Carrying a Little Holiday Weight? (Don’t Pull a Ross Geller)
Between Thanksgiving and New Years, a significant amount of people will gain 7lbs of body fat — SEVEN POUNDS. (on average) For all you calorie counters, that’s an extra 24,500 calories of fat plastered on your body.
Is this going to be you? Has it already been you in the past?
Are you already trending in that direction?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, please pay close attention on how you can avoid the “Holiday Weight Club.”
Don’t Pull A Ross Geller
When Thanksgiving-Christmas-New Year’s roll around, how many times have you caught yourself uttering the words, “I’m still carrying a little holiday weight?”
If it happened to Ross, it can happen to you.
First of all, “weight” is relative. It’s a physics definition. So unless you want to talk about physics and in physics lingo, let’s be real: it’s body fat you’re gaining or losing.
Secondly, gaining holiday fat has nothing to do with the holidays and everything to do with you.
You can say Santa is the cause of your fat gain all you want, but at the end of the day, who’s allowing all those pies, cookies, eggnog, and champagne to enter your mouth?
Who’s skipping the gym in favor of holiday parties or because “it’s too cold outside?”
And lastly, if you think 7lbs is “just a little,” you’re in for a rude awakening. Recognize that those 7lbs were gained in just 5.5 weeks.
How is it possible to gain 7lbs of body fat in just 5.5 weeks?
(+1.27lbs of body fat) x (5.5 weeks) = 7lbs of body fat
It’s not rocket science, just basic math.
Where are those pesky 1.27lbs coming from?
2–3 huge meals on Thanksgiving day, Thanksgiving leftovers on Friday, Christmas Eve dinner, Christmas dinner, Christmas leftovers, holiday cookies, company holiday party treats, friends/family holiday parties, eggnog lattes, New Year’s Eve dinner and New Year’s Eve/Day alcohol
as possible culprits?
I have a couple of friends that love to bake sweet treats this time of the year. They’re so kind that they’ll bring an entire pie or batch of cookies just for me (13 to be exact).
If I was trying to lose body fat, I’d be worried. But I’m not. So I gladly indulge by dipping all the cookies in hot chocolate and sharing some killer pies with my friends.
If you are trying to lose body fat, all that love expressed in the form of sugar is going to set your body fat loss goal back a few weeks (if not months).
I know all those sugars and carbs are trying to be your friend, but that friendship is coming at a hefty cost: an expanding waistline and wreaking havoc on your metabolic system. Friendship is a two way street. It requires efforts from both parties involved.
And I’m sorry to break it to you, but those friends are pulling you and your waistline in the wrong direction.
During this end-of-the-year period, a lot of us find ourselves trapped in this whirlwind:
(High stress levels + eating too much + drinking too much + partying too much + little sleep + cold weather)
Living in an environment like that, is it really surprising that you’re going to gain some body fat?
It’s all about sugary food, alcohol, presents, sugary food, alcohol, presents. Exercise and nutritious eating both get kicked to the curb on the priority list of our lives. It’s like we don’t care about them as much as we care about sugar and alcohol.
Then a few days after New Year’s, we’re all of a sudden gung-ho about exercising and “eating healthy.” For real this time we tell ourselves.
We join/re-join the gym to hit those “high-intensity bootcamp classes”, go run 5 miles (even though we haven’t run 1 mile in weeks, months, YEARS), or go on the latest “diet” promising we’ll “lose 15lbs of fat in 14 days.”
How are we going to go from zero intensity to high intensity and think that’s okay?
That only works if you’re a movie star.
This pattern of jumping on/off the train of exercise/nutrition eating is exhausting. It’s mentally and emotionally draining.
It fucking sucks.
Going from 0% → 100% is inviting injury, unbearable soreness, and setting unrealistic expectations that will ultimately leave you heavily disappointed.
All this on again, off again, on again, off again relationship with exercise and nutritious eating is why you’re gaining that holiday fat.
Here’s the trick: exercise and nutritious are like Facebook or Google, once you get on, you don’t get off. It’s something you do to enhance the longevity and well-being of your life. That’s priceless.
And here’s even better news. If you’ve been off for a while, just get back on.
If you don’t look after the health of your heart, the size of your waistline or the quality of your muscles, who will?
Is Fat winning or losing?
This is as simple as I can make it:
Consuming sugar > Exercise = Fat winning
Exercise > Consuming sugar = Fat losing
Who do you want to win?
I’m not saying you should skip out on quality time with you family and friends, but how about you don’t forget about yourself?
If your goal is to build lean muscle or lose body fat, why abandon/pause your goal just because of the holidays?
Moving & Portions
Over the next ~40days of holiday fun and joy, being extra vigilant will be the key. Self-awareness has to be your best friend if your waistline is going to survive this holiday season. You must be on the offensive and defensive when it comes to sugar and fat.
It’s going to be all those little holiday moments that will add up. That extra slice of pie, that second eggnog spiked with alcohol, that extra gravy, those extra glasses of champagne are all going to end up on your waistline.
Where else are they suppose to go?
It comes down to all the little things.
You don’t have to start doing extra gym sessions during this end of the year rush, but don’t stop going.
Instead of pounding all the the drinks you can handle at the party, how about you drink the first, sip the second and skip the third?
At your next party, just humor me and count how many drinks you consume in one night. If it’s over 3, you can kiss that fat loss goal goodbye because it’s not going to happen.
How about eating an extra serving of green veggies to go along with your holiday meals?
Don’t think about it, just do it — ONE EXTRA SERVING OF GREEN VEGGIES.
What about going to the gym before you start that 3 hour Netflix binge? Netflix is on-demand, so you choosing to watch Daredevil over lifting some weights/doing cardio is a choice you have to own up to.
During this time, it’s all about moving and portions. Go ahead and have a cookie and glass of eggnog. Enjoy it; this festive time of lights and joy rolls around just once a year.
Be aware of your surrounding is all I’m asking. When you’ve eaten 5 cookies in 5 minutes or had a bottle of champagne by yourself in one night, trust me, you’re portions are way off and fat is winning.
Remember, fat only wins if you allow it to win.
You’re the one with the power to stop fat before it enters your mouth. Think twice.
Is all that sugar really worth it?
It’s your body, only you know what value you place on your life.
There is only trained and untrained.
Saul Juan Antonio Cuautle Founder & CEO
Originally published at www.bringbackfit.com on December 4, 2015.