One big tip to help stave off the holiday weight gain

The turkey is out of the frying pan and into the oven, but your hard work doesn't have to go with it.

I love starting off with corny pseudo-puns that don't quite make sense.

But really, what's the BEST advice I could give on how to hold off the inevitable pounds that pile on during the holidays?  

There are basically two tweaks I would make to the current diet or nutrition plan; the first would be to cut out carbs as much as possible for three days before the big holiday meals begin.  If you do this right you could actually ramp your metabolism and lose weight because of the gigantic xmas meal! The second would be to perform a vigorous weight lifting workout the morning of the meal.  I mean really leave it out there.  A cardio workout won't cut it and actually would probably be detrimental.

First, the carb cutting:  Carbohydrates are stored in the body as muscle and liver glycogen (stored glucose).  This gives the body quick fuel by burning stored sugar when its needed.  When you burn off these stores by using resistance training, your glycogen depletes.  When glycogen gets too low, the next time you eat a large carbohydrate meal, the sugars are used to refuel the spent muscle cells.  This is called a "cheat meal" and what we're doing here is setting up a strategic cheat meal, which is in the form of turkey, wine, stuffing, gravy, the works.  

The second strategy is the resistance workout the morning of.  This does two things: One, it depletes glycogen stores because of all the muscle fibers used (this is why it needs to be weights, not cardio!) and two, it causes a metabolic afterburn that can last up to 24-48 hours.  This creates a perfect scenario for your body to re-route food for recovery instead of fat.

If you combine these two strategies, you may as well throw the fitbit out the window and grab a fork because you are in excellent position to blow your relatives minds as you rip through ungodly amounts of food (your appetite will be enormous), grossing out grandma on the way, and then coming out with less bodyfat at the end.

Skeptical?  Give it a shot!  Just make sure you actually cut the carbs.  This means alcohol too.  And crackers, and whatever else you can manage to have selective amnesia about later.  You might get a little light headed form the low-carbing, but just deal with it, and drink some water.  It'll pass quickly, as your body starts begging your mind for carbs.

Don't just stumble through the holiday feast like some storm victim just happy to come out the other end, emerge victorious with the holiday gains.

Ben Hetzel

Benjamin Hetzel