1) Use the Extra Calories to Your ADVANTAGE!
If you've been on a diet for what seems like FOREVER, it's a great idea to give your metabolism a chance to recover every few months... For a week! In fact, the BEST time to build a little muscle is right after a prolonged calorie deficit. Competitors have known this for years. We always seem to look AMAZING in the days and even weeks after a long contest prep, because the body has been losing muscle for months along with the fat. A SHORT bump up in calories signals the body to pack on extra lean muscle to "recover" from the long calorie drought.
Focus in the week before and after Thanksgiving on lifting EXTRA heavy, and even cutting BACK on cardio! Eat MORE protein (turkey), and even allow for some extra carbs for a mini-bulk! Throttle back to moderate calories for the first two weeks of December, then do another mini-bulk the week between Christmas and New Years. Your body will THANK YOU!
2) Plan Your Week's Food!
Failing to plan is planning to fail! There will be NO SURPRISES this week! We all KNOW we're going to over-eat, and we know EXACTLY when it's coming! Fat-gain does NOT happen as result of one day of excess... it comes from a week or two of extra calories. To gain a pound, we need to eat excess calories in the THOUSANDS, and that's not going to happen in one day!
Keep extra close tabs on your intake on Tuesday and Wednesday, and just throttle it back. If you're tracking with My Fitness Pal, or another tracking app, just short yourself a few hundred calories and a few dozen grams of carbs and fat the two days BEFORE "Bulking Day", and then ENJOY Thanksgiving. Likewise... cut out a few extra calories on Friday and Saturday. By the next week, your macros will be right on track, and the day will only result in a BLIP on the scale. Same goes for Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day (or Hanukah week, etc...)
3) Plan Your Day's Food!
First... If at all possible, go to someone else's house for Thanksgiving! If you MUST host... send the leftovers home with your guests! The day AFTER Thanksgiving is NOT another holiday!
If your big meal is around 1pm like it is at my Mom's house... don't start pigging out at 10am! Start with a lighter-than-normal breakfast, or just drink a bunch of coffee! Accept that you're having a HUGE lunch, and plan the rest of your day's intake around that!
Don't DRINK 1000+ calories! Most people watching their intake make a great start by not drinking any calories (except the occasional alcohol). Skip the calorie-loaded holiday drinks, and take in you calories in FOOD. Drink a bunch of water all day, or "pretend" to join the party, but pour yourself a Club Soda and Soda! Pack your own Mio or other calorie-free "flavor enhancer" and keep the liquid calories LOW.
Surviving the Holiday food rush is not impossible. Try a combo of all three of these tips this year... Plan in advance, make good choices, and take ADVANTAGE of the calories to add a little muscle!
Then come January... get on Lisa's or my schedule... if all of your efforts failed! We'll help you get it back off, and keep it off for good!