5 Strategies for Beating the Holiday Binge
Get ready folks, Thanksgiving is imminent and holiday party season is just around the corner. Cookies, finger foods, desserts, and more are waiting in ambush. Running the gauntlet of holiday meals and parties can be daunting, but if you prepare correctly, you won't wake up on January 2nd, 2016, filled with regret.
Did you know that the average person on Thanksgiving consumes approximately 4,500 calories? Given the quality of many of those calories, that’s a recipe for failure when it comes to progressing toward your physique and performance goals. Even worse, a busier schedule means less planning and more chaos, which in turn can lead to missed or skipped workouts. This article will attempt to identify some potential areas where you can get knocked off track and how to anticipate them and work around them.
Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail
We’ve all seen it. You get to the gym between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, and you’ve got the place to yourself. Where’d everybody go? Don’t be a no-show! Map your day out ahead of time and schedule in a workout time. Even if you only have 30 minutes at the gym, an intense workout targeted at one body part or even a fast-paced resistance training circuit that targets major muscle groups and utilizes compound movements will sustain growth and keep you lean.
Consistency is a key element of your workout regimen. Completed workouts keep you energized and focused on your goals. Skipped workouts lead to mental fuzziness and compromises in other areas of your life. Got an office party on your weeknight calendar? A six pm workout will put you in the right frame of mind. Big holiday meal with your in-laws this weekend? Move your cardio to Sunday morning. You’ll have added incentive to keep to the straight and narrow. Every clean meal, every successful hour in the gym, is another link in the chain of success. Don’t break the chain!
Have We Mentioned Quality Workouts?
Once you make it to the gym or get your shoes laced up, you should be amped up and ready to go. Don’t let those rest periods linger! Even if you’re circuit training with machines, use any down time in transit by adding some challenging lunges (with dumbbells), push presses or dynamic push-ups to your routine. Same thing goes for a cardio workout, obviously. We know you’re not just pounding out 30 minutes on the bike or treadmill, but make sure to bring maximum burst to short intervals with one minute at max intensity and one minute at a lighter intensity. While no one can ‘out-exercise’ a night (or several nights) of eating and drinking, sticking to your workout routine is an excellent way to make you feel better and stay focused on your long-term goals.
Go Into Damage Control Mode
Since you’ve already knocked out a workout and had a small snack, you shouldn’t have ravenous hunger. Regardless, remember that protein is your ally in a party or social dining setting. Protein is thermogenic, meaning that simply digesting it burns more calories. Protein is also more satiating, which means it will help you feel full and minimize the amount of calories you eat. And finally, protein is anabolic and helps to maintain fat-free mass. Thus, once you arrive at the party, try to start off with lean cuts of meat that are high in protein and go find the raw vegetables, cheese and hummus.
Oh, and if you do over-consume, rest assured that you won’t just "burn it off tomorrow." Don’t believe me? Then consider this: if running at 7 mph burns 16 calories per minute, you would need to run a little over an hour to burn 1,000 calories. And 1,000 calories at a party is nothing, especially if you are eating and drinking. One mixed drink and three cookies and you are already pushing 500 calories!
Employ Supplementary Countermeasures
Parties are cruel environments when it comes to the average person who is trying to lose weight. Research has shown that after drinking as little as one or two empty-calorie beverages, your intake of food goes up by 300 to 400 calories (Caton, Bate, and Hetherington 2007). And it gets worse as you drink more (no shocker there) (Caton et al. 2004).
Of course, you’re not the average person. For the serious athlete, “pre-gaming” has an entirely different meaning than it might have for the general population. Clean eating to stave off cravings is the name of the game for you. When getting ready, make a point of having a small, healthy meal consisting of some fresh fruit with some peanut butter, trail mix or combine these with a protein shake made a little thicker than usual. Protein drives satiety, and it supports muscle tissue.
Protein Is Your Best Dietary Friend
A high-quality whey protein product like NytroWhey® Ultra Elite will leave your hunger satisfied with the highest-quality protein (including absolutely NO cheap whey concentrates, sugars and other fillers). NytroWhey Ultra Elite’s ultra growth-factor-rich Cross Flow Microfiltration (CFM) Whey Protein Isolate provides maximum bioavailability and spurs elevated blood amino acid levels for hours, while its TherMAX Hydrolyzed Whey Protein Isolate is designed to flood aminos into the bloodstream immediately upon ingestion. A third component, Leuvon™ Leucine Peptides, is an advanced technology designed to enhance digestibility and utilization of leucine, a primary biological trigger for extreme anabolism.
