Most people would consider it a success if they maintained their current body composition until 1/2/13. Imagine how awesome life would be if you could still be comfortable in those same pants/jeans/boardshorts/etc. 4 weeks from now! Here’s our unconventional Holiday Damage Control Strategy (copyright Laid-back Fitness, LLC. These views may not be shared without the express written consent…) to keep the beach body for the Frozen Clam:
No matter what they say, bank your calories!
I’m not picking on livestrong (well maybe a little) but I think this piece is a great example of how we are told to handle ourselves this month which, from what I’ve observed, hasn’t really proven to be an effective approach. The things that confuse me about their article are (best if read like fellow Rhode Islander Stewie Griffin):
- Cutting back on food slows my metabolism but when I eat a big meal it doesn’t speed up? So my metabolism is stuck in low gear? And my body tries to conserve energy in case of famine? After how long without food? Sometimes I eat dinner at 6pm so does that mean I should wake up in the middle of the night for a smart snack? And what does sleeping do to your metabolism? I’m pretty sure that’s when my metabolism is the lowest so should I avoid sleep if I want to keep it at a healthy high level?
- I will eat more at this party than I normally do if I go there hungry? So if I’m not hungry, I won’t eat more than normal at this party? And I’m likely to indulge if I’m hungry? So I won’t indulge if I’m not hungry? Well then how do they explain this piece of scientific evidence?
- So just eat 100-200 more calories than at a normal dinner? But what if the food is wicked good? What if the hostess made pate especially for me? And how do I respond when the food pushers ask me if I had their fill-in-the-blank dessert? Should I just hold firm and say I’m making the better choice? Does that mean that I am definitely that guy/gal?
- I’m still confused about starving. Is it an eating disorder if I eat less than normal or more than normal? What percentage of caloric intake deviation qualifies as signs of an eating disorder? I’m not trying to offend anyone here but the only eating disorder I think of when reading this article is food addiction; as in eating several times per day whether or not your body actually needs food. Food addiction is the real deal and this season is probably not the time to try to conquer it. However, there are ways to prevent exacerbation.
This year we recommend something a little different.
- If you’re going to eat and drink more than normal on a particular day, and you do not wish to gain weight, then eat and drink less than normal to prepare. This way you can enjoy yourself with the rest of the jolly folks since, if you’re willing to flirt with starvation, you’re going in on the lighter side. Then, after indulging, repeat undereating until your naked body looks the same.
- Schedule your workouts around the feasts. In a perfect world, you’d get a mean workout the day before or the day of the party. This will increase your precious metabolism for the next 24-48 hours. A fresh workout also leads to positive juice flow so you’re more likely (but not guaranteed) to make better decisions out there. In my experience, as long as the food pushers see me go for a full plate once or twice (or thrice), they’ll assume I’ve covered all items on the buffet table. They don’t know that with what can only be described as stealth-like tactics, I’m keeping it predominately primal.
- Go easy the day after. In the history of exercise, no personal records have ever been set with a holiday hangover. Get your easy activity in the next day. It’s fine to go long, but you’ll be disappointed if you try to go hard.
- Go hard two or three days after. Time to rev up that abused metabolism again! Doing a high quality worked in a (gasp) fasted state will likely bring you right back to your normal routine. Records may or may not be set on this day.
The visual evidence submitted below was taken on 1/1/12 (courtesy of Lisa Frechette Photography) after one of the best New Year’s Eve nights I’ve ever had. I would like the record to show this picture was not taken with my cell phone in the mirror and I’m breathing normally. The lighting is favorable but I can’t help that it was a beautiful day!
These workouts were performed shortly after. I think I’ll give this crazy idea another try.