This is a repost from last year, with some changes. How to maintain all your health and fitness gains during holidays is always a big topic at this time of year. For me, it’s pretty straightforward – if you’d like to hold on to the changes you’ve made, entirely, then you simply keep doing what you have been……duh! 😛
I also always say that you’re going to be away for a month at the most. That’s just one month. It’s nothing relative to your lifetime, and about 5% of your training time during the year, IF you were consistent throughout the year. If you weren’t consistent, then you shouldn’t be worrying about losing all your gains during the holidays 🙂
So relax, enjoy your food and live well. But at the same time, I’d like to see you keep at least one foot on the wagon because if you do come off it entirely, it can take a very long time to get just that one foot on again.
Here are some tips to help you. Remember that it’s not a one-size-fits-all approach, and keep it simple.
Protein and Fat
Aim to get a moderate amount in at all meals and snacks. It keeps you satiated so you’re less likely to snack, and protein has a thermic effect so it keeps your metabolism ticking over. If you’re not doing any physical activity that day, have a bit less than you normally would.
A reminder: All veges and fruit, all starches, fruit juices, baking, sweets and chocolates, ice-cream, and all grain-based products end up the same way – as sugar. The goodies, however, spike blood sugar and therefore insulin, stimulating the storage of fat, especially if you aren’t exercising much. Have the goodies, but make that your carb for that meal or snack. If you are training, have your goodies after training. Put simply, if you plan on having treats, have less of the veges and fruit to keep total carb intake similar to what it would be normally. But don’t avoid the veges and fruit entirely because you need the fibre, mineral and nutrients. ?
There isn’t a particular amount of water that you should be having. You should be drinking to thirst. Avoid sports drinks like Energade.
You don’t have to train as much or as intensely as you would normally to maintain your fitness. In fact, the down time will do your mind and body good. But keep active as a way of expressing your fitness. Play sports, hike, cycle, swim, and walk. Walking can be especially beneficial. Go for brisk, long walks every day if you aren’t doing any other physical activity.
Avoid using alcohol as your hydration 😛 If you are going to have a fruit juice, opt for a freshly squeezed juice and avoid sodas as much as possible. Tea and coffee don’t count as water either. If you’re thirsty, drink water.
Eat for Yourself
If your mates or partners can have a burger, fries and milkshake for lunch everyday without much ill-effect, it doesn’t mean that the same will happen to you. Be realistic about your body’s response to foods, and eat accordingly.
I personally consider holidays a time for (more) food and lots of sleep. So don’t geek out too much about what you’re eating while away!