‘Tis the season to be jolly, spend time with your loved ones, unwrap gifts and most importantly take a few days off counting macros and eat to your hearts content. Well that is what I, like most, will be doing this Christmas holiday (mostly due to the fact that I’m trying to follow a lean bulk for the next few months). However, this festive period may also mark the start of a cutting or dieting phase for some as they look to get in shape and lean in time for the summer holidays. After all, it is much more realistic to start now than to start in the late weeks of May.
For these (unlucky) few, especially for those doing it for the first time, these holidays may seem quite disastrous. But alas, fear not, for Santa Manivannan has you covered. Here a three strategies you can use to help you get through this and future holidays without beating yourself upa few days later about the extra weight you’ve put on.
1. Prepare Beforehand
Arguably the most obvious and simplest strategy is to prepare for the massive cheat day(s) that lies ahead by preparing your diet or overall calorie intake/expenditure the day before. This can vary from consuming a set amount less than normal or working out and being more active than normal (often via a few extra minutes doing cardio). Then when it comes to the day itself, you can sit back and enjoy the meal with the feeling that you’ve “earnt” it. However, the biggest problem with this is, if you’re like me, you tend to overestimate things and while this may seem like a good thing, you can often end up losing quite a bit of muscle with the fat by being in an extreme calorie deficit.
2. Cook Yourself
One for the culinary experts. If you are in control of your food and what/how much you consume, what’s stopping you from being able to continue dieting whilst pigging out on a traditional turkey?! However, be warned, what’s to say your guests are enjoying the vegetables and the lack of a Christmas pudding with custard as much as you are.
3. Let it Go
My personal favourite. In my honest opinion, one or two days of letting yourself go and enjoying the company of family and friends every now and then will not set you back too much. As great an impact bodybuilding and fitness may have on me, there is no point stressing out over counting macros when the time could have been spent enjoying yourself with loved ones. And if the added weight will affect you mentally, the consequences can be dealt with the few days after.
So there you have it, my own two cents on dieting down during the holidays. Now obviously there are a number of factors that would come into play, for example whether or not you’ve had experience dieting down before and how long you’re holiday/cheat day was planned for. Having tried two out of the three above options (unfortunately my family, along with a few friends, don’t trust my expert cooking), I definitely know which I prefer, and as I write this post, I weigh currently three kilos over my lean bulk target for this week!
Happy Holidays and may the grind continue soon after!
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