Why wait until January 1? There is no reason enjoying the holidays should force your fitness to regress.
Here are 5 quick tips that will help you get through the holidays and have a leg up on the New Years Resolutionists who will be invading your sacred gym space in a few weeks!
1. Don't skip your workouts! Consistency in training is crucial if you expect to make results. Too busy to get to the gym? No problem. Grab a kettlebell and do a few circuits of kettlebell clean & presses, kettlebell snatches, and kettlebell swings. Don't have a kettlebell? Get yourself an early Christmas gift. You can even find good kettlebells in big-box sporting goods stores like Dicks. Heck, last time I was in there I even saw they were stocking really high quality competition-style kettlebells! Go grab one! Don't want to get a kettlebell? Fine. Do a few rounds of bodyweight squats, push-ups, sit-up and go for a run or walk.
2. Eat before you party. Seriously, most people starve all day figuring they are saving the calories for the evening party. Why? Eat a fairly substantial, healthy meal, about an hour or two prior to the party. This way you will not be starving when you get there and less likely to over-eat. This will allow you to enjoy some of the (most likely) unhealthy foods without over-indulging. If you don't have time to eat, slam a protein shake about 30 minutes before the party, adding some healthy fat like a tablespoon of flax oil or coconut oil, or a couple tablespoons of natural peanut butter to the shake is a good idea. The healthy fats will keep you full longer.
3. Go easy on the booze. I say skip it all together. However, if you want to have a few holiday drinks be sure to chase them with a large glass of clean, fresh water. This will help prevent dehydration and will help you control the number of drinks you have.
4. Train like you're going to gorge yourself later! If you know you are going to eat big at a holiday party or dinner and you've already decided it's going to be a feeding frenzy, go to the gym and blast yourself prior. I'm not talking about a ridiculous, rhabo-inducing, muscle confusion session; but don't hold back. Add a little weight, crank up the reps, and hit some high intensity interval cardio. Deplete your muscle's sugar/carbohydrate stores as close as you can prior to eating with a heavy strength training session or a high intensity interval cardio training session, preferably 2 hours or less. This post-workout window is a more optimal time to consume less than optimal foods, including carbohydrates with a higher glycemic index.
5. Take control of what you eat. There is no reason to over-indulge. You make the decision of what you put into your mouth and it takes no more effort to put a fork-full of salad in your mouth than a fork-full of cake. If you want a slice of cake or a couple cookies then exercise some will power and have A slice of cake or a COUPLE cookies and save the rest for the other guests.
Remember, the holidays are about more than food! Spend some quality time away from work with family and friends, but don't neglect your fitness!
I hope you have a happy AND healthy holiday season!