Lisa and I have a unique perspective on the Holiday Season, which we practice ourselves! And it WORKS!!!
WE DON'T DIET!!!
You heard me. DON'T try to lose weight between Thanksgiving and New Years. Just DON'T. Instead... turn this period of the year into a muscle-building "clean bulk"!! The largest percentage of our clients are working with us to lose fat, but losing fat isn't always synonymous with losing weight. A large part of losing fat, is building and maintaining muscle. This period of time is PERFECT for doing just that!
If you've been dieting for months and months, and losing fat all along (or on and off) but you haven't take a BREAK from the cutting calories in months, and let your metabolism bounce back, the month between late November and late December is a great opportunity. Don't go crazy, and eat everything in sight! That won't help... But also don't feel GUILTY for eating a few extra calories, and breaking away from your regimented diet for a few weeks. It will HELP your long-term goals of fat loss with minimal muscle loss.
1. Understand that Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukah, New Years... ALWAYS come on the same days.
There's no surprises coming up. You ARE going to eat more, and you KNOW EXACTLY WHEN. Plan for it! This week... the week before Thanksgiving, intentionally pull a few hundred calories per day, mostly carbs and fat, and "go hungry" for the week... You'll survive.
Don't do MORE cardio... LIFT MORE! Instead of doing a split of cardio and strength training... do 90% lifting, lift heavy, and "break muscle". That way, when Thursday rolls around, and there's a huge pile of turkey in front of you... DIG IN! Focus on lots of protein Thursday, and go moderate with everything else. Go light on the dressing and the potatoes, and enjoy some pie! USE those excess calories to BUILD. The weekend after, WALK and lift, lift lift.
Same thing for Christmas dinner. Plan for it in advance with lower calories coming in, and then enjoy with family and friends.
2. Breaking Keto for a day won't kill your results.
If you're low-carb... YES you can eat carb-free on holidays. If you want to, plan your meals, bring your own appetizers to pass, and go for it. If you have the control to make an exception for a day... EAT some damn potatoes, stuffing, and pie! You'll be right back on track within two days.
3. Focus your training on muscle.
With the higher calorie intake, increase your training volume in the weight room. Take ADVANTAGE of the calories, and use them to BUILD. Go heavier, go longer, and get STRONG. Dieting sucks, because it makes you weaker. You CANNOT go heavy in a caloric deficit. Use a month of extra fuel to BUILD, and enjoy the strength!
4. Don't beat yourself up over the scale!
PLAN to add a pound or so per week. Don't go off the rails entirely, but KNOW that an extra 500kcal per day equated to 3500kcal per week... roughly the calories in 1 LB... not 10!!! Excess carbs WILL cause water retention. Focus on drinking MORE water (which will make you HEAVIER, but NOT FATTER), but will keep flushing you. Water retention from a higher glycogen load in the muscle is NOT FAT GAIN. Please don't freak out...
After the Holidays are over... you'll feel GREAT, have more strength, and be able to get back to cutting. Going back to your normal intake will be a "relief", and the fat will drop off. Actually, you may start losing FASTER again, like you did near the beginning of your cut! Your elevated metabolism will be more efficient, so when you pull back on the intake... you lose fat FASTER.
Enjoy the Holidays, don't torture yourself over it...