In the 9th installment of “Indomitable Fitness, Athletics and Heroics” with guest contributor Bill Walker, he gives his views on watching your weight and still being great this holiday season.
What’s the word!
It’s the holidays and you know what means? Eat…drink, and be merry. Turkey, Egg Nog ( one of my personal favorites), alcohol, and all forms of culinary debauchery. The Festivus for the rest of us.
What a time.
To be alive.
Today I’m going to give you some tips to avoid that excessive holiday weight gain.
There are two main factors that will either hinder your progress or pack on unwarranted winter wonderland pounds.
1) Being MIA from the battlefield.
Some of this is warranted and some of this is not. There are things like Christmas shopping, Piles of obligations, gatherings and general laziness. I.e. “Feeling lazy or worse…being too cold to go outside to go workout.”
Some things are legit, but as far as laziness and cold weather…you’ll just need to toughen up, get your gluteus in the mood-eus (yes) and get to the gym. Tell old man winter, to “Square up cuh!”
It’s wintertime. Guess what? It’s cold. If your gym is cold in the winter (and I can honestly say that sucks) then consider wearing more clothes, and drinking warm liquids. Do what you have to do. Just get there.
2) Random excess Calories
I get it. Maybe you got it in like Galactus on Thanksgiving. You ate enough for maybe a couple days in one day. And then there was the mighty weekend. More food, more festivities and the like. Whatever. You’re going to have to summon all kinds of self-control here.
My good bro, Rashad Mitchell once told me “splurge but don’t’ binge.”
What does that mean? It means exactly what it says it means. Enjoy but don’t overdo it.
Here’s an example.
Say you’re a dessert lover. Let’s say you like some holiday doughnuts with eggnog cream on the inside of them joints.
***Note to District Doughnut. Please make some type of eggnog based cream doughnut. I’m going to tag you in this article too.***
Say you got a whole box, or you go to someone’s house and it’s literally a mountain of doughnuts. I mean it’s looks like a plate of awesomely stacked lost civilization treasures akin to something out of Indiana Jones. What would you do?
Well…eat one. Enjoy one and relax.
Bill, what if I want another?
Well if you want it, go for it.
Can I have another?
Well, you can but why? This is where we’re going to have to use logic and reasoning here. You know what it tastes like. It’s not going to change. Taste wise there’s no difference than having one or two than there is five? Why do you need five?
But they’re awesome, Bill!
Yes, but everything has a price, and everybody’s got to pay.
See I’m not saying at all to NOT enjoy the food. That’s kind of ridiculous. Some of these snacks are things you only enjoy on the holidays.
For example, I like bacon. As in the swine, I fundamentally don’t believe in the existence of turkey bacon.
I have gone on record as to say, “there is no such thing as turkey bacon, only turkey imitation cutlets.”
However, I go months without eating bacon. I do however enjoy a waffle BLT on Christmas mornings.
I eat whatever slices of bacon because 1) I spend most of my nutritional time counting my macros and 2) I work out regularly so it’s going to be utilized as fuel, as they’re still calories, and any unwanted calories will be eventually be burned off through virtue of activity and a soon to be regular calorie intake. 3) Also I’m not going to eat twenty five pieces of bacon.
Again to repeat myself because it’s important, what I’m not saying is eat everything in sight. You can’t have it all and shouldn’t feel like you should consume everything just because it’s there. What I am saying is enjoy a bit but don’t be reckless. There are no free calories, even if you manage to get those “vegan Christmas treats” or eat the “cleanest meals” possible. You too can still get fat if you eat too much. AGAIN YOU CAN STILL GET FAT EATING CLEAN HOLIDAY TREATS IF YOU OVER EAT YOUR CALORIES.
Also you should still be tracking your macros. You can enjoy a healthy dose of vitamins and vegetables (things you should do daily for general health, no they’re not magic but they have higher quantities of vitamins and minerals) and still enjoy some holiday treats.
Bill, how do I track my macros for this special cake?
I’m glad you asked. If you’re a premium member you can find most items in the directory. If you can’t find it in the directory, put the closest thing you can mirror it to and keep it moving. I don’t expect you to freak out and spend 40 min tracking one item. You’ll get better at tracking as you keep doing it.
Again I still expect you do eat fruits and vegetables and all that, I just want you to be able to enjoy the awesome array of yuletide delicacies that you know and love
How to combat and utilize these excess calories and achieve epic excellence.
No secret here. Hit the steel. The winter is normally you’re best time for gains as it’s cold and most folks are layered. Gains! Hypertrophy…muscle growth. Use all these excess calories to build strength and muscle. Prime that future PR on those big lifts. That means…LIFT HEAVY! Hoist that steel like the warrior you were born to be. Don’t worry about “getting too huge” You’re not that special.
Unless you’re on drugs, you’re not going to gain 30 lbs of muscle in that short of a time span. How heavy…well that’s relative. Lift heavier than what you were doing before.
Note: I am of the belief that you should focus on performance vs a certain type of look. 1) It will make the process much more enjoyable because you’re focusing on a task 2) Chasing a look can drive you insane.
3) If your goal is to put on some size, you should be focusing on getting stronger.
If you wanted larger legs or a butt, you would squat and deadlift heavier. LADIES IF YOU WANT THAT THANG LOOKING PROPER, PUT THAT WEIGHT ON YOUR BACK AND SQUAT…DEEP! Deadlift…lift heavy things. Fellas If you wanted a bigger chest…focus on getting a stronger bench. Put more focus on the lifts vs the gifts.
The looks will be attained as long as your nutrition is in order. If you’re goal is to burn weight you need to really focus on hitting your macros, and increasing fitness performance…doing more work in less time or spending less time being out of breath (i.e. getting your wind up)
I’m not at all a fan of “Steady state cardio.” I’m pretty sure that’s what they did in the Gulag. Personally I say do more body-weight circuits, flip some tires, box, play ball, jump rope, swim, create a fun circuit. Do stuff you actually enjoy. Pick activities that engage the whole body. You’ll see more of a benefit from it. Exercise shouldn’t be a chore. It’s fun
And of course do Burpees. Instead of spending countless time on the treadmill, knock out a few sets of Burpees. Remember if you spend all that time on the newest machination but have a problem doing ten Burpees then you need to reevaluate your current fitness level…i.e. you suck. The treadmill isn’t obviously doing that much.
Is it better than absolutely nothing…sure. However why not push yourself? Would you rather have the physical capacity of a scooter or the faster than light power of the Millennium Falcon? No contest there.
Now with all these strategies in order you STILL may have a few pounds extra from the holidays. The key is to minimize the damage, and since it’s likely you’ll be getting cut as the warm weather approaches, you needn’t really trip too hard. You may or may not just be five or six pounds heavier when it’s all said and done.
Splurge but don’t binge. Enjoy the holiday and spend time with family and friends. Eat, drink, and be merry but also be responsible.
No one wants to hear about how fat you are in January. We rather hear about those personal fitness records that you’ve conquered. Get those preventative measures in and get to work.
***For those who have not read the article on macros. Click here. Watch the videos.***