Christmas Fitness Survival Guide | Team Fighting Fit

Christmas Fitness Survival Guide

Sticking to your health goals this Christmas can be tricky but this guide aims to help you enjoy the festive period whilst helping you stay on track with your fitness goals!

The average British person consumes a massive 7000 calories on Christmas day. This is almost more than 3 times the recommended amount for most people and if  you’re trying to stay fit and healthy or lose body fat, Christmas day can be a bit of a challenge for most of us.

This is why I’ve put together a quick Christmas Survival guide to help you get enjoy Christmas day whilst not denting your chances at sticking to your health and fitness related goals.

According to research, the average Christmas meal is 1450 calories. That’s the Turkey and the trimmings minus the dessert. Add to that a day of festive cheer including copious amounts of mince pies, nuts, cake and of course, alcohol and you can soon see why you’re piling up the calories and the pounds on one day.

But it doesn’t have to be that way and I’m not saying you have to “go monk” and hide in a corner and be miserable whilst everyone else enjoys themselves either but it will require a few changes and a bit of discipline to see through the day and enjoy yourself without damaging your diet.

Here are a few things you can do:

Treat your Christmas day meal as a cheat meal and the day as a refeed day. This means throughout the week leading to Christmas day, you manage your caloric intake of what you need to hit, target wise, and drop no more than 500 calories a few days leading up to Christmas and, allowing you a calorie surplus on Christmas day as a “Refeed” (this still means you have to track your calories and ensure you’re eating as cleanly as possible)

Stick to your macros:- You can still enjoy a few festive nibbles and naughty treats, just ensure you’re sticking to your macros for the day. Keep your My Fitness Pal app on your phone or any other calorie tracking app, including TEAM FIGHTING FIT”s Own fitness app handy to keep score throughout the day and make sure you’re within your quota. Again, apps on your phone can be really useful for this.

Exercise and move:– Yes, the gyms may be shut on Christmas day but there’s no reason you can’t stay active. Start your day with some training and exercise in mind and keep active throughout the day. It’s tempting to have a heavy meal and do some traditional coach surfing but move about more, go door to door singing Christmas carols if you have to! (joke!)

Ensure you’re digestive system is on point:- There are a lot of goodies on offer on Christmas day and the combination and mish mash of foods in large quantities can really do a number on your digestion. It’s important therefore to ensure that you’re eating well. Before your main meal or before you venture off to a function, have a greens drink or a green smoothie to give you a boost. Eat in moderation too and eat processed foods and sweets in moderation. Stick to the turkey and veggies and you’ll be fine.

Ease up on the Alcohol:- Christimas is a time to celebrate and often, when there are family get togethers, there’s alcohol involved however, alcohol serves little to no purpose nutritionally so don’t go overboard on it

Burn 7000 calories!:- If you’re going to go all out on Christmas and avoid the advice above then the only saving grace you have is to burn the 7000 calories! Okay this one may sound crazy because it would take almost 3 marathons for the average 150lbs person to burn that much… that’s a lot of exercise!

The trick is to pace this over a period of  the 7 days leading up to Christmas. Now a word of warning here, this is a lot of calories to lose so you’ll need to supplement your diet to minimise the muscle loss you may experience. Put it this way, you’re going to know what a fighter feels like on the week cutting weight up till the weigh in before fight night.

So, how do you burn the extra 1000 calories a day?
Here are some tips:

Walk! You burn approximately .57 calories for every lbs of bodyweight per mile you walk, Therefore, if you’re 150lbs, you’ll burn 85 calories for every mile you walk. Most phones now have built in pedometers that can help you track how many steps and calories you burn anyway so utilise that to help bump up your calorie burn!

Exercise:-  A no brainer but if you add 5 miles total walking (very easy, it all adds up especially if you walk instead of take the car over short distances), you’ll burn 427 calories. Now, add a typical workout which burns about 500 calories to the day, then you’re well on your way to 1000 calories without even dropping your calories via food! Make sure if you’re doing any intense working out or weight training that you’re supplementing with a BCAA supplement during and post workout to minimise muscle loss. Adding a Leucine supplement will also help. Keep the training short and intense during this week, long steady state cardio for example will burn calories but will also run the risk of putting you in a catabolic state, a shorter but intense workout, say a couple of sets of tabatas or a giant set of weights will ramp up your metabolic rate.

