Maintenance = winning

When is not making progress actually a good thing?

Well, 2 times actually. One is when you hit your goal body composition, and the second is in the run-up to Christmas.

Between now and the New Year, there are a load of opportunities to eat a little extra, drink a little more than normal and train a little bit less. Stress levels tend to be higher as well, and sleep takes a bit of a back seat.

All of this can be a minefield for body composition, but it doesn’t have to be!

If you have 2-3 Christmas work events (maybe more, maybe less). You have Christmas and Boxing day, then New Years eve and day, that’s 7 days out of the next 30+ (depending on when you read this) that your meals will be (and should be) off track to some degree. That’s around 20% of your days that don’t need to follow a plan.

Here are 5 tips to help you stay on track in the last month of 2018.

  1. Around 80% of your meals over this time will be regular, standard, not Christmas meals. Aim to eat as normal at thoose times.  Protein, veggies and non-starchy carbs for the most part and starchier carbs such as potatoes, rice, pasta etc mostly around training sessions.
  2. There are more opportunities to eat a vast array of carby, fatty goodness. You should do so on occasion, but be a snob about it. By that, I mean don’t just go for any old nonsense that comes your way. But choose the best, most tastiest options you can. And enjoy them, in moderation.
  3. Most nights, aim to get the same amount of good quality sleep as you normally would. Sleep is the best friend of fat loss and at this time of year it can be tempting to stay up late and watch crappy re-runs of movies and TV shows, even though you know you need to be up early as normal. You know when you’re getting up, so get to bed when you need to to optimise sleep. This will make those nights where you do have late nights a little easier to deal with.
  4. Keep your alcohol intake reasonable. I know, Christmas parties have their alcoholic temptations, but along with the disrupted sleep, poor food choices and showing off some dance move that are better left unseen, the extra calories won’t do your goals any good. Alternate between alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, or give yourself a definite limit and stick to it.
  5. Enjoy yourself. A handful of meals is not going to disrupt your progress any more than eating 5 salads is going to give you a 6 pack. Enjoy your meals, have an occasional treat but don’t go too mental. And if anyway suggests doing burpees (or anything else) to burn that piece of Christmas cake, punch them in the face, and eat the cake anyway.

Stick to these reasonable guidelines and you’ll bump into 2019 pretty much where you are now. Maybe without much progress on the body comp side of things, but if you maintain your current levels, you’ve definitely won!

Stay healthy,

Dave

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