Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Avoiding The Christmas Bulge

muscular santa cartoon
Christmas may be the most wonderful time of the year, but it’s not the friendliest time of the year for your body. With all the tempting holiday feasts here and there, one cannot avoid putting on some weight back after a year of intense personal training for muscle gain and body fat loss with your personal trainer. To prevent unwanted weight gain over the holiday, here are some preventive measures that you can try:

Time Workouts Properly
If you know that you’re in for a heavy meal, particularly carbo-loading, set up a really hard workout session prior to that meal. Unlike your usual workout, try and work through the higher rep range with your lifts, so you will deplete more of your muscle glycogen stores. Then when you eat a carb-rich, high calorie meal, the carbs will actually work to your benefit. They will replenish your muscle glycogen levels and help you get better results from your workout. If you do this, you can actually work towards building more muscle tissue with your holiday meal.

Eat Protein Beforehand
If you know you'll be eating heavy, have a small protein snack beforehand. Some good options include a can of tuna, some scrambled egg whites and veggies, a small chicken breast, or half a cup of cottage cheese.
Protein is the macronutrient that tends to be most satisfying, blunting hunger signals. It will work to your benefit when trying to keep the amount you eat at the party under control.

Bring Your Own Dish
If you're going to a meal that's hosted by close friends or family, offer to prepare your own dish to bring to the event. Not only will this get you in their good books as you're helping them out, but it will also help put your mind at ease knowing there is at least one healthy thing you can fill your plate up with.

Watch The Drinks
It’s not only the food that can make you gain weight during the holidays, the drinks can really add up quickly. Egg Nog, the most popular traditional Christmas beverage, rakes in at 343 calories per 8 fluid ounces with 19 grams of fat and 34.4 grams of sugar. Many of the fancier cocktails can easily pack 200 or more calories per glass.

Damage Control The Day After
Do damage control immediately after things get out of line. If you overeat one day, immediately take corrective action. Do a bit more cardio the next day and cut back on your carbohydrate or fat intake the next day. Don't cut back on protein intake the next day however, as that is what is going to promote lean tissue maintenance, which virtually forms the base of your metabolic rate and helps keep the fat off the rest of the year. If you eat 500 calories over your maintenance intake one day and eat 500 calories under your maintenance intake, things will balance out over time and no weight gain will be seen.

This Christmas season don't get overly frantic about going slightly off your usual diet plan, just watch how much you eat and plan workout sessions to keep the weight off.