Dieting and exercising over the holidays can be very challenging. I find the last two weeks of December to be the likeliest two weeks of the year to gain weight. Most people will gain about five pounds or more over the holiday season. We are all so busy and off our normal schedules. Eating right and finding the time to exercise is almost impossible for a number of us; therefore, this year follow my two-week holiday diet and exercise plan to avoid gaining weight over the holidays.
This plan will let you enjoy your favorite foods at holiday parties while eliminating calories at other times of the day so you won’t gain weight. You will be exercising for short periods first thing in the morning so it won’t get in the way of your busy day.
Two-Week Holiday Diet and Exercise Plan:
The best way to control how many calories you eat while still enjoying your favorite foods is to skip at least one meal a day for the last two weeks of the year. I think breakfast is the easiest meal of the day to skip. By not eating breakfast you just eliminated about 500 calories from your diet and primed your body to burn fat while your stomach is empty. When you have no carbohydrates and proteins running through your system from a recent meal you have a much greater chance of burning stored energy like fat and carbohydrates. Not eating breakfast is a great way to control your weight over the holidays. It’s a form of intermittent fasting that has helped so many people, including myself, lose weight.
If skipping breakfast does not work for you then skip lunch or dinner. Any methods where you can reduce the amount of calories you eat during the day will help you control your weight and let you over indulge at Christmas parties while not gaining any weight. If I know I’m going to a Christmas party at 7:00 PM where I plan on over eating, I will fast the whole day and just drink some coffee or tea. This method works so well because it allows me to eat all the fun holiday foods while keeping my total calories for the day about the same as if I ate three meals.
I learned a lot about intermittent fasting from Brad Pilon’s Eat Stop Eating program. Brad has one of the best online weight loss programs with many powerful weight loss techniques. Make sure you check out his web site.
The best time to exercise over the holidays is first thing in the morning. If you have to wake up a little bit earlier, then do it. The days just get too busy at the end of the year so start the day off right. I also recommend exercising on an empty stomach first thing in the morning. Studies have shown that exercising in a fasted state will help you burn fat and lose weight. The New York Times just published an article called The Benefits of Exercising Before Breakfast where they reference a study that explained the benefits of exercising on an empty stomach before eating breakfast.
Since time is an issue keep the workouts short and alternate hard and easy days. On easy days just take a 30-minute walk. On hard days do some type of interval training or full body resistance training for 20 minutes. The hard workout will keep the muscle on your body and keep your hormones working in your favor. Short hard workouts increase your growth hormone, which can help you lose weight. Remember; try to do these workouts on an empty stomach and just drink water.
This two-week holiday diet and exercise plain works great if you’re going away over the holidays and don’t want to gain weight, as well. Working out first thing in the morning and not eating breakfast has kept my weight under control for a number of vacations.
Best – Mike Cola