And yes, it’s time to offer some general tips for getting through the holidays. For most of us, it’s a time when we eat too much, especially too much of what we shouldn’t, drink too much, don’t get enough sleep, don’t exercise enough and most of our good habits that were so hard to establish take a back seat and sometimes never come back. that were so hard to establish, take a backseat and sometimes never come back.
Forget all those post-holiday detox tips and exercise routines to shed the weight you’ve gained! This is a relatively stressful time in itself, so there’s no need to put more on your shoulders.
If you think about it for a moment, it’s very easy to plan for this time of abuse well in advance. So step away from micro-planning and embrace macro-planning! We all plan without realizing it. Most of your breakfasts probably look the same. If you’re reading this blog, you probably have a general interest in your health and, consciously or unconsciously, you probably plan all your meals based on your taste at the time, the variety and perceived quality of the foods you ingest. This is what I call micro-planning and, for lack of clarity, it is unavoidable to some degree.
You have probably grasped without knowing ancient Greek that it is also possible to plan for longer periods of time, i.e. weekly or even monthly. You know that for about two weeks, all your habits will be changed. Accept the situation and enjoy the excesses to the fullest! Here are some strategies that you can easily implement.
I never liked this method because counting calories is very tedious. However, since most people are familiar with this method, it also makes it very accessible. The first step is to calculate how many calories you take in per “regular” day. You will need to weigh your food with a scale and use a site like Nutrition data to do your calculations. You can also take pictures of everything you put in your mouth to make sure you don’t forget anything. Do this for 3 to 5 days so you can establish a standard. About two weeks before and two weeks after the holiday season, cut 300 to 600 calories a day. You will need to keep a strict count in a file so you don’t cheat. That’s it!
I’ve used this method frequently with great success, and in some years I’ve even lost fat during the holidays, and never missed an opportunity to binge. Either on the days of abuse only or every day during those two weeks, don’t eat any calories before your festive meal. If you have trouble eating your greasy pitch soup for lunch that night, start with a raw vegetable appetizer and the enzymes in the raw vegetables will make the transition easier.
The workout break: Some people try to compensate for all this abuse by trying to exercise a lot. So take a break and space out two workout cycles by two weeks. It’s a perfect opportunity and you’ll avoid misplaced guilt. Are you very active? Play sports with friends or do activities you enjoy with your family. If, like me, you have a hard time quitting completely, focus on the important things that you normally always neglect a little. I have mobility exercises in mind, but hyperlaxed people may have different needs.
Our bodies produce signals that tell us what we need to eat. When we are hungry, we may feel a drop in energy or have a rumbling stomach. Unlike hunger signals, which are usually relatively easy to identify, satiety signals are not always so clear. Several factors can confuse these signals. For example, when we eat very tasty foods, the pleasure we feel can override our sense of fullness. We then tend to eat more. However, being more aware of our hunger and satiety signals can help us avoid overeating.
Get some rest
Even though parties often end very late, it’s more than important to take the time to rest. If you didn’t get enough sleep the night before, consider taking a nap during the day; this may prevent you from consuming too many calories during the day or evening. Research has shown that people who are sleep-deprived tend to compensate with food to get a quick energy boost.
If you have maintained adequate muscle mass throughout the year, the impact on fat accumulation will be less and the elimination of excess fat will be easier. Of course, you don’t have to fall into bodybuilding, its strenuous methods and unappealing culture! Regular strength training two to three times a week, usually very brief, or an even more minimalist protocol like Body by Science or 4-Hour Body, will help you maintain a better body composition and fat accumulation during the holidays will not be as big a concern.
Stay off the skids by keeping up with your healthy activity habits. Go play outside with your family before enjoying a holiday dinner. Dress warmly and go for a walk on the trails near your home. In between card games, dance around the living room to your favorite Christmas music. Whatever you do, use these 2-for-1s to spend some quality time with your family, to keep your body happy… and to keep the card in your pocket!
Avoid feeling guilty
We had fun, we ate well, we gained a few pounds… but so what? We’re not perfect and we all have our occasional lapses. But there’s no need to worry about it. Guilt sometimes leads to an unhealthy relationship with food.
Change of Mind
There is something powerful about the energy of the holiday season, including the idea of closure and renewal. Very often, this break from the daily grind is enough to put our worries and cares aside, and like magic, many physical discomforts seem to disappear. It is the ideal opportunity to establish an action plan to maintain this state of well-being. I will try to write a few lines very soon to help you keep your good resolutions for the new year!