Cut the carbs during this week, make sure that you’re getting now more than 20% of your calories from carbs during this week with the bulk of those coming during and post workout.

Now, On Christmas day, you’ll be able to “Refeed” your body the calories you need and your body will be more sensitive to insulin meaning you’ll handle your carbs better.

The other way you can minimise the damage on Christmas Day is to just be sensible. Don’t overeat, yes, treat Christmas Lunch as a cheat meal but don’t go crazy!

Here’s a sample daily 2000 calorie and 2500 calorie Christmas meal plan that’s easy to follow and allows a few treats too!

2000 Calories

 

Breakfast
Serving Cals Carbs Fat Prot
Whole Egg
2
144 0 10 12
Coconut Oil
1 Tsp
39 0 5 0
Smoked Salmon
1 Serving
102 0 6 13
 TOTAL
285
0
21
25

 

Pre Lunch Green Smoothie Serving Cals Carbs Fat Prot
Spinach, Raw
1 1/2 cup
10 2 0 1
Raw Kale
1 cup
8 1 0 1
Whey Protein Powder
1 scoop
100 0 0 25
Almond Milk, Vanilla Unsweetened
240ml
5 0 0 0
Blueberries
1 cup
80 19 0 1
Organic Wholemilk Natural Live Bio Yogurt
1/5 pot
76 6 4 4
TOTAL
279
28
4
32

 

Christmas Lunch Serving Cals Carbs Fat Prot
Turkey Gravy
8 Tbsp
61 6 3 3
Roasted Turkey Breast
1 Breast
125 0 2 26
Sage & Onion Stuffing
1 Ball
72 15 1 2
Cooked Brussels Sprouts (With Salt)
6
48 6 0 6
Parsnips, Cooked, Boiled, Drained, With Salt
2
110 26 0 2
Mince Pies
1
232 35 9 2
Cranberry Sauce
1 Serving
67 7 0 0
 TOTAL
715
95
15
41

 

Snack Serving Cals Carbs Fat Prot
Satsuma
2
80 18 0 2
 TOTAL
80
18
0
2

 

Dinner:
It’s common to eat left overs at dinner time too. The key here is to keep the carbs low, stick to the turkey breast if possible and not to go crazy or have dessert. I’ve included a glass of red wine here for you too!

Dinner
Serving Cals Carbs Fat Prot
Turkey Gravy
8 Tbsp
61 6 3 3
Roasted Turkey Breast
1 Breast
125 0 2 26
Cooked Brussels Sprouts (With Salt)
8
64 8 0 8
Red Wine
5 Floz
125 5 0 0
 TOTAL
375
19
5
37

 

Snack 2 Serving Cals Carbs Fat Prot
Mixed Nuts Regular
1 handful
170 5 15 6
Whey Protein Powder
1 Scoop
100 0 0 25
Almond Milk, Vanilla Unsweetened 240ml 5 0 0 0
 TOTAL
275
5
15
31

Totals:

Calories:                    1992
Carbs:                         165g
Fat:                              61g
Protein:                     167g

 

Of course, adjust the calories according to your goals but, in all honesty, don’t get too hung up about it. The reality of the situation is it’s just one day. As long as you don’t go too crazy, you can enjoy yourself and call it your cheat meal. My personal opinion on the reality of the situation is that it’s not so much Christmas day that’s the cause of most people’s weight gain but the whole festive period. We’re off work, we’re out of routine and we have a lot of family get togethers, parties and just let our hair down and with thoughts of the new year looming in our minds, we often make the excuse to ourselves, “I’ll get back on it in the new year” – The bottom line and take home message is really to be sensible about things.

 

We would like to wish you a very merry Christmas and happy new year and would like to offer you a chance to work with us in the New Year to really help you achieve your goals. As a bonus, if you mention this blog, we’ll give you FREE training for the remainder of December including a full consultation to help you get a head start on your goals.

All you have to do is get in touch with us either via email, phone or though our booking form (click the big button at the beginning of this article or click here) and mention that you’ve read this article!

Let’s make 2016 the year you get lean!

About the Author

Hi, I am Fahad and I am passionate about fitness, combat sports and personal development. I have combined those three things with my mission of helping people live kick ass lives and created Team Fighting Fit. A training program and community to help you achieve your goals in half the time!

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