Staying On Your Fitness GPS During Christmas

Stay on your Fitness GPS

The Christmas festivities are a glorious time of the year, but at the same time present challenges both to the scale and our waistlines! Many of you wish to lose weight or maintain your current figure without the definitive need for a Los Angeles personal trainer, and I intend to help. Most of these challenges are in the area of heavy calorie loaded foods at:

  • Staff Parties
  • Family Gatherings
  • Events

All of these events have a central theme of food associated with them, heavy, calorie laden, fattening foods. It is true that Christmas wouldn’t be set apart if it were not for the special food choices, with their wide array of mouthwatering tastes. The problem is that too many of us turn the occasion into an annual ‘ Gorgefest’, where they eat uncontrollably, without any conscious restraint.

The average American according to recent research gains between 5-10 pounds over the holiday season, which starts around Halloween and runs through New Year’s Day. During this time not only do most people dramatically increase their caloric consumption, but also due to the pressures of social demands, significantly reduce their time spent exercising.

After all the eating do you end up comatose on the couch… Sound familiar? Why not make this year different and at the same time enjoy?

Here are some ways to make a change:

1) – Commit to yourself to practice control

The idea of it’s only what you make it is never more apt than in the context of this time of year. By all means enjoy this special time, but you don’t need to eat to gluttony to enjoy the season. Commit to eat less and you can still enjoy the season.

2) – Plan a realistic diet during the holidays

Don’t set a plan that will be unrealistic to follow during the holidays, as this will set you up for failure and potential sabotage. Instead follow your food plan on the days that you can, such as the days that you don’t have social events, and enjoy in moderation on the days that you have a busy social calendar. This way you will maintain a healthy physical and emotional balance, instead of a roller- coaster.

3) – Plan for workouts early in the morning

It will be helpful to plan your workouts for early in the morning during the holiday season, as invariably as the day goes on family commitments and chores get in the way of your exercise routine. This will avoid the ” I don’t have time” approach that many of us turn into a convenience, which can all too easily turn into a month or two. By that time your fitness routine could have taken a sharp slump, or worse still ended completely. The idea is getting something in is better than none at all!

4) – Strategize ‘cheat days’

I recommend a ‘ cheat day’ on any fitness eating plan, as when on a calorie restricted diet for a while your body’s Leptin level decreases( the internal computer mechanism) of the body that tells it if it is full or not. By planning a cheat day you elevate those levels and when returning to your diet your metabolism will be stoked, hence burning calories at a higher level. Plan your ‘Cheat’ meal to be on the festive days, ie, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day etc, this way you can be on your program the rest of the week, hence enabling you to enjoy and stick to your fitness plan.

5) – Prioritize protein.

Reach for the protein first, as this will satisfy you without the need for excessive carbohydrates which can be fattening, and have empty calories, in other words no nutritional benefits. The idea here is to fill up on protein so you don’t want all the excess carbohydrates. This will help you not gain additional weight.

6) – Take specific supplements

There are specific supplements that can help you get through this period of indulgence with less impact on your fitness goals. Knowing the right ones to take at the right dosage can be of great help. The ones that i recommend are as follows:

  • Chromium Picolinate 200 / 500 mcg taken breakfast and lunch
  • Alpha Lipoic acid 300mg taken breakfast and lunch

Taken together they can aid in the absorption of insulin (energy) and carbohydrate. They aid in optimally storing and utilizing carbohydrates that are stored in the muscle as energy (glycogen). Chromium works to use carbohydrate, and Alpha Lipoic acid ensures that carbohydrates are pooled into the muscle as Glycogen, by emulating insulin. So take these and limit some of the effects of the holiday fare, but do not use them as a way to make gluttony okay! They are good as an aid but not a solution.

7) – Use the car less…walk

We have become overly dependent on the car at times choosing to drive even as short a distance as the corner store. Plan during these times to walk wherever you can. thereby burning some of the calories from the holiday fare. Think of it this way… enjoy the journey!

8) – Use discernment with your choices

When we visit friends and family we have no power over what they serve (buffet style) more often at this time of year, but we do have the power of what we put in our mouths. Take a look at the fare on offer, and select anything freshly prepared, such as salads, vegetables, and lean poultry or fish. Make a special effort to avoid items, with white creamy sauces, cheese, potato, or any white carbohydrates. If you do reach for any of these items practice willpower, as you have choice.

9) – Alcohol in moderation

Alcohol contains a lot of calories from sugar, so limit it’s consumption. There will be all the holiday drinks, cocktails and mixed drinks on offer, but instead opt for small glasses of wine, as they are lower in sugar, hence calories.

10) – Stay hydrated

Keep your water consumption up at this time of year, as all the alcohol will dehydrate you and make you feel tired. Drinking about 100 ounces per day will leave you feeling great and at the same time feeling fuller so you will have less need to gorge on all the heavy foods.

11) – Defer Thoughts To Overeat

THere will be many temptations for your to eat more of all those high calorie fun foods, cakes, macaroni cheese, heavy buttery sauces etc. People will be throwing them at you, as they want to feel good that others are also being gluttonousā€¦ misery loves misery, but in this particular case gluttony loves gluttony. Just because someone else is doing it doesn’t mean you need to breakdown! Use your self=control, and if you don’t have any start now!!!

Make this the year that you commit to taking care of yourself and be the driver of your human fitness GPS, and not give the wheel to someone else who will drive your plans off the road! Email me and make me a promise that you will enjoy the rideā€¦ I challenge you to email me your daily ‘food log’, and i promise to review it and get back to you.


If you are in the Los Angeles area and you would like a complimentary one-on-one assessment with Personal Trainer in L.A. Nicholas Barrett, please don't hesitate to get in touch! Personal trainer Los Angeles. Los Angeles personal trainer. Personal trainer marina del rey.