As the holiday seasons are in full swing, many of us may be feeling a little guilty after we have consumed a few more calories than what we would have liked to. We just finished up with Thanksgiving, and I for one am one of those people who threw out the calorie counting for the day. Am I guilty? Many of you would think so, but I am not. It is only a few days out of the year, to where I actually let my nutrition plan fall to the side and just coast throughout the day, snacking and eating whatever I want. The flip side of the story is this: I relatively eat clean throughout the year, and am very dedicated to sticking to my nutrition plan hands down. I do occasionally enjoy my cheat meals and sometimes have more than what I usually allow myself to have. There is nothing wrong with this at all, we are all human!
The whole key here is to stay consistent. I would definitely feel guilty at this time, if I were getting ready for a bodybuilding show or some sort of competition, but since I am currently not in contest prep, there is no guilt that is hovering over me. Now, don’t get me wrong, if you are planning on reaching a specific goal or are in the process of transforming your current physique, then yes you will have to bring a strong mental focus around these times of the year to stay on track. It really all depends on what you have going on in your life. The #1 priority is to ALWAYS keep your goals ahead of everything else, which includes your stomach. Once you reach your goals, and are comfortable where you are physically, then and only then would I loosen the reigns a bit on the nutrition scale. We don’t want to let all of our hard work and sacrifice be thrown away.
For the most part, our two largest holidays are Thanksgiving and Christmas. They are four weeks apart from each other. That should be enough time to still maintain your current measurements and still make a few gains along the way. Could it become a set back by sabotaging your eating habits for a day or two? Sure, depending on how you look at it. Remember that this is a marathon and not a sprint. You will be able to still hit your goals, it just might take a little longer. Will the addition of a bountiful amount of calories offset all of your hard work? Not necessarily. You are still incorporating these calories into your normal daily caloric intake, and still working hard in the gym with cardio and weights. Yes, you might have to work a little harder in the gym, or do a little more cardio than what you normally do, or even throw in an extra cardio session here or there, but it is all workable. Society uses the holiday season as an excuse to slack on their eating habits. “Everyone gains weight around the holidays”, is a common line used. We do not need to fall into this pitfall. The holiday season is not an all you can eat buffet. The holidays are only two days throughout the year, it is not two full months of overindulging!!
Many people make the mistake of killing their nutrition plans when the holidays start to roll around. Then they fall into the trap of just waiting until the New Year to start over. This definitely spells “Doom” for any of the gains one has made; as well as delivers a knockout punch to their motivation of sticking to a game plan. In all honesty it is ok to cheat and have cheat meals, and let go a bit; however, when you are looking at the “Big Picture” of personal goals and competitions, you need to stay focused. It really is all about giving and taking, and knowing how much you can fall off the wagon before you start causing more harm than good. We all need to reset our nutritional clocks at times, but we need to not overdo it as well. Plan and come to grips on what you believe you can manage to offset during your holiday meals and stick with that. By following a systematic approach to this, you can survive the holiday rush, and still be happy while you indulge in your favorite holiday treats. Until then…
About the Author
Michael Klamut was the 2011 Lean Body Challenge Grand Champion. Mike is a United States Air Force veteran (1997-2001) who works as a Radiologic Technologist (X-Ray Tech) during the day, and is a busy husband and father of two during the night. Mike entered his first bodybuilding competition and took 1st place in his Novice weight class (Middleweight) and Novice Overall. He takes great pride in helping others with their fitness goals and hopes to inspire and motivate everyone he comes into contact with. Mike is looking forward to helping all Labrada Nutrition fans reach their personal goal(s) and hopes to help them conquer any obstacle(s) that stands in their way. You can visit Mike Klamut’s website at: http://michaelklamut.wix.com/klamutfitness