‘Tis the season for caloric surplus’, turkey comas’ and overeating. Josh talks about the festive season, and how you can eat what you want this holiday season and but not put on the Holiday 15.

Get Yourself out of B.E.D

Binge Eating Disorder, aka B.E.D, has grown over the last 5-10 years due to yoyo, crash, and restrictive dieting. If you are on a diet program that advocates banning whole food groups for long periods of time, this is not sustainable and only promotes you to go over the edge mentally until you feel physically ill. The problem with B.E.D is that you have a huge amount of guilt afterward, so you must be very careful in how you approach any restrictive diet program.

Also remember that sugar isn’t poisonous or toxic. Rather, it’s the amount of sugars and fats that become an issue. If you overdo anything there is a side effect. For example, if you overwork, you get rundown. If you eat too much protein, you get gas.

Fully Festive Flexible Dieting

Josh suggests you take time to set up your macronutrient intake. If you know you have a party coming up, then all you need to do is look at the week’s total calories from Monday to Sunday. If you ensure that you are meeting your maintenance calories by Sunday, then you won’t gain any weight over the course of that week. This does not, however, mean you should save all your calories for one day and starve yourself for six days.

So for example, if your party is on Friday night, then you can eat at maintenance (2,000 cals.) Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. On Thursday, drop your calories by 500-750 by either reducing your food or cardio. Friday you can consume 2,500 calories, which is allowing yourself an extra 500 calories. This is a healthier option, and socially much more fun than gnawing on a stick of celery in the corner of the party.

Josh also recommends A Guide To Flexible Dieting by Lyle McDonald. This will help you realize the science behind flexible dieting and why it works well. Look at your week, Monday through Sunday and plan it out to be 2,000 calories a day, 7 days a week. Therefore, your total calories would be 14,000 per week.

Bah Humbug: Don’t Be a Boring Bugger! 

If you can’t enjoy the festive period with your family and relax over the Christmas period, then you are failing at life!  It should be a well-rounded sphere, including social activities, your environment, health, training, and nutrition.

Josh asks if you would be willing to sacrifice a 2-3lb gain over the month of December in order to have a fantastic time. Or would you prefer to stay shredded, lean, be miserable, and the most un-liked person at the Christmas dinner table with your clean foods? It’s your choice, but I’m sure you know which is the right choice.

Also, don’t forget to include alcohol into your caloric intake. Beer and football go quite well together. We get it. But, that beer could be 300-500 calories a bottle. That will eat right through any left over your calorie surplus.

Could You Out-Train Your Christmas Diet?

To a certain extent, of course you can! There are some styles of training that maximize the amount of calories we burn, giving us more wiggle room with the foods we eat. Josh recommends doing 30-40 minute full body, high repetition and energy circuit training sessions using every muscle group. A good guide is one minute on and 30 sec off of 5-6 exercises involving pulling, pushing, jumping, lunging, body weight calisthenics, press-ups, mountain climbers, and cardio movements, like sprints or rowing.

If you are going to be eating a lot, then do 40-50 minute circuit sessions so you can burn the most calories to put you in a deficit.

HIIT Training

Remember that the muscle equals metabolism. The more muscle we have, the more calories we burn at rest per hour, and the more calories we can eat. If you are getting extra calories, then the following day you should be able to maximize your strength.

‘Shunting’ is a program of a lower body exercise followed by an upper body exercise and repeated. The Spartan 300 workout is a famous shunting program that Josh reckons everyone should try at least once in his or her life.

Another high intensity style is Tabata. These are 20 seconds on and 10 seconds off for 8 rounds and totaling 4 minutes. You can do kettle bell swings for the full 4 minutes, or choose 8 exercises and swap every round. Josh likes to do 4 exercises with 4 minutes on each exercise, such as air squats, press ups, sprints and burpees. You don’t need to go to the gym for this workout as you can do it at home, however, be aware thermogenesis if you choose to train outside in the snow.

You may also want to consider Fartleck training, which consists of randomized intervals with no structure, e.g. 1 minute of fast running, 30 sec of uphill walking, 20 sec of sprints, and a 2 minute jog. Change as you feel fit.

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