Why? Because downtime is crucial to maintaining motivation and intensity in work, in training and in life.
We put this article together to help you get your surfboard out and ride the festive wave in style. Use these tips as much or as little as you see fit…
1. Get organised: Pick your days
The key thing to realise is that you can still go out and have fun with food and drink during the holiday season. You just need to be a little bit more organised about when and how.
Get your mindset and expectations in line. Pick the days you're really going to go for it and organise your nutrition and training around them so you can relax, have fun and not feel guilty. As with all things, it’s about finding balance.
2. Rest assured: You won’t get fat overnight
You don't put body fat on in 24 hours. It happens when you consume too much energy on consecutive days/weeks. That’s when you start to regress.
Yes, your body weight will fluctuate but any changes in a 24-hour period are likely due to your body water, which can fluctuate quickly. Remember, you are mostly made up of water (55% women / 65% men). Small changes in body water = big changes on the scales.
3. Go without: Try fasting
Once you’ve decided when you’re going to let your hair down, try fasting on the days before and after as a way to deplete your carbohydrate stores and body water levels. That way, when the flood gates open, you will already be in a deficit.
If you're going to train and fast this season, try using an EAA product like Amino Recovery to preserve muscle mass and enhance your immune system. It’s a great way to get your daily intake of B vitamins, which support the detoxification process (which is crucial at Christmas!).
4. Raise your heart rate: Do some sprints or HIIT
Before your festive events, do some sprints. They will help drain your carbohydrate stores so they are ready to be filled up again.
5. Pick wisely: Prioritise what you fill up on
If you’re going to overeat, put away the non-root vegetables and protein. This is a great way to make sure you’re full of stuff that doesn't contain too much energy. Vegetables like brussels, spinach, cauliflower, broccoli are great! As is the stuff that uses a lot of energy for metabolic processing (protein). Fill your plate with these first. Leave the potatoes until the end and keep your intake to a minimum (as best you can!) – the Amino team loves a roastie!
6. Get glugging: Drink more water
Consume more water and avoid sugary pop. We try to get a 1-litre bottle down before lunch because it helps to fill us up before we start eating. Why not try our Amino Recovery drink? It’s a guilt-free way to have something sweet while helping to suppress hunger.
7. Don’t panic
Do not panic when your weight shoots up after the event. You knew it was going to happen, you planned for it and now you can manage it. Get back on the bandwagon.
8. Meditate: Spend 2 minutes retraining your brain
Visualisation techniques aren’t just for gym days! They can be used for any aspect of your life. Our recommendation? For 1 minute, picture the positive steps you can take towards your goals. Do this twice a day, upon waking and before going to sleep. If you miss a session, don't fret, just start again when you can – some is better than none! It helps to train your mind to focus on what you can control rather than what you can’t. It may feel weird at first, but the pay-off is huge.
The key takeaway is that Christmas is a bloody brilliant time to connect with family, friends and all the people that you love. Connection is a foundational pillar of health and performance. Don’t sacrifice the opportunity to connect because of your training goals.
Addiction and disease breeds in isolation, so get out there and engage with those around you. We live in an age of abundance but the key to truly feeling fulfilled is to have gratitude and be thankful for all that you have.
That doesn't mean you shouldn’t push for your dreams. It’s a reminder to pause every day and give yourself a pat on the back and keep those connections strong.
Helpful? We hope so. Our athletes enjoy using Amino as a tasty, guilt-free way to have a drink that contains low calories and no artificial sweeteners. It can be used as a replacement for 95% of drinks on the market, which contain sugar or artificial sweeteners. It’s a win/win. Get your trial pack here.