I was fortunate enough to be included in an article from Michigan Avenue Magazine that summarized Chicago’s top trainers and nutritionists’ tips to stay fit through the holidays. It may seem like the road to fitness is long lost as the ugly sweaters bust out, the parties infiltrate weekday calendars and the sugar rush commandeers the food pyramid but I promise you that it’s not! I’m not suggesting that it’s easy to stay on the top of your game throughout the season, but I do believe it’s possible to stay on track and balance your festivities.
I swear by two things to moderate my indulgences:
- Intermittent fasting
- Full-body strength training
If you missed it, I explained intermittent fasting here, trust when I say it’s worth the (re)read! When you’re unable to get to the gym as often or as long as you’d like, IF is the best way to keep your metabolism running. By consuming all of your meals and calories within an 8-10 hour window, your body will deplete its reserves and continue to burn fat for energy. I don’t have much of an appetite in the morning so I keep my intake within an 8-hour window starting at 12pm noon and ending at 8pm. Regardless of what I’m eating, I wake up in the morning feeling fasted, energetic and svelte. What I love most about IF is that is’t completely in YOUR control.
When you need to make the most of your time at the gym prioritize full-body strength training. The more muscle you have on your body, the more efficient your metabolism will be. Do multi-joint movements like push-ups, deadlifts, or squats to overhead press to get the most bang for your buck. So many holiday meals consist of carbs like buttery rolls, mashed potatoes, stuffing and doughy desserts. These types of foods end up getting stored in your muscles and your liver, which means your body is ready to use them so it’s important to do some form of activity. Even if you’re unable to do a full blown workout, try to do 20 minutes of activity. I skip cardio like sprints or low impact steady state cardio in favor of elevating my heart rate through strength building moves. Decrease your weight, increase your reps and decrease your recovery time to make sure you’re keeping your heart rate up and are moving quickly through your workout.
If you’re in New York, LA, Boston, Miami or Nashville, schedule your workouts at your local Barry’s studio. If you’re out of town or unable to get your Barry’s fix do this workout. Don’t have weights? That’s okay! Grab a bottle of laundry detergent, a gallon of water, or DIY your own sandbag. Be resourceful, don’t make excuses like a little bitch!