The Memorial Day holiday season is quickly approaching, as is the stress and worry about weight gain during this festive time. The biggest piece of advice is don’t freak out. It’s actually pretty difficult to gain more than a few pounds over the course of the entire holiday season. You need to eat 3500 calories above your normal dietary requirements to gain one pound of fat. You should still try to moderate a bit, but enjoy this time and don’t torture yourself worrying about it.
That said, if you’ve made some progress over the year and don’t want to undo it, or if you simply don’t want to go up any more before you start your new plan, there are some things you can do to mitigate the damage.
Get Your Body Ready Now
Here are some simple things you can do now to fortify your body against weight gain.
Supplement with CLA
This essential omega-3 fatty acid comes from grass fed beef, but it’s lacking in our diets because cows are now fed mostly corn. It’s a great supplement to take anyway, but it also has the added benefit of training your fat cells to be less efficient at storing fat. There is some research that it might help with fat loss, but not gaining fat is pretty good too. Start supplementing now to prevent storage later.
Go Low Carb
It’s considered a low carb diet when you consume less than 30 grams of carbs a day. When you change to a low carb diet, your body needs to switch its carb-processing enzymes to fat-processing enzymes. This process takes about 3-5 days. Once your body has made the switch, it becomes less proficient at processing carbs into stored fat. So when you eat a big carb-laden meal, your body just burns off the carbs to get rid of them rather than store them (you’ll feel hot, but you won’t store that unwanted fat).
Switch to a low carb diet about 3-5 days before your big holiday-get together and it will set your body up for less storage.
Give Your Metabolism a Boost on the Big Day
Obviously burning some extra calories on the big day will help balance out a little bit of overindulgence, but it’s a busy time of year and you might not have as long to workout as you would like. Here are some tips to maximize the effects of the time you have.
Studies have shown that working out in the morning on an empty stomach burns more fat and improves your insulin sensitivity throughout the day. This is another way to help your body process the carbs you eat more easily so you’ll store less fat.
Quick and Intense Better Than Slow and Steady
High Intensity Interval Training has been shown to be more effective at burning fat and improving overall fitness than longer duration, steady-state workouts. This means a quick and intense workout may not rack up has many calories during the workout as a longer session, but your body will burn more fat throughout the day (even while resting).
Move Some Weight
Another way to improve your insulin sensitivity is to do resistance training. Whether you’re doing body weight exercises or lifting weights, your body is more efficient at processing sugar after your workout. The more easily your body can process carbs, the less fat it will store.
If you’re short on time and looking for an intense weight training workout, check out our Easy apps. They have just the right prescription to give your metabolism the proper boost. Of course, if you have the time and want to burn more, we’ve got the tools for you too.