How to avoid holiday season weight gain

You’ve worked hard all year, you’ve dieted, eaten carefully, and trained your legs off. You’re a lean, mean, cycling machine. So, now that it’s the holiday season you feel sure you can eat and drink as much as you like and you’ll be fine? No?

Starting the beginning of the New Year, carrying an extra few kilograms is sure to dampen your motivation, so, it therefore makes sense, to minimise any weight gain over the holidays. It’s much easier to gain weight than it is to lose it, so use these tips to try and prevent weight gain.

Don’t not see friends and family. Being an endurance athlete is hard enough as it takes up lots of time. So now the holidays are here connect with people and have a great time.

1)   Try and work out as frequently as possible. If you don’t have time for a long bike ride, then a shortish turbo trainer session will be great. If you don’t have time for the turbo trainer, go for a quick walk or run/jog (presuming you already run, don’t just randomly start running), do some strength work. In short any exercise will be brilliant – it’ll keep your metabolism revved up, your fitness won’t be eroded, and your burning energy.

2)   If you’re at a party you can still eat (and drink), but don’t stand near the food, or bar – as this will encourage you to keep eating or drinking

3)   Looks for healthy food – look for crudités and similar – you can eat as much of the raw veg as you want! Try to avoid foods that are laden with fat and sugars

4)   Alcoholic drinks contain significant amounts of calories, additionally they’re also quite easy to consume, and drinking too much will not only add on extra calories, it’s likely it’ll mess up training the next day if you have a hangover! Alternate your drinks with something low calorie such as sparkling water! Try drinking two glasses of water for every alcoholic drink you have.

5)   If there’s a buffet there – fill your plate with plenty of veggies and fruit; aim to cover 50% of the plate this way. Do not go back for seconds!

Before you go out, make sure

1)   You’ve eaten sensibly so that you are not hungry. If you’re hungry, and/or stressed it’s much more likely you’ll eat way too much. Ensure you have plenty of whole grains, and fibre rich foods which will curb your appetite

2)   Make sure you’ve done some exercise

3)   Drink plenty of water

I like to keep in mind an 80:20 rule. That is, for 80% of the time I try to eat normally, and healthily. 20% of the time I can let loose a little and indulge (even I like a bit of chocolate occasionally).

Most of all though, have a good time with friends and family, try to do some training and come back refreshed and ready to kick some butt!

Have a great time!

Health, Nutrition, OtherRichard Stern