By Scott Markey | Get Fit
I would like to give our readers some tips to get you through this holiday season.
As you know, getting through the holiday season and sticking to your diet and training goals can be somewhat daunting with Christmas and New Year’s right around the corner, especially with all of your company and work-related events, holiday parties, and social functions.
Here are a few tips that will help you get through it with success:
• Drink plenty of water. Muscle is comprised of 70 percent of it. Also, the more of it you drink, the less water your body will hold on to, and the healthier you will be.
• Watch your sugar intake. Limit sodium as well, especially the ladies, as this will cause subcutaneous (water beneath your skin) swelling and blur definition. Also, when your body holds onto water due to water retention it may appear as fat, when in fact it can just be several pounds of water.
• Stick with high protein foods (as best you can). The carbohydrates will always be plentiful this time of year, so fill up on proteins first, and you will consume less carbohydrates and fats.
• Make the best choices. Training is only 25 percent of the battle; the other 75 percent is nutrition. You can train hard, but without proper nutrition you’re not going to be able to accomplish your goals.
• Protein, as I have said time and time again, is a must for those looking to add quality muscle to their frame, as well as for losing body fat.
• Carbohydrates are essential to fuel your muscle cells and your workouts. Carbohydrates allow glycogen stores to be replenished, therefore giving you more energy for your workouts and helping you recover from them as well.
• Good Fats! Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are your ally. The use of good fats can increase the absorption of protein. Sources for such EFAs can be found in fresh fish, nuts, and oils (flaxseed, olive, etc,). Olive oil happens to be a favorite of mine, due to its taste.
• If your goal is to lose fat and retain your hard-earned muscle, shoot for no more than two pounds a week of weight loss; any more and you may end up burning muscle.
Consistency in your diet and workouts is of the utmost importance. Take baby steps, and you will not fail.
Try to remember everyone that the holidays come and go. So there is nothing wrong with indulging a little bit. After all, it is the one time of year you can enjoy it. Before you know it, they will be over, and you can get right back to your strict and precise training and dieting regimen.
—Scott Markey has over 25 years in the fitness and health industry. He has graced dozens of magazine covers and specializes in physique management, training and nutritional consultation. You can find him on Facebook or reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.