Holiday Fat Loss Strategy Guide (free workout and meal plan)

Family time, travel, office temptations, holiday parties, crazy shopping schedules – just a short list of reasons for your fitness plan to get derailed this holiday season.

But if you plan ahead – and make staying on track a priority – there’s no reason you can’t maintain the fitness you’ve worked so hard for all year long.

To make things as easy as possible for you, I’ve created a special holiday fat loss strategy guide. It’ll outline a complete workout and meal plan to get you through the next month or so unscathed.   Let’s dive right in …

Holiday Fat Loss Workout

Two major obstacles that could get in the way of your regular workouts this time of year are:

1. Time – holiday get-togethers, last minute shopping, etc. keep you from getting your regularly scheduled workouts
2. Travel – leaves you exercising in different places, with limited and/or different equipment access, and again with limited time

We need a workout plan that doesn’t take too long to do – maybe 30 minutes or so – but that is also effective. We also need one we can do anywhere and with minimal equipment.

Here’s the ‘core’ routine from my Holiday Fat Zapper Package that meets all these criteria (for more detailed exercise descriptions, how the program is to be periodized, an accompanying cardio routine and more, see the full program by clicking here):

Warm up

Perform each exercise for 30 seconds non-stop. Move from one exercise to the next without rest; repeat entire exercise sequence twice.

  • run in place
  • body weight squats
  • planks

Combo 1

Perform prescribed number of reps of each exercise. Without resting, move to the next exercise in the combo. Rest for 60 seconds and repeat combo two more times for a total of three rounds.

  • 15 – 25 body weight squats
  • 5-8 push ups with rotation each side
  • 10-15 body rows

Combo 2

Perform prescribed number of reps of each exercise. Without resting, move to the next exercise in the combo. Rest for 60 seconds and repeat combo two more times for a total of three rounds.

  • 10-15 walking lunges each side
  • 10-12 dumbbell overhead presses each side
  • 15-25 two hand kettlebell swings

Ab circuit

Perform prescribed number of reps of each exercise. Without resting, move to the next exercise in the combo. Rest for 60 seconds and repeat combo two more times for a total of three rounds.

  • :30 – :45 plank hold
  • 5-8 negative sit ups

Stretch/cool down

  • Finish workout with 5 min. static stretch

Holiday Fat Loss Diet Plan

Squeezing in a 30 min. workout four or five times a week seems hard enough. Eating healthy this time of year will be even more challenging … but it’s also the most important part of the fat loss equation.

Again, it all starts with a solid plan. My suggestion: go low carb this holiday season.

Now by ‘low carb’, I mostly mean cut out the crappy processed carbohydrates that are a staple of most American’s diets. You can still enjoy many of the traditional holiday treats this way. For example, protein (turkey, ham, duck, etc.) is the main part of many holiday meals … and vegetable dishes are typically part of the fare as well. Focus on these two elements of the meal and you’ve got a tasty, healthy way to keep things in check.

And, I can tell you from personal experience, low carb eating flat out works for fat loss. You’ll lose weight quick – especially if you’re currently eating a relatively high amount of these foods – which can be highly motivating. And even if it’s not a permanent change, it could be just what you need to shake things up in your current program and kick-start your progress.

Here’s another excerpt from the Holiday Fat Zapper package that explains the basics of ‘low carb’ eating and meal planning.  I’ve also included two sample low carb holiday recipes from the program to get you started …

The Basics Explained – Low Carb Diet Lingo

In order to understand today’s diet talk, you have to understand the phrase low-carb. Even though these types of diets have been around for a long, long time, there seems to be a new interest. It could be due to new books coming out, or possibly revised editions of popular diet books from years past. Whatever the reason, low carb, slow carb, or low glycemic diets are getting a lot of attention. Let’s take a look at the basics of what a low carb diet looks like.

Low Carb v. Slow Carb

Even though the most popular diets include one or the other term, you can use them interchangeably, to some degree. Even the lowest of low-carb diet phases includes some carbs in the form of vegetables, typically. As a matter of fact, a certain portion of carbs must come from vegetables, with no exception. No respectable weight-loss program can truly support an absolutely carb-free diet. Carbohydrates or essential for a healthy body, even during weight-loss.

Slow-carb is just another way of saying that you need to ingest carbs that are slow burning, such as vegetables, and even some fruit. Fast burning carbs would include processed breads and pastas, for instance.  These are the carbs that give a quick sugar boost, then drop just as quickly.

Not all carbs, even slow burning carbs, are created equal. Some low or slow carb diets recommend staying away from some vegetables they consider high in sugar, such as corn or peas, especially during the first phases. The same is true for dried beans and other protein rich foods that also are considered higher in carbs.

When comparing lists of acceptable foods on any low carb diet, you’ll see differences. You’ll also see differences in what levels of carbs are going to result in weight loss, and where those carbs should come from. In some diets, even slow burning carbs like dried beans are forbidden in the first phases. In other diets, all carbs, as long as they are slow burning carbs, are just fine.

This is not simple, but it is all a matter of opinion, personal preference, and what works for you. If you’ve been on a diet that includes such slow burning carbs as brown rice, black beans, and quinoa, and haven’t seen any results, this diet may not be for you. Individuals process carbs differently. Simply following a diet according to a low-glycemic index (the amount of carbs in a food) may not be what you need to lose weight, or it may be, but it’s a good way to start understanding how your body processes carbohydrates.

The Protein Process

Years ago, people were going on all sorts of vegetable and fruit only diets. Then there were the whole grain diets. None of those diets are part of our vernacular today, but the diets that are high in protein and low in fast-burning carbs are. Protein is essential for building muscle, which burns fat, and keeps us strong. Protein is a building block, just like other nutrients we know to be essential.

No matter which diet you follow today, if it includes a balanced approach to good sources of protein and carbohydrates, it is most likely a respectable weight-loss program. Human beings cannot live on protein alone, nor does any proper diet developed by a health professional suggest otherwise.

There was, actually, a myth around high protein, low carb diets for years. Nowhere in the mainstream market of dieting did a protein-only method for weight-loss exist. Even one of the most popular diets for decades that suggested adding more servings of proteins at every meal, actually formed the basis of their diet on ingesting more vegetables than protein. People got seriously ill, even fatally ill, by eating only protein, but this approach was never approved or suggested by any mainstream diet.

Eating a diet that’s rich in protein is not difficult for the most part. Protein from many sources, including dairy products, eggs, cheese, meat, poultry, and seafood is suggested in most low-carb diets. Because most proteins are also low carb, or no carb, it makes sense to eat a lot of these foods when on a low-carb diet. And because it’s almost impossible to over-indulge in protein, it’s a safe bet that you will practice portion control more easily.

It’s rare to see a person eat a whole roasted chicken, but a huge plate of pasta can disappear quite easily at one sitting. The diet systems may vary in exactly how much and which sources you should get the majority of your protein, but most well-respected diets include a good portion of protein each day, balanced with a variety of healthy carbs.

The Fat Fact

This seems to be where the division lies in many low-carb diets. Some diet plans say simply that you can’t get “fat from fat.” Other diet plans are so concerned with fat intake that they allow more carbohydrates if it means avoiding fat, as is the case with most ‘lite’ foods. If you check the labels, you’ll often find that “low fat,” “reduced fat,” and “light or lite” means added sugars to tweak the flavor.

The reason is simple; fat is flavor. That’s why one mainstream low-carb diet recommends eating regular, full fat foods, such as regular mayonnaise, sour cream, and even whole milk or heavy cream. While other low-carb diets have fats restricted by eating only fat-reduced dairy, dressings, etc.

The debate over fat is not easily settled. Fat