And just like that, the final act of 2020 and its festive holidays are once again upon us. Albeit this is an unusual year for many, for we the fitness community, between our squats, bench presses, and curls, like to celebrate with the best of them. But how can we remain motivated in a year in which much seems upside down and even the tools in which we utilize to forge our physiques remain, for many, closed.
The old adage that nutrition equates to some 90% of results is false. Is that to say that with near perfect eating we would look 90% of how we wish to? Fitness results are akin to the tripod of success in training, recuperation, and nutrition. But come the holiday season, it’s easy to swerve off track and even remain there until the coming new year.
Here are 5 tips that you can implement right now to help remain faithful to health and fitness, yet reasonably enjoy yourself this holiday season.
1. Make it a Cheat Meal and Not a Cheat Day – It’s much too easy to have that one cookie and then write off the entire day. Go about your business, eat clean, and pick that one meal per a given day in which to really indulge. This will limit the amount of goodies one can consume at a sitting, and help to lessen the guilt of giving in to temptation.
2. Space It Out – Plan a treat or splurge every third day. That way in a seven-day week, you have two feedings in which you can go to town. I prefer those meals to fall on Wednesdays and Saturdays. That way, every third day I have something to really look forward to.
3. Progress Not Perfection – Unless one is getting ready for a photoshoot or competition, “perfect” eating is not necessary and can actually be somewhat counterproductive in that we cannot floor the pedal all the time. While the days of bulking may be passé, “clean bulking” or eating macronutrient-rich and balanced meals with non-processed, excess calories above bodyweight maintenance in order to facilitate growth and new muscle, not just pounds of unwanted fat, is the new (and more sensible) norm.
4. You Are in Charge – Remember that you the patron have the final say in what is put into your body. It takes little effort in asking to hold the butter, sauce on the side, and grilled options, as opposed to fried when ordering food in a restaurant. These simple dietary changes will allow you to celebrate and dine out guilt-free. My book COMPLETE PHYSIQUE has a meaty section on healthy choices when ordering out.
5. Get It In – If your gym is currently closed, there really is no excuse. With the amount of versatile and affordable home equipment available today, nearly anyone can get it in anytime and anywhere. Check out OUTDOOR PHYSIQUE where you yourself are your own gym.
Above all else, stay safe, enjoy yourself, and enjoy the holidays.
HOLLIS LANCE LIEBMAN has been a fitness magazine editor, national bodybuilding champion, and author. He is a published physique photographer and has served as a bodybuilding and fitness competition judge. Hollis has worked with some of Hollywood’s elite, earning rave reviews. His previous books include Peak Physique, Complete Physique, Outdoor Physique and more. Visit hollisliebman.com for more information.