Keeping Up With Your Fitness Goals During the Winter Holidays
December 10, 2018 •3 min read
The winter holiday season comes with lots of delicious, fattening food. Keeping up with your fitness goals can be quite the challenge during this time. Here are some tips to help stay on track during this season, and not miss out on too much of the merriment!
1. Schedule your bulking during the winter
If you are cycling between bulking and cutting cycles, try to time your bulking cycle during the winter holidays and cutting for the spring (or sooner if your cycles are shorter). Since bulking requires taking in more calories than cutting or maintenance cycles and extra carbs are a good thing, all the good food during this time will go into building those muscles instead of fattening your waist. By cutting in the spring, you will also be ready for bikini season in the summer!
2. Consume sugar around weightlifting
If you are following point #1, scheduling your sugar intake around your weightlifting will help it go toward feeding your muscles instead of your waistline. Try to eat that pie or drink that egg nog immediately after your workout or first thing in the morning when your muscles are most depleted and starving for glucose. Since sugar turns into glucose quickly in the body and the body hates having extra sugar floating around in the blood, it will try to store it right away. It can either give it to your muscles if they are depleted, or it can store it as fat.
3. Get the extra calories to work
If you know you're going to be having a Thanksgiving feast or holiday party on a certain date, complete a hard weightlifting session the day before or the day of. All those extra calories aren't a problem if you are putting them to work at building your muscles.
4. Manage portions and burn more
If you are not weightlifting and are solely focused on losing weight, this season will be a little more difficult. To continue losing weight or to maintain, you will need to burn off the extra calories or avoid taking in those extra calories. By tracking calories and managing portion sizes, you can keep the extra calories at bay. If you do end up taking in extra calories, you will need to burn them off with more activity.
5. Keep your immune system strong
The winter holidays are not only full of delicious food packed with calories, they also come along during cold and flu season. Getting sick during the winter is not only a miserable feeling that will cut into vacation time where you'd rather be, well, vacationing, but will wreck your health and hard-earned gains as well. All the extra sugar in those desserts won't help your immune system, and weightlifting depresses the immune system as well.
Be sure to take supplements to keep nutrients flowing through your system, especially vitamins D, C, and the B vitamins. Stay hydrated, keep doing cardio, get plenty of sleep, and if you feel worn out or you feel a scratchy throat coming on, stop working out and give your body plenty of rest to build up the immune system and keep you healthy.
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