On my podcast, A Mind For Fitness, I shard how to cheat during the holidays with minimal damage. I thought the information was important enough that I should share it in written form. I do this because I know not everyone will listen to the podcast and I would like to help people during this troublesome time of year.
So here it is: How to Cheat During the Holidays With Minimal Damage.
Make It a Cheat Day
The first way to cheat during the holidays is by coinciding your holiday feasts with a cheat day or meal. This is difficult for most because there is more than one opportunity to eat bad food during this time of year. For example, there is Christmas Eve and Christmas Day right together. In addition, there may be company and family parties not to mention New-Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. So I understand if having a cheat “day” is not realistic for most.
However, for some, only eating bad food for one or two days it is not impossible. There is a large segment of society who only celebrate Christmas Eve. Christmas Day is a normal work day. And the same goes for New-Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. If you can limit your cheating to those two days, then great. But it is understandable if you cannot.
The next step is intermittent fasting. For example, I have a birthday for a family member, a company party, a Church party, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day all in the span of about ten days. In addition, there is also the New Year celebrations. What I have found to work is not eating until the party. So here’s how it will go: On the day of the first party, I will fast. I will not eat anything but coffee and water. Then I will break the fast at the party. The next day I will fast until the evening meal and eat sensibly. Then the day after that is the birthday party. I will fast on that day too and cheat that night at the party. Are you getting the picture? On the nights you cheat, fast the day before and the day after.
Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are a wash. I will cheat both those days, but again, I will fast on Christmas Eve until around 6 PM. The same can be said about New Year celebration.
Eat Something Good for You First.
All these parties I will be attending will have more than just junk food. There are always good options available. What I do is eat the good options first. And I try to eat as much of the good foods as I possibly can. So that by the time I get to the cookies, I cannot put as many of them away as I would have if all I ate was cookies. Again, the second key here is to eat the good stuff for you first. Then if you still want some junk food go a head.
Finally, eat slow. Start eating slow with the good food and continue to eat slow with the bad food. Eating slowly causes your satiety signal to set in with less food. Put simply, you will not be able to eat as many of those cookies.
Continue to work out and workout hard. I recommend a HIIT workout along with heavy weights. This is particularly helpful if you work out during your fasted state and before your big meals. This will clear your glycogen out and make prepare your muscles to soak up the glucose from your blood stream.
I followed a very similar regiment last year and only gained four pounds which I lost (plus more) after the first of last year. The year before that, I did not gain any wight at all. And, again, I began to lose wight as soon as I went back to a strict low-carb diet. I am predicting the same thing will happen this year. I will keep you posted.