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Apart from the odd day or holiday here and there you’ve spent the whole year training hard and eating well. On the one hand you want to eat and drink everything in sight, on the other you don’t want to undo your progress and spend the whole of January trying to fit back into your clothes.
Is there a way to eat what you want over the Christmas period and not put on weight?
Maybe, maybe not, but with these 5 top tips it’s certainly not as hard as you may think and worth giving a go!
Reduce Meal Frequency
Have 2000 calories to eat per day? Why not have that all at one meal.
The reason calorie consumption over the holiday period is so high (we’ve heard upwards of 5000 calories per day!) is usually because of the mindless snacking throughout the day.
You get up early because you’re excited and go to bed late because well, it’s Christmas, and you probably don’t have work the next day.
This gives you a MASSIVE window of opportunity to eat (read: overeat).
A way around this would be to simply skip breakfast and try your best to avoid any snacking. When it comes to Christmas dinner, fill your boots, have the works. Starter, main, dessert, whatever it may be. Unless you are a competitive eater it’s unlikely you’ll be able to eat more than 2500 – 3000 calories in one sitting and no doubt you’ll be full for the rest of the day.
Also known as Intermittent Fasting or IF, doing this means you don’t have to worry about what you’re eating, you can eat whatever you are craving but are simply reducing the window in which you are allowing yourself to do so. Instead of restricting foods you’re restricting time.
“Tell the food where to go”
I say this to clients a lot. If you’re going to over indulge, intentionally or otherwise, at the very least try to get some training in. Without going into too much depth, when you train and stimulate your muscles, your insulin sensitivity increases and nutrient partitioning improves.
In other words, energy from food is more likely going to be stored in your muscles as opposed to being stored as fat. You want the excess energy (too much food) to be used to fuel your training and help to repair muscles after training, not be stored as fat.
So if you are going to over indulge, at least try and hit the gym and put the extra food to good use!
Go For A Walk
We know from previous articles (like this one here) that the more active you are, the more calories you can eat. Those with active jobs can eat more and those with sedentary jobs need to eat less to maintain weight.
If you are going to be temporarily eating more than usual then it would make sense to temporarily be more active than usual too.
Got dogs? Take them out for an extra long walk. Got kids? Take them to the park on Christmas day.
Not only will this help you later on by wearing them all out but you’ll also be taking yourself away from all the indulgence and reduce the mindless snacking. Win, win!!
Whoever cooks Christmas dinner is going to proud of their accomplishment, which means they’re going to want you to eat ALL of it. They’re also probably going to cook far too much for fear of under feeding everyone.
If you don’t already and if you can, suggest putting everything in the middle of the table or on the side for people to help themselves. Not only will this allow you to serve up the right portions for yourself, and not feel rude for leaving food on your plate, but will also help others to do the same. Some may want more and some may want less so this suits everyone.
Force Portion Control
Can’t have just one slice of cake and call it a day? Buy single portions of your favourite dessert so you can enjoy it guilt free and won’t have the temptation to go for another sitting.
You’ll also feel less guilty as you won’t be wasting food and whilst pound for pound it may be more expensive you’ll probably end up spending less.
Remember your favourite food will not cease to exist after Christmas. The day after Christmas is Boxing Day, not Independence Day.
By all means, have your favourite foods and enjoy eating and drinking with friends and family but do yourself a favour by following some of the steps above so you can do it all without the guilt and without sabotaging any progress. If you do however, we know a pretty good company that can help you reverse the damage 😉
Whatever you choose to do, all at The Performance Project wish you a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
“If you’ve found this article helpful or know someone who is panicking about eating and drinking on Christmas day then please share with them so we can all avoid the Christmas bulge!!”
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