Let me start this off by saying I am not a big fan of dieting during the holidays. However, the holiday season is the busiest time of year for me, and with this comes a wave of new clients all looking to lose weight and look good for the family!  

I must say that I do not get it … well yes of course I do, but what bad timing to start.  With all the comfort food and cookies and pies and gravy trains and mashed potatoes, can’t forget about the mashed potatoes my god!  You get the point.  

Starting a new fitness regime is always a good idea but waiting until the last minute really puts us (client and trainer) in a real pinch.  It is indeed expecting the world both of yourself and your trainer.  Too many temptations and too little time during a stressful season… that being said it is doable.

I will dedicate the rest of this article with tips and tricks to lose weight during the holidays, if not maintain your current weight!

During this time of year I personally forget all about looking good naked and am in full blown muscle gain mode.  Extra calories are a real treat come winter.  I can say this because I increase my workout time to 1.5-2 hours a day, 5 times a week.  Commonly referred to as “Bulking Season”.  I simply just lift heavier weights for longer periods of time with some cardio.  I realize this does not help the newbie or anyone looking to lose weight but it’s what you can look forward to next year!

So, if you are not going to use the extra calories during the holidays you need to start thinking of a strategy to minimize the damage you do while attending various Holiday gatherings.  Where drinks flow freely, meals are calorie rich and treats are in plain view everywhere you turn… the office, the gym, the grocery store, this party, that party.

So, what do you do?

1 Plan to work out more often and
2 Longer

This one is simple.  Will power will only last so long on the daily. No matter who you are there is only limited capacity to refuse every single temptation.  So fuck it… work out daily and spend a longer amount of time doing so to negate any slip ups you may have.   This will help to maintain your weight when you eat that 1 cookie, and have a few drinks.

3 Know your party

Where are you going? What is the most likely menu? Are drinks involved?  I don’t really care what the answers to these questions are the method is the same.  Eat before you leave the house so you are full upon arrival.  Drink coffee on the ride over.  Bring a healthy snack tray as your gift to the host.  The point here is control as much of this process as possible.  All of this is an attempt to make you too full to over eat.  You are still going to eat what they eat, but far less.

4 Never tell people you’re on a diet! Just do it and shut up about it.

If you mess this up you will regret it dearly.  People, for some reason hate when someone is on diet or not drinking.  They feel threatened in my opinion and therefore will not stop bugging you to eat this or just have one drink or why are you doing xyz? You look good already.  I can’t explain it, but they will harass you as if you’re diet was designed to harm them in some way.  They can’t have this, so at all costs they must make you fail asap!  Save yourself the headache and don’t say a word.  If anything… “ you are just not feeling well.”  No one bugs that guy.  They stay the f away from that guy.  No one risks getting sick during the holidays!

5 Workout hard the day before, the day of and the day after an event.

This flows from tip #1.  I always train harder and longer the day before, day of and day after an event because I know I am going to mess something up.  I’ll be the first to admit my willpower sucks come 3pm until bed time.  Knowing this about myself and most humans I just tell clients to kill 3 workouts in an attempt to be in a calorie deficit before the eating begins!

Maybe you read this article and are thinking hmmm makes sense, there’s nothing magical here.  The tips presented aren’t  even tips.  Well guess what? You are human, you are going to fuck up every holiday season and you should.  Enjoy a few treats with your family and friends. Just don’t go overboard like they will!  Next year you will do the same only next year you will be 20+ pounds lighter and the holidays will only be a blip on your radar.

Happy Holidays!