It’s Friday, the big Thanksgiving feast is over, but Christmas season essentially just started. Let’s see how you did so far and why you shouldn’t feel guilty about enjoying the up and coming calorie meltdowns.
Have You Been A Bad Girl (Or Boy)?
So it’s been a wonderful and tasty Thanksgiving dinner and you’ve probably eaten more food in one evening than you normally eat in a week. I definitely don’t want to be a party pooper like most trainers and update my Facebook status to: Here is a recipe of some really healthy mashed broccoli with fat-free turkey. Or remind you to better watch your calories for the holidays cause that’s when we pack it on the most.
No, definitely not! I will be the person to tell you to enjoy the holidays and eat whatever you like, because that’s what life is all about – enjoyment, not constant restriction. We always train hard and eat healthy and we need some time to relax as well.
Instead, I would like to share with you what kind of damage control I do after a holiday evening, and it can be any holiday, not necessarily a Thanksgiving.
First Things First – Don’t Ever Feel Guilty!
Feeling guilty is like a rocking chair: it gives you something to do but doesn’t get you anywhere. So instead of feeling guilty tell yourself that you’re happy that you’ve enjoyed the holidays and stuffed your face as much as you could. Now you will feel even more motivated to workout, and all that food will give you some extra strength.
Framing this in a context that is not guilt is very important, because even if you did stuff your face as much as humanly possible, you probably only gain 1-2 extra pounds, 3 tops. That is obviously nothing to worry about – you are not going to lose all your results in a few evenings of good dinners.
A Few Tips For The (Next) Face Stuffing
I know you already are digesting the big Thanksgiving feast, but Christmas is right around the corner: When you are going to be having a huge dinner it is best to be good throughout the day. In the morning, instead of full on breakfast, have green tea and something really small. Same thing for lunch, where a small salad will do. This will give you more room for the delicacies in the evening and still limit the total calories you eat during that day.
Stay Active As Much As Possible
Now that the big feast is over, how about a long walk? During the holidays it’s a quite magical to be outside and walking burns quite a bunch of the calories you already ate and those still lurking on the Christmas horizon. If you put in a bit more activity during the holidays you can easily allow your self to eat quite a bit without it ending up on your waistline.
The Morning After
Three words: Empty stomach cardio. Normally, it’s quite hard to workout on an empty stomach, or at least for me, which is why I only do it on very special occasions such as holidays. But after really big meals you will have a very easy time to workout on an empty stomach, because chances are it is not quite empty and your energy reserves are quite high. You may actually feel great doing it.
Still, I never do more than 20-25 minutes, of which ten to fifteen minutes are an HIIT session of body weight strength exercises, after which I will add 10-15 minutes of light jump rope skipping or a light jog.
Have Fun And Still Stay Fit!
When I follow these tips, I never even notice a big difference in my body composition after the holidays, even if I had a super ridiculous amount of food. I always feel like I bounce right back without losing any of my so hard-worked for results. It’s all about balancing: if you always try to be a good girl or boy, you from time to time earned being bad.
Picture courtesy of David Mayerhofer.