From Halloween to January 2 is the hardest part of the year I think to keep up with your goals. It’s so easy to say screw it, I’ll just start January 1 and have the mentality that because you didn’t achieve your dream body in 2019 you have to wait til the 1st to get your dream body the next year. It’s easy to think you’ve made a ton of progress and a little time off never hurt anybody.
Both are valid but they shouldn’t keep you in the way from staying on plan the last 3 months of the year. If you haven’t gotten the body you want yet, why is pushing it off for 3 months worth it? Let me tell ya, it’s not. Why wouldn’t you want to get a head start on the year? Even though there are holidays mixed in there, it’s a lot better than saying screw it I’ll just eat a piece of cake every day and never work out for 90 days.
I luckily have been going through a bulk so I have a little more food to work with during the days and can usually fit in a piece of dessert. But that’s also the beauty of tracking your macros. You can fit anything into them that you want. Ya you can eat a donut for breakfast, but you probably will have to eat less carbs and fats in the rest of your meals. You can fit in a cookie after lunch, you just have to track it so you can compensate for those calories in other places.
I will never be someone that says you need to track over Thanksgiving day or Christmas day, but I do think it’s important the day before and after to just keep going. It’s Christmas DAY not Christmas WEEK for a reason. Yes, there will always be exceptions and depending on your goals you may have more lenience on certain days with your diet and training.
I personally used to have a ton of stress over the holidays, especially last year. I literally brought my scale to my grandma’s house, and no I didn’t track the actual meal for Thanksgiving or Christmas, I did track everything I ate before. I thought I had to track or I would fail and lose progress. I didn’t realize that one day off the plan wouldn’t make that much difference.
I’m in a way better place with my nutrition and training than I was last year. I am extremely more confident in myself and I love having flexibility in my training and macros. For reference though, I have quite a bit of background in both areas to be able to know what my body needs without necessarily tracking every gram.
So, to answer the question on how to handle fitness over the holidays, it’s going to come down to your goals and how badly you want them. I will never say you shouldn’t work out on a holiday and I also won’t sit here and tell you if you don’t workout your body will gain 5 pounds of fat.
Personally this year, I won’t track over the holidays. I will track when I’m home and I’m on my normal routine, but if I’m staying at my grandma’s house for Christmas Eve and Christmas day, I will just try and get in enough protein and eat until I’m full, not until I’m starving.
I am really focusing on training with intensity lately. It honestly makes me feel so much better to leave the gym with a good sweat and make progress every week. But also, it’s no secret that if you burn more calories in a day you can eat more calories in your day. So I justify eating the cookie by just training harder.
You don’t need to sit on the treadmill for an hour, you can add the weight your lift, decrease your rest time, or hold the concentric hold longer.
I won’t be changing much this year through the holidays and just focusing on staying on the course. No fancy gimmicks. No stressing myself out. Just enjoying the time I have with my family and working towards my goals simultaneously.