‘Tis the season to be moderate…
The festive season is upon us, and all the hard work you’ve put in during the year is now about to pay off – you get to rock that beach body on the shores, strut the city street in shorts or parade around the pool in #LivingYourBestLife style. Yip, cranking up the fitness and making up for 2020 was the name of the game, and you rocked it… Or…. You didn’t. No ‘level-ups’ for you this year; it just wasn’t a priority- we get that – so your beach bod and dad bod are one and the same… Wherever you’re at, this one’s for you.
One of the biggest fears we have at this time is that of losing all we have worked for throughout the year all while missing out on the season’s festivities… that glorious the tension between, “YOLO Dec vibes: sleep, eat, dance, repeat” and “a moment on the lips, forever on the hips”. We dread the few extra kilos but don’t want to be “that guy” who scoffs plates of ‘clean veggies’ at the staff year-end. So, how do we prevent this?
Look, I am a realist – so let’s just be real here for a minute – unless you’re a professional athlete, who’s competing over the festive season and needs to be at your peak at all times, then cut yourself some slack. Enjoy your festive season, live your life, and enjoy all this holiday.
HAVE that bowl of creamy pasta, enjoy the draft and chicken strips, indulge in that sneaky late-night chocolate and before bed… but I say, do it all moderately.
Remember, if you are not training as much as you usually would, and if you are going to consume copious amounts of everything you see, you will undoubtedly gain weight. Remember calories in VS calories out. It’s pretty simple and vital to keep in mind over this period. The reverse is also true – undereating for fear of those extra kgs puts your body into starvation mode and boom – weight gain. So how do we find the balance?
Ideally, you would want to pick one meal in the day that would be your “moderation meal”. This is the bigger or more indulgent meal that allows you to enjoy any events, functions or treats that’s on offer. Some people may call it a “cheat meal”. I personally don’t like this lingo – this sounds as if you’re doing something wrong – but food is not the enemy – food is fuel. We don’t want to start a negative association for your brain and body labelling good and bad foods that need to be ‘punished’ with exercise. Let’s leave the naughty and nice list for Santa, okay?
Try getting your “moderation meal” in either with breakfast or lunch; this is so your body can burn the energy during the day instead of having it at dinner, where it may store some of this energy instead of using it efficiently. Some heavier foods also take longer to digest, meaning your sleep patterns may be affected. Instead of doing all its molecular processes like replenishing cells, storing memories, and ridding toxins, it’s now having to work hard to break down your meal.
Sometimes we get so swept up by our holiday and festive commitments that some of us forget to eat. DON’T forget to eat. Preparation here is your best friend: get snacks if need be or, even better, drink your favourite recovery milk (which is super convenient when you are on the go, yay HPR). “But if I don’t eat, won’t I then be in caloric deficit? Isn’t that a good thing?” Not like this, it isn’t. Not eating makes your body think food is scarce; it goes into survival mode and pushes up cortisol levels. This, in turn, ends up causing your body to store anything you eat and not use the fuel but rather conserve it for survival. So, eat, please.
When you do jump on the excess bandwagon, it’s okay, don’t throw out 30 days because 4 weren’t good. Add more walking to your trip if you’re sightseeing and try to get as close to 30 min a day of exercise in – there are so many free online resources.
If December really goes pear-shaped (excuse the pun), intermittent fasting is a good way to shed some extra kilos – check out this link for the 101: https://recoverymilk.co.za/2021/04/13/intermittent-fasting-health-benefits-fact-or-fiction/
Here are some extra pointers when planning your holiday meals:
- Make sure your portions are reasonably sized and at least half your plate is low cal veggies or salad.
- Enjoy a nice big glass of water 30 minutes before your main meal, and definitely a good deal of H20 before drinking alcohol. Let your food settle and digest before drinking, as alcohol causes malabsorption.
- Increase your lean protein. You will most likely lose some muscle when not consistently training – this is normal. Try to prevent too much loss by using this holiday calculation tool: current weight x 1.5g of protein = daily macro goal.
(So, if I weigh 60kgs: 60 x 1.5 = 90g of protein is needed per day. With HPR coming in at 21gs, I’m well on my way to achieving this.)
- Drink lots of water throughout the day. We recommend at least three litres a day to stay hydrated, assist with fat loss, retain lean muscle, and help other metabolic processes in the body. Water is NB.
It is undeniable that one of your travel buddies should be your favourite recovery milk; pair that with a great pair of plakkies, and you’re ready to roll.
Bottom line: Moderation.
Enjoy and live life to the fullest ❤ See you on the other side.
HPR is loaded with everything that’s good for you to push through your own limits again and again. Often the difference between good performance and average performance has to do with how you fuel your body and help your body recover. HPR helps you to Push Past Possible.