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5 Ways on How to be fit during the holidays

By Andy Thompson

My name is Andy Thompson and I’m from the city of Grand Junction, Colorado. Growing up I loved playing sports and being active. Basketball was my biggest passion and I ended up playing it from grade school, through college and ultimately at a semi-professional level. At a very young age it was very important to me to improve however I could and one of those ways was by taking a very serious approach to weightlifting and nutrition. I got a membership at my local gym at the age of 14 where I began a weight training program and I also started experimenting with my own nutrition and diet. I fell in love with it and have been doing it ever since. I was very fortunate to make a career out of it. I have been an online fitness coach for almost 17 years and a professional fitness model for nearly 11 years. These things have allowed me to help thousands of individuals all over the world as well as model and write for some of the biggest fitness magazines on the planet. Fitness and nutrition is my passion and it’s something I will do until the day I die. I don’t know how I got here but I’m blessed to be in the position I’m in. Outside of fitness and nutrition I really love my relationship with God, my loved ones, photography and investing in the stock market.

Here are some ways on how to be fit during the holidays.

1. Prioritize protein and fiber.

Holidays are the time where most people indulge in food and drinks that are heavy in fat, carbs and sugar. That is totally okay and I actually encourage it amongst my clients. However, there are some ways you can mitigate the damage through nutrition and my biggest secret is by consuming a lot of protein and fiber. Not only do eating these two things really help keep us full and satiated so that we don’t overeat sugary carbs and fats, but we actually burn fat just by eating them. Personally, I really like to plan my protein and fiber throughout the day, make sure I eat it as I should and from there indulge in some of the more “fun” foods.

2. Stay active!

We are probably going to eat more than we should during the holidays and again, that is completely fine. I mean, what are the holidays without food? However, what we don’t want to do is be overeating and inactive. It’s very important that we still get up and move. It doesn’t matter if it’s going to the gym for a workout, a walk around the neighborhood after a large meal, or a bootcamp class at home. Just get up and move! It’ll do some nice damage control and keep you in shape so you can get the ground running in January.

3. Stay hydrated.

A big mistake I see from individuals who are enjoying themselves is that they often forget to consume adequate water. Humans are nearly 60% water so the saying “water is life” couldn’t be more true and it is so important for us. Staying hydrated keeps us full, keeps our metabolism burning, helps recovery and prevents injury among many other things. If you consume alcohol, which many do during the holidays, that will dehydrate you making water intake even more important. I would aim for a minimum of 3 liters of water per day.

4. Try to prioritize sleep.

Between traveling, events, work, friends and family the holidays can be a very busy time. It’s very easy to skip out on sleep to lend time to all of those things but if staying fit is your goal I would recommend not sacrificing your sleep. Like water, sleep is incredibly important. Good sleep will keep hunger down, help you recover faster, keep your mental focus nice and sharp and regulate your hormones among many other things. I have said this to my clients for years but when it comes to fitness I truly believe sleep should be prioritized above all else. No matter what you do over the holidays I strongly encourage you to not skip out on sleep!

5. Don’t beat yourself up. Practice balance

Too often I see people beat themselves up for eating more than they should during the holidays. I understand that because I used to be that way and all that does is make matters worse. It’s important to give yourself some grace and be okay if you see the scale go up. Odds are you’ve been working really hard since January and will be right back to work at the start of the New Year. The holidays are the perfect time to scale back and kick your feet up. It’s a perfect time to let your body and mind recharge. There is no need to beat yourself up because there’s a good chance that more food and a little bit more rest will set you up nicely to make even more gains in future. Stay even keel and don’t lose sight of the long term picture!

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