If you’re entering the holiday season with fat loss on your mind, you owe it to yourself to check out Vectron® by ProSource. This unique fat-loss, muscle-supporting protein matrix contains a key active ingredient, a weight management system called Prolibra®, that has been validated in independent clinical testing. Indeed, when Prolibra® was put to the test in the form of a research study that was published in the journal Nutrition and Metabolism, the results were phenomenal. Each study participant was instructed to reduce their caloric intake by 500 calories per day and consume either two doses of Prolibra® or two doses of placebo over a 12-week study period using a double-blind approach (Frestedt et al. 2008). Both groups lost weight as a result of restricting their calories, but the study participants who were taking Prolibra® lost significantly more fat when compared to control participants. Not only was there more fat lost, but individuals taking Prolibra® also maintained muscle mass more efficiently. For fat loss and targeted muscle support, ProSource Vectron® is an indispensable tool that should be at the top of your holiday “must have” list.
Another good option for those of you pressed for the time required to eat cleanly is an extended release protein product with plenty of micellar casein content, like ProSource’s NytroPlex-GF. NytroPlex supplies muscle tissue with a long-lasting, high-quality stream of aminos that will keep anabolism stoked while you’re going from work to holiday shopping to socializing. Micellar casein is a high-quality milk protein that is known to digest much slower than whey protein, and NytroPlex, with its tremendous 56-gram dose of protein (also including plenty of whey and egg albumin) will help you feel full.
Regardless of whether you choose lean cuts of meat, a protein supplement or a combination of the two, you know you are filling your belly with a quality nutrition that has been shown to help stimulate increases in resting energy expenditure (especially as compared to showing up at the party with an empty stomach) (Hackney, Bruenger, and Lemmer 2010). Don’t arrive hungry to the party!
Power Up With a Thermogenic
Energy crashes lead to binge eating! One of the reasons you’re even considering wolfing down that sprinkle-covered Christmas tree cookie (which you won’t enjoy anyway) is because your energy levels are flagging after a day of on-the-go activity without proper rest or nutrition. A modern-day thermogenic like BioQuest's BetaStax® Elite contains premium-grade energy factors to help increase energy expenditure, increase your vitality and focus while also keeping your appetite under control. BetaStax Elite also contains a matrix of diet-support ingredients including one, PureWay-Slim®, which has been shown in a comparison of clinical studies to achieve more weight-loss in two weeks than other leading weight-loss compounds achieved in eight weeks.
The holidays are intended to be fun and enjoyable. As they approach, arm yourself with a proper mindset and a strategy to help minimize the empty calories you consume while maximizing the quality of your workouts. Be a diligent planner and stay ahead of the chaos, get in high-quality workouts, eat clean, and adopt a damage control mindset when tempted by tasty party treats.
Read more about NytroWhey® Ultra Elite.
Read more about ProSource Vectron®.
Read more about ProSource NytroPlex-GF.
Read more about BetaStax Elite.
Caton, S. J., M. Ball, A. Ahern, and M. M. Hetherington. 2004. "Dose-dependent effects of alcohol on appetite and food intake." Physiol Behav 81 (1):51-8. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2003.12.017.
Caton, S. J., L. Bate, and M. M. Hetherington. 2007. "Acute effects of an alcoholic drink on food intake: aperitif versus co-ingestion." Physiol Behav 90 (2-3):368-75. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2006.09.028.
Hackney, K. J., A. J. Bruenger, and J. T. Lemmer. 2010. "Timing protein intake increases energy expenditure 24 h after resistance training." Med Sci Sports Exerc 42 (5):998-1003. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e3181c12976.
Leidy, H. J., and E. M. Racki. 2010. "The addition of a protein-rich breakfast and its effects on acute appetite control and food intake in 'breakfast-skipping' adolescents." Int J Obes (Lond) 34 (7):1125-33. doi: 10.1038/ijo.2010.3.
Use as directed with a sensible diet and exercise program that includes reduced caloric intake and increased physical activity. Consult a health care professional before beginning any weight loss program. Read and follow all product label instructions and warnings thoroughly before use. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease
The articles featured herein are for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Specific medical advice should only be obtained from a licensed health care professional. No liability is assumed by ProSource for any information herein.