from home source some healthy eating options in advance.
If possible get a room with a kitchen or at least a fridge and do a supermarket shop for fresh food as soon as you arrive.
Prior to traveling search online for restaurants that are a good option for a healthy meal so you can avoid the desperation of trawling from establishment to establishment when you’re already tired, hungry (and outta-control-moody with starvation to the point where irrationally it MUST be the most delicious possible meal you now choose – oh, is that just me?!)
I also recommend having a quick and easy Go2HolidayMeal up your sleeve for those times you’ve over indulgenced the meal before or get home late/over-hungry or whatever it may be. Some sort of quick salad, omelette or smoothie work well.
Here’s a salad you can steal from mama Galli:
can of salmon in spring water.
bed of salad greens.
steamed snow peas, asparagus, broccoli. (last nights left overs are good!)
If you don’t plan then you’ll be more likely to go for the ‘light dinner’ of 2 toasted cheese sandwiches (made with yellow cheese, 4 pieces of white bread and butter)…after your big lunch out. 🙁 …that’s not light!
Or perhaps you skip dinner after a big lunch and then snack on left-over pudding with custard, ice cream and cream that evening?
Try a smoothie like this instead:
1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk or coconut water or just plain H2O!
1 serve vanilla protein powder (aim for at least 20gm Protein and only 2-3gm
of Carbohydrate and Fat per serve)
1 tbsp ground flaxseed OR hemp-seeds (optional)
75gm frozen unsweetened raspberries or strawberries OR use up some of that those left over berries that are hanging out ready2go in the fridge!
½ cup raw frozen spinach (you won’t taste it!)
1 tbsp natural almond butter
3 ice cubes
=> Easy – dump all ingredients in the blender and blend!
Absolutely enjoy those meals you eat out HOWEVER make sure the meals that you are in charge of (ok, I’ll dispute you can be charge of everything you put in your mouth)…however, those meals that you’re even more easily in charge of, are always supportive of your health goal.
It’s also great to have a yummy yet creatively healthy food option for when you’re taking a plate or preparing for guests. Holiday season is all about eating. eating. drinking. and eating… or some order of the preceding!
How many people do you know who wouldn’t like to shed a little fat?
Most people will thank you for providing the refreshing, guilt-free option… so,
Here’s one of my fav holiday salads:
1 juicy mango chunkily cut
3 nectarines cut in about 8 slices each and dry fried till it’s golden and caramelized
50gm dry roasted almonds roughly chopped
100-200gm baby spinach
½ red onion finely sliced
200gm firm ricotta cheese crumbled
=> The juice from the fruit will spread over the salad when you lightly toss it, however add balsamic vinegar to dress if desired.
Finally, dependent on where you’ll be over the holidays some Go2Snacks can be body savers – such as protein powder/bars or portions of nuts. I’m off to a supremely well-stocked house. I’ll still take my trusty protein powder… that’s because I know I love to snack and I also know if I snack on all the treats on offer I’ll be struggling to squeeze into my jeans within a week.
Your action steps:
A. What Type and Frequency of exercise will compliment your holiday routine?
B. Two quick and easy Go2HolidayMeals:
C. Your Creatively Healthy food option for guests orif dining out is more likely do a quick google search for a suitable local restaurant:
So, that’s the first 3 steps – to recap, Start on a Peak, Gratitude and Plan.
We’re only half way there and you may think this sounds like a bit of work… however do you know what’s more than just a bit of work?
When you spend the year getting in great shape – or at least making solid progress you’re keen to keep and then you blow all those results in a couple of short weeks. And it takes months to get back to where you were.
For many years I used to just totally relax all my eating standards when I visited the fam at Xmas… actually I’ve been known to chuck on 3 kilos in one weekend of excessive eating. I even remember having to wear my only long, loose skirt on the plane back to Sydney one year because my jean literally did not fit anymore.
I’m really not up for that type of body transformation anymore. If you’re not either then stay tuned for the #181 show for those last 3 steps!
That’s it for this week in Healthification.
A super huge thanks to you for your support and for sharing this week with me.
If you liked this you’ll also like: Smart Simple Weight Loss: Define Your Goal.
If you’re yet to share the Healthification love – just click here to zip over to iTunes and leave an honest rating and review. It’d help me out big time. With gratitude, Kate.