Harnessing the Holidays

The holidays are upon us. This is a time when so much good is happening: good family, good friends, good food, good times. The holidays are probably my favourite time of the year, as long as inclement weather can manage to avoid rearing its ugly head. Yet, if you’re not careful, the holidays can also wreak havoc on the lean body you’ve been working so hard to build. An easy solution would be to avoid all the food, drinks and good times, but let’s face it, that’s just boring and incredibly lame. With a little knowledge, you can help to avoid the holiday hit.

 

The key thing to understand is that the body functions much differently with and without exercise. Without exercise, the ingestion of carbs and simple sugars raises blood glucose levels and insulin pushes it into fat stores. So if you’re going to be lazy, sit on your ass and then ingest thousands of calories combined with large amounts of alcohol, you’re going to put on a few pounds this holiday season. So what’s the trick? Obviously it’s exercise, but exercise at the right time. After exercise, a glucose transporter (GLUT4) is stimulated which sends your blood glucose into your muscle cells instead of fat stores; which, as it turns out, is exactly where they are needed. Doesn’t that sound so much better? You have the power to control how the holiday feasting affects your body.

Now that I’ve given you the secret, I’ll tell you how to use it. You need to plan for the times that you know you’ll be consuming a large feast. Try and get a workout in before you eat. I don’t mean right before, but anytime on that day can work. I know that gyms will be closed, so use your imagination and do 20 minutes of body weight circuits. There are countless bodyweight exercises so do a little research and you’ll have no excuse.

Hopefully, if you follow my advice, this holiday season will bring only good things. Let’s not have to start rebuilding our bodies in january because of lazyness over a few weeks.
It’s About Getting Better!

(If you’d like to know more about how to time carbohydrates for a leaner body, check out this Part 1 and Part 2)

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