Sara Bradley, IFBB Pro
Christmas Time, a time to enjoy the company of your family and friends, a time to enjoy lots of food, lots of booze and create memories that can last a lifetime. But for some, it can be one of the more daunting times of the year, especially if you’re an athlete that’s prepping! That’s why me and Fireball Labz are here to provide you with some tips and tricks for the festive period if you are a little worried about it!
First and foremost, it is 1 – 3 days of the year! We all work so hard the other 362 days, that’s a couple of days off during this time that will not impact your progress! Yes, an increase in weight post-Christmas may occur but this would purely be down to a slight increase in fluid retention/ bloat from the increase in food and things such as sodium, THIS IS ABSOLUTELY FINE!!! After a few days, your bodyweight will return to normal, and any excess fluid retention will have gone. At the end of the day, we are all human, and it’s good to relax and enjoy time with friends and family. From personal experience, I was prepping during the festive period last year and I still had a day away from diet on both Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve, so if you want to eat everything, and anything then go ahead, a couple of days won’t hurt.
Personally, during Christmas, I do have a couple of days off from training, but I still try and keep expenditure high. On Christmas morning, I will always normally go for a long walk and get a substantial amount of steps in. I like to do this purely to aid in digestion (prepare my stomach for the onslaught of turkey and stuffing!) and to keep my routine as similar to how it would be when I’m at home, as I travel away for Christmas to see family. I , and many other people, are very much routine oriented, so if you can keep certain aspects of your routine the same around the festive period, then that may aid in an anxious feelings or worry you have! Regarding training, train when you can and if you want! I tend to pop my two biggest body parts either side of Christmas, purely to utilise the food and with the rest between the session before Christmas and after Christmas, it allows my body to rest and recover. Ultimately if you don’t want to train, it’s a good time to let your body chill, ready to hit training hard once Christmas is done! Another tip that can help digestion over this period would be to supplement some of the Fireball Labz Glu-Ta-Min! L-Glutamine is awesome for sustaining the balance of gut microbiome and maintaining the integrity of the intestinal lining. I would always recommend 10g AM and 10g PM daily to keep everything ticking over nicely!
Booze! So, we all like a cheeky tipple over Christmas, right? My dad always wakes me up with Bucks Fizz in hand on Christmas Day and has done this for as long as I can remember! If you want to drink but don’t want the bloat and calories to come with it, I will always suggest drinking some form of spirit with a diet drink, for example vodka and diet lemonade. Hydration is always a big one when alcohol is involved, so make sure you’re topped up with water over the festive period, especially if you’re planning on getting a little wavy!
And there we have it! A couple of tips on how to approach this festive period! At the end of the day, you can do whatever you want to do as long as it makes you happy!! If you want to eat your bodyweight in food, then do it! If you would rather stay on track and stick to your macros, then that’s fine too!! Christmas happens once a year and it’s important to cherish this time, especially when it comes to family and friends. I hope you have all found this article useful, and from myself and everyone here at Fireball Labz, we wish you a very Happy Christmas and an even better New Year!