"Damage Control" (Blog #88)
Every Holiday season, many of us find ourselves trying to avoid cookies, cakes, large family dinners with a ton of leftovers, and more cookies. When the holidays are here it seems like there are less hours in a day and no time to prep healthy meals and get our butts to the gym, but that's simply not true. The key to "damage control" during the Holiday season is to sit down every Sunday night and write out a plan. Plan your gym days (No Bull is Open 7 days a week), plan your meals as best you can, and plan to do DAILY walks.
I found myself stuck in the house the other night and I really wanted to train, so I put my sneakers on and did a really fun 10 X 10. A 10 X 10 is simply two exercises mixed for 10 reps each and 10 sets each. You do it as fast as you can, but only with perfect form! My choice of exercises were Push Ups and Jump Squats (you can pick whatever you like) - The session only took me about seven minutes and I felt great afterwards. A lot of times keeping things simple is the best way to go, I earned my endorphin rush and my entire night was better after that 10 x 10.
Mindful eating during the holidays will also help, just think ahead about your meals for the day and you'll make better choices; and when you do eat too much or eat the wrong stuff, don't beat yourself up over it, just get out and take that 30 minute walk around your neighborhood (at a brisk pace) and you will feel better. Life is all about balance, poor meals occasionally, hard training sessions, lazy nights on the couch and mountain hikes are all good for you - The key is to have an 80/20 rule: 80% of the time your meals need to be on point and your training must be tough, and 20% of the time you relax and eat what you desire.
Remember, weight gain and weight loss (in it's simplest form) is an energy balance. If you eat more and burn less = you gain weight / If you eat less and burn more = you lose weight. At the root of it, weight loss & weight gain does really come down to this. Even simple tricks like limiting alcohol in-take and drinking more water will help. Fat cells LOVE alcohol, so if you're drinking a few nights a week, don't expect that fat to go anywhere.
On a daily basis someone tells me that they don't know what to eat, or they don't know what's healthy, which I find a little odd. Almost anything in moderation can be ok, but to tell me you don't KNOW that eating Chicken, Fish, Lean Meats, Fruits, Vegetables, Nuts, Seeds, Water and Sweet Potatoes is healthy, is crazy; and we all KNOW that Cookies, Candy, Excessive Alcohol and heavy doughy foods are bad for us! But the key here is not what we all KNOW, it's getting ourselves to do it.
Here's how you do it:
Keep A Food Journal (Detailed / Honest) You will think twice before eating crap if you know you have to write it down
Train 3+ Days A Week (Training needs to be hard and aggressive / If you want change, you have to create change / Stop just going through the motions)
Stop Late Night Eating
Walk At Night after Dinner
Do 10 X 10's when you're stuck at Home
Create a caloric deficit if you want to lose fat (This doesn't mean don't eat, it means eat cleaner and eat less junk)
Hang around positive, upbeat people (This may be #1 / Negative people are a drain on you and they want to bring you down to their miserable level / Its up to you to put a stop to these people / If you have to get rid of them, get rid of them)
Stay Positive (Stop demeaning yourself / No negative talk / Don't look in the mirror grabbing your love handles and tell yourself how fat you are, that wont do anything but make you feel like shit / Do something about it)