The holiday season is a time of celebration with family and friends. Eating and drinking, watching movies or football can all work against your health and fitness goals, but this doesn’t have to be the case.
In this second installment (Click here for first installment), RD wants to help you be successful during the holidays and ward off an extra notch on your belt. Follow these guidelines to maintain your fitness level from now through the rest of the year and set yourself up for big changes heading into the new year!
1) Have Protein With Each Meal
Protein breaks down into amino acids which are the building blocks for muscle. In a holiday situation, protein also keeps you full longer, discouraging over eating. Even if it’s “just” a protein shake, working in protein to every meal sets you up to maintain or build lean muscle during the holidays.
2) Drink Water
Why? Hydration is massively important for the health of your cells. With a lot of holiday festivities, alcohol and sugary drinks are always at an arms reach, leading to dehydration. Actively trying to drink more water will help stay closer to an optimal state of hydration.
3) Resistance Training Over Cardio
Cardio has been shown to burn slightly more calories during a workout compared to lifting, however, resistance training (lifting) takes the cake in terms of metabolic effect. Lifting weights increases your metabolism for up to 24 hours after your workout. Cardio’s effects end once you hop off the treadmill. Prioritize “lifting,” and combine an upper body, lower body and core move to get maximum results.
Even though you may be on vacation, it’s easy to actually lose sleep when you’re out of your routine. Loss of sleep can lead to insulin resistance, a condition where your body has trouble regulating it's blood sugar level. Sleep helps the body produce the hormones that balance your sugar. Sleep is also important for cognitive function. Plan to get at least 6-8+ hours per night. (Source: 1)