Beat the Holiday Binge

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For physique-minded folks, the holidays present a month full of body-fat sabotaging obstacles. Combine holiday party food grandeur and a house stocked with readily available cookies and candies and you might very well have yourself a merry little holiday belly. The egg nog beckons us all.

But we can celebrate without the anxious notion that our abs are kaput if we enjoy a bit of caloric indulgence. All we need are a few strategies to nutritionally survive the holidays. Behold your Holiday Physique Survival Guide.

Train Hard Before You Eat Heavily
We lifting folk are creatures of habit. Routine defines our iron evolution. But body-composition success may require that you rearrange your schedule until we've breached the cusp of the New Year. Let's plan our hardest workouts for the days we'll eat the most.

Take out your calendar and mark your holiday calorie fests. With these occasions in mind, plot out your training for the rest of the month, landing your highest volume workouts on these days, preferably within the three-hour window before wreaking havoc on the hors d'oeurves.

High volume and high intensity training promotes insulin sensitivity, especially in the few-hour window following the session. Increase insulin sensitivity and you'll put the normally damning extra calories to good use building muscle and recovering rather than accumulating excess fat.

I know it seems a daunting task. Good luck telling your significant other, "honey, film the kids opening the presents while I fire off some squats in the garage." The situations are never optimal, but with a bit of planning we can make the best of the circumstances.

Enjoy a Super Shake before Parties
Entering parties as a ravenous bull in a china shop chock full of treats is bad form. Nobody wants to entertain a platter-wrecking bovine in a reindeer sweater. Beyond the social pressures, being hungry at holiday gatherings certainly leads to a path of overindulgence. It's an easily solved problem: leave the house somewhat satiated.

Grab your blender, throw in a handful of mixed, frozen berries, drop in a half-handful of nuts, add in one or two scoops of ProSource NytroWhey Ultra Elite, heave in a handful of spinach or kale, and finish with enough coconut milk to cover the rest of the ingredients. You've just created an appetite-thwarting, holiday success shake.

Super shakes lend us a satiating opportunity to consume solid nutrition before being tempted by treats. The high-quality protein matrix contained in NytroWhey Ultra Elite will do a lot more than fill you up, too. It's Leucine-Bound Leucine-Peptide matrix will be maximizing the anabolic window you (hopefully) just opened with a vigorous workout, while its state-of-the-art whey isolate and whey hydrolysates will cover your muscle-support priorities even as you snack on holiday delicacies without jamming your GI tract with dough, sugar and shame.

Notice that the shake described is high protein, low carb and medium fat. The protein and fat help with satiety while leaving room for you to have some carbs at your holiday fiesta.

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Another Potent Protein Option
[Editor's Note: Speaking of protein strategies for beating the holiday bulge, ProSource's Vectron makes an ideal choice for fitness conscious people looking to get lean and support muscle. Vectron contains Prolibra, a unique weight management system that has helped test subjects retain twice as much lean muscle with 79% fat loss, compared to a control group at 51% fat loss, as documented in a landmark clinical study. The patented protein peptide fragments found in Vectron are specifically designed to enhance satiety by stimulating the release of the hormone CCK. CCK is a hormone that is sent from your digestive tract to your brain letting your brain know that it needs to turn down the hunger signals. Having Vectron before your meal essentially preloads protein into your system and accelerates the satiety effects of Vectron, allowing for satiety to hit you earlier in your meal, thus helping you further curb your calorie intake.]

Veggies First
It's time to sit down at your grandiose holiday meal. Before you rests a supermarket's worth of macronutrients in a magnificent arrangement of ham, candied yams, pies, cookies and cakes. It's glorious. You should certainly have some of everything; it's the holidays and there's no sense in playing Johnny Raincloud at the dinner table. But we must take measures to ensure trying some of everything doesn't lead to smacking grandma's hand so you get the last roll. It's simple. Eat the green stuff first.

When the meal commences, fill your plate with salad or whatever non-starchy vegetables your family's prepared. Once you've cleaned the veggies from your china, take on your protein portions. Finish with the carb-laden treats.

The fiber in vegetables limits hunger and helps with digestion. Protein is also a satiating macronutrient. By the time you get to the carbs you won't feel like shoveling cake down your gullet. You'll still have enough room to enjoy the holiday bounty without turning the meal into a belt-busting guilt parade.

Host the Party
Let's start this section with a brief preface: no one wants to go to the party with all the weird health food. That's not this strategy's point. But if you're playing a home game, you can skew the tactics.

First, you can include a few healthier holiday selections without being "that guy.” While everyone else is demolishing the traditional holiday fare you stick with your less-than-physique-wrecking alternatives. It's a win-win.

Second, hosting a party at your place allows you to eat a solid meal before guests arrive. You fill up on good stuff and avoid gluttonous ab sabotage.

Decide It's Mass Time
I don't typically offer defeatist strategies, but if gaining size is in your yearly plan, ‘tis the season for caloric excess. Belly up to the table and let loose the Kraken.

If you have body comp goals that you're set to achieve early in the New Year, don't abandon your plan. Follow the strategies we discussed. But if you need mass, treat each meal as an opportunity to enlarge your frame.

The holidays don't have to be a month long manifestation of dietary ill repute. Celebrate, but follow the strategies we've outlined and your physique successfully survives December. Keep your abs and eat some pie.

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