Christmas is only two weeks away and you’re probably thinking about all of the good food that comes along with it.
You’re probably also thinking about how you don’t want to put on those extra kilos that come with Christmas eating.
I wrote a blog post the other week about how to avoid coming back looking like Santa after the holidays which you can read here:http://www.tysonbrown.com.au/four-ways-keep-fat-off-christmas/
Today I want to share with you the exact strategy I always the week before Christmas so you can follow it step by step to avoid the Christmas belly.
The Week Before
Eat Less Food
The week before Christmas time I will always drop my calories at the start of the week every single day by about 1/3 to 1/2 of what I would usually eat.
If you’re the average guy, you burn about 2400 calories a day. This means that for the whole week you would drop your calories by either one-third of one-half so you would eat between 1200 to 16oo calories a day. The reason that I do this is that this is giving you more calories to “save” on the day Christmas comes around.
If you reduce your calories by 800 every single day for 7 days you’ve then “saved yourself” 5600 calories, this isn’t an exact science but it takes the mental stress off and it prevents you from gaining fat since you’re in a deficit.
5600 calories is a lot and you’re not very likely to eat that much food but if you are a bottomless pit like me, then you might actually consume that much or higher.
One time I decided to try and do the 10,000 calorie challenge in one meal at an all you can eat buffet at the start Casino in Sydney and boy was that tough, I didn’t quite make it to the 10,000 calorie mark but I say I got pretty darn close.
Make sure the reduction in calories is coming from fats and carbs instead of protein. Keeping your protein high at this time is very important because it’s going to help you maintain and gain muscle and also help keep you full. If you find that carbohydrates help keep you full and satiated then reduce the amount of fat you’re eating or if you’re someone who gets full when they eat more healthy fats then make sure that you reduce your carbohydrates.
Exercise Every Day
I will not change the way I exercise during the week before Christmas. I will still make sure I get my exercise in every single day, including Christmas day. The reason this is so important is that if you stop your exercising during that week or the day of Christmas your metabolism will slow down, the food you eat will be converted into fat instead of being used as energy or towards building lean muscle. Just because it’s Christmas doesn’t mean you should be slacking off. You’ve got the spare time to exercise so make sure you’re doing weight training and your cardio.
The Day before Christmas.
On Christmas eve I will stop eating at lunch time and do a full 24-hour fast minimum. Now I get another 2400 calories “saved up” for the next day when I have my Christmas feast.
That means on Christmas day I can now consume over 8000 calories for the whole day and not have to worry about gaining any fat because I’m still in a big calorie deficit from the week and the day before.
The Day Of Christmas
Wake up and do some early morning exercise.
If you’ve got access to a 24-hour gym, I suggest doing exercise the morning of Christmas. Get up a little earlier before everyone else and head to the gym. It will be a perfect time for you to workout since everyone else will be at home.
If you don’t have access to a gym on Christmas day then I suggest putting on a backpack, throw in some books or weights and go for an early morning walk for an hour to do some fasted cardio. Since you haven’t eaten since lunchtime the day before, you’re predominately burning fat and this is a good thing.
Now it’s time to start the feast.
ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS fill your first plate full of vegetables and lean sources of protein and nothing else.
Your first plate should have a range of colorful vegetables, salad and chicken/fish/ lean meat no potato bake, no cookies nothing else.
Once you’ve finished your first plate of food, your second plate can be a little bit more lenient.
This is when you can have some fattier cuts of meat and some of that Turkey Stuffing.
After eating two plates of lean meats and vegetables then it’s time to go nuts.
Since you’ve already started filling your stomach with high fiber foods and protein you’re already going to have some of your stomach full which means you’re not going to be able to eat as much food. This is the perfect time to go for your favourite food and enjoy yourself.
After the meal
The worst thing you can do after a meal is sit down and do nothing. Instead what I suggest is going for a 10 – 15 minute walk around the block to help your body digest the food you’ve just eaten. This will also help your body lower its blood sugar and use the food as nutrients and energy instead of being stored as fat. It doesn’t have to be an intense walk or an exercise that’s going to make you feel sick, just a nice walk after your meal.
The Next Day
Get back on track. This is a crucial step after your Christmas feast, because this is where we stuff up the most. Usually, there’s still dessert and a whole bunch of other crappy food left over and we usually fall prey and say “I’ll just have a bit more” and that turns into a three-day binge. What you want to do instead is to get rid of it all!
Throw it out, give it away do whatever you can to get rid of it. Keep the meats, seafood, and veggies but get rid of all of the desserts. If it’s in the house it’s going to be eaten!
Get your body moving and do some type of exercise. Because of a large amount of food you ate yesterday, your body is going to have a lot of energy stored for use and you can use that energy to make gains in the gym. This is the perfect time to go and lift weights or go and do a HIIT workout.
Go back to normal life
The feast is over, there are no more excuses as to why you should still be eating bad food. Get your body back on track, get into a normal routine and start 2018 on the right foot!
- Reduce the amount of food you eat by a third or by half during the week before Christmas
- Exercise every day and move your body
- Do a full 24-hour fast on Christmas Eve
- Do some fasted exercise on Christmas Day
- Start your feast with lean protein and vegetables
- Eat until your hearts content
- Go for a 15 minute walk afterwards
- Throw away all of the sweets and desserts
- Do some exercise on boxing day
- Go back to normal life.