By: Matt Weik, BS, CSCS, CPT, CSN
Who doesn’t love the holidays? A time you get to spend with friends and family and surround yourself with all the delicious foods you’ve waited for all year. Unfortunately, this is also a time when the wheels fall off your fitness plan, and holiday weight gain doesn’t just sneak in, but rather, it hits you like a brick to the forehead.
Don’t come out of this holiday season blaming the scale for being inaccurate. We’ve put together some of the best tips to help prevent holiday weight gain so that you can enjoy yourself while still keeping your waistline tight.
1. Hit the Gym in the Morning
It doesn’t matter what holiday you wake up to — get your butt to the gym. Don’t put it off. Don’t think you’ll work out at night after all the festivities. Nope. It’ll never happen, and you’re only fooling yourself if you believe that’ll happen. If you want to prevent holiday weight gain, get up early and hit the gym first thing in the morning to get it out of the way and to ensure you’re not rushed.
Get in a killer workout. I’m not talking about sandbagging your time in the gym because you have an excuse that it’s a holiday. I want you to go balls to the walls and crush your workout. If you want to prevent holiday weight gain, you need to start your day by hitting the weights hard and finishing it off with some cardio. Earn that piece of dessert you want!
2. Drink Water Throughout the Day
I want you to drink so much water the day of a holiday that you’d swear you were a fish. Not only will water keep you hydrated, but it can help prevent holiday weight gain. How? By keeping you feeling full and satiated.
Temptation is all around you when you hit a gathering or party for a holiday. Desserts, carbs, sugars, fats — they’re everywhere! If you want to prevent holiday weight gain, you need to use every trick up your sleeve, and what better trick to play than on your brain and hunger hormones? Trick your brain into thinking you’re full by drinking water during the day (especially before meals).
Have a Game Plan Prior to Mealtime
If you want to prevent holiday weight gain this season, you must have a game plan before grabbing a plate. My recommendation? Survey the playing field before you do anything. See what food is on the table and devise your plan of attack. If you know there’s something “unhealthy” that you know you’re not leaving without having a little of, plan around that and make sure your nutritional choices leave some calories in the tank for the goodie you have your eye on.
Next, focus on protein. To prevent holiday weight gain, you will want something healthy that aligns with your goals and can help you feel satiated. Therefore, load up your plate with protein and then work some healthy(ish) carbs and fat around your quality protein source.
Prevent Yourself from Grazing
One of the worst things you can do is graze at a gathering or party. Why? Because you have no way of gauging how much you’ve consumed, and you’re accountable for everything you put in your mouth. To prevent holiday weight gain, get a small plate and fill it up with healthy foods rather than grazing like a cheetah eyeing a gazelle in the tall grasses.
Look for things like fresh vegetables, nuts, fruit, and healthy protein sources you can eat before a meal. This can also help prevent holiday weight gain by filling up on foods high in fiber and allowing you to feel satiated before even diving into the main meal.
Watch the Liquid Calories
You’re going to call me a party pooper but try to stay away from the liquid calories. You know what I’m talking about — beer, mixed drinks, shots, eggnog, soda, sweetened tea, etc. Liquid calories add up quickly, and before you know it, you’ve consumed over 1,000 calories just in drinks. That’s going to throw off your entire plan to prevent holiday weight gain.
If you can, stick to water or zero-calorie beverages. If you want to have a drink or two (I mean, it IS the holidays), try to keep it to a minimum, and don’t let things get out of hand.
Try to Move Around Rather Than Sit on the Couch
I’ve been there. You’ve been there. We’ve all been there. You have a huge meal, and now you have the meat sweats, you’re tired, and all you want to do is sit in front of the television and watch the football game with the people that mean the most to you. There’s nothing wrong with that. Just don’t make it an all-day thing.
To prevent holiday weight gain, you want to stay moving. Work your way around the room and talk with people (while standing, not sitting). Help put food out on the table, help take the dishes over to the sink, walk over and talk to someone you need to catch up with — simply, keep moving.
Better yet, head outdoors for a walk with someone or a group of people you want to catch up with.
Leverage Key Supplements to Prevent Holiday Weight Gain
The last of our tips I want to bring up to help prevent holiday weight gain are supplements. Now, this isn’t a MUST-DO, but when you can leverage supplements to help prevent holiday weight gain, why not use them to your advantage?
Below, I’m going to cover a few different supplements and help you better understand how you can work them into your day to help prevent holiday weight gain.
The first thing you can leverage into your day is digestive enzymes. If you’re going to eat various foods throughout the day, you might as well break them down fully and absorb them to help improve muscle recovery from your early morning workout, right? MuscleSport Digestive Enzymes are perfect for helping your digestive system break down and absorb key nutrients, and put them to good use.
Following a day of eating food not normally on your nutrition plan, you may feel bloated, and your digestive tract is giving you the Italian salute. Don’t worry, you can mitigate this by using a full-body detox supplement. To prevent holiday weight gain, you want to rid your system of all the “junk” you put into your body the day before. MuscleSport Detox Revolution helps cleanse the body, improve gut health, and minimize bloating.
Last but certainly not least is a supplement (category) you’ve probably been waiting to see on the list, and that’s fat burners. Here’s the deal, I’m not going to tell you which fat burner you should use from MuscleSport to help prevent holiday weight gain because I don’t know your personal wants and needs in such a product. What I will say is that there’s something for everyone when it comes to MuscleSport fat burners. You have L-carnitine products, various female-specific fat burners, and some super potent thermogenics that can help ignite fat burning. Check them out and see what suits your needs best.
Regardless, you can now take the tips mentioned above and have a fantastic and memorable holiday season while helping prevent holiday weight gain that so many dread. Now, go enjoy the holidays with those who mean the most to you — and save me a piece of pie!