8 February 2019
8 RULES TO STAY LEAN THIS CHRISTMAS
With the year drawing to a close, it’s unquestionable that sticking to your plan becomes increasingly more difficult. One of the unfortunate consequences of enjoying the festivities during the holiday season is that all of our hard work can unravel in a matter of days. So how do we soften the blow of the end…
With the year drawing to a close, it’s unquestionable that sticking to your plan becomes increasingly more difficult. One of the unfortunate consequences of enjoying the festivities during the holiday season is that all of our hard work can unravel in a matter of days.
So how do we soften the blow of the end of year shenanigans?
Before we get into it, I’ll tell you my three rules for my clients:
- Eat the food.
- Focus on the company.
- Forget the numbers.
1. Pick Your Moments.
If you’re like me, then you will have party after party, outing upon outing and it can be near impossible to exert some level of constraint every single time you are faced with a tough nutritional decision.
To circumvent this, you must prepare. Plan out in advance which social occasions you will ‘enjoy’ and when you will hold yourself a little more accountable and exhibit some constraint. This may mean that in some instances you won’t be able to guzzle the beer or eat copious amounts of Christmas pudding.
2. Don’t Make S*** Decisions
Following on from my three rules, during the festive season, forget the numbers. This doesn’t mean you have a licence to blow out and become a blubbering whale because you simply stopped tracking your calories and macros.
Instead, follow one of my favourite rules for habit and behaviour formation – Don’t make sh** decisions.
If you ask yourself ‘is this a sh** decision’ and your honest with yourself when deciding whether or not eating that third slice of cake is a wise choice, you’ll find the answer. And you probably won’t have to re-find your abs.
3. Save Your Calories
We know that for body composition and weight management total daily calorie intake drives weight gain. Therefore, if you have picked your moment, and you know that you are going to consume more calories at that specific time of day, then it’s as simple as consuming less calories in the meals prior/after that period to equate your daily calorie balance.
This doesn’t mean you should starve yourself or deliberately under eat. This can bite you in the arse if you’re someone who has a tendency to overconsume when you’re the slightest bit hungry.
Instead, make wiser decisions before your ‘moment’ and eat high volume, calorie sparse foods such as a large salad or vegetables.
4. The One Plate Rule
You are one person. Therefore, you only need one plate.
In alignment with rule number 4 and not making sh** decisions, a second plate is potentially a poor choice, so you can see where I derived this rule, but it bears repeating.
Fill your plate, sure.
The damage doesn’t come from the first plate, it comes from the second, the third and then desert on top of that.
Make sure that when you fill your plate, you align it with your moment as well as avoiding making sh** decisions.
5. Don’t Feel Guilty
You are human.
Therefore, chances are you will slip up or break one of these rules at least once or twice. Hopefully no more than that!
If so, own it and move on. There is no point crying over spilt milk or tripping over things behind you. We all have a tendency to eat retrospectively, and let our previous nutritional decisions influence what we do next. Unfortunately, this will ruin your chance of making long term progress as it creates a very negative relationship with food, and in the holiday period, this can be exacerbated.
6. Increase Your NEAT
The holiday period is a great opportunity to be a NEAT freak.
Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis – the calories you burn by being human.
Chances are you have more time off work, so let this be a time where you move your arse more. Walk, ride, hike, kick a ball, play with your kids and do things that require you to move.
Not only will you enjoy the Australian sun, but you will increase your daily calorie expenditure and mitigate some of the potential weight gain form the increased calorie intake due to the Christmas shenanigans.
7. Train Early, Party Later.
More food equals more gains.
Therefore, during the Christmas period get to the gym and set some personal bests!
We both know that you won’t be motivated to get your session in after you’ve eaten an entire plate (note I said ‘plate – singular;) of your mum’s roast and Christmas pudding.
This is why I recommend training first thing in the morning before you head off to your social outings. Continuing to train during the holidays can also make returning to your regular routine that much easier as you won’t feel like your back at square one come January.
8. Be Realistic.
I guarantee you won’t look your best or lose 6kg during December. And if you do, kudos!
To lose fat during the holiday period is a phenomenal effort, and only a few mere mortals have achieve such a thing under my watch, and I’ve worked with thousands!
Therefore, you must be realistic with your expectations. Set a goal to either:
– Maintain your current weight
– Keep the weight gain to a minimum
These are far more realistic goal’s and will allow you to enjoy without as much guilt!