Holiday Tips and Inspiring Articles

My cousin Antonia, Santa and Me

My cousin Antonia, Santa and Me

Happy Holidays!

I want to start by wishing everyone an amazing holiday season filled with family, friends, and good times.

It's common for fitness enthusiasts, or people worried about their weight to fret over what they can and cannot eat during the holidays. It's also an extremely busy time of year for most, making it a little more difficult to get to the gym, or to eat as clean as they want.

Don't get me wrong, what I'm about to say is no excuse to completely let yourself go for 1-2 weeks without working out or eating well but there's something to be said about fitness, nutrition and the holiday season.

There are tons of articles out there that give "healthy alternatives" to Christmas classics. There are even workouts specifically designed for Christmas... I don't even know wtf that means. How is a Christmas workout different than any other workout? On top of that, a "holiday kale smoothie" is NOT the same as the nostalgic taste/feeling you get when eating a traditional holiday food no matter what the food, or culture.

Point Is: Don't Worry About It

The holiday season is one of the best de-stressors we have. Getting into the spirit, being happy, celebrating with family, friends, whoever. I encourage you to be lenient and really enjoy your food during the next week or so. Worrying about everything you eat during this time of year can contribute to unwanted stress. Many studies show that less stress, better sleep, and happiness is associated with fat loss. At the end of the day, that's what this time of year is all about!

I could go even more in depth on how eating some foods that you normally wouldn't may benefit you but I'll keep it simple.

If you've been dieting for a while, a short term "re-feed" may be exactly what your body needs to help refuel your muscles, your brain, and continue to hit the gym to lose more fat. On the other hand, if you're trying to build muscle, the extra spike of insulin you get after a HUGE holiday meal, or those delicious Christmas Cookies with Milk may also help kick-start your protein synthesis.

The 90% Rule...Again

If you've been following my blog, you've surely heard me explain the 90% rule. It's beautiful, simple and extremely effective. This mindset, not worrying about what you're eating throughout the holidays, goes hand in hand with the 90% rule.

It essentially means that if you are bang on with your nutrition 90% of the time, you can have pretty much whatever you want for the other 10%. Think of it in terms of every 9/10 meals, or 9/10 days, or whatever else.

It's a great rule for so many reasons, mainly because you still see great results! Also, because it allows you to eat some "junk food" that you probably shouldn't have otherwise, without feeling too bad, and without stressing over food cravings all the time.

By coinciding with this rule over the holidays, you stay happier and return more motivated once the new year kicks in.

A Few Tips On Successful Holiday Eating

1. Eat Slow!

Eating Slow allows you to really enjoy your food, and ensures that you don't over eat.

2. Be Mindful

At the end of the day, your goal is to be as joyful as Santa, but not look like him. Pick foods you love to eat, but try not to overdue it. If there are healthier, protein rich foods, eat those first. (Like that turkey, or roast beef in he middle of the table)

3. Spend Time Eating With People Whose Company You Truly Enjoy

This is self explanatory, and its part of the holiday spirit. Have a great time.

Having said that, there are some really inspiring Holiday Articles that I love, and read year after year. They help keep me in check, and really motivate me. Believe it or not, I have some of the best Strength Gains of the year during the holidays. I get hyped up by the holiday season, it gives me a great feeling inside, and there's something really inspiring about seeing my clients still coming in and working hard in between Christmas - New Year's. There's also something to be said about the fact that I'm still in the gym, fueled, and ready to go, while others take time off because they're 'too busy".

Leaving You With My 2 Favourite Holiday Articles:

1. Christmas Cookies - Precision Nutrition - John Berardi

2. Merry Christmas, Bob - T-Nation - Chris Shugart

Once again, Happy Holidays! OR as Krusty the Clown once said: “This ends Krustys non-denominational holiday fun fest. So have a Merry Christmas, a Happy Chanukah, a Krazy Kwanzaa, a Tip Top Tet, and a solemn, eventful Ramadan. Now, over to my god, our sponsors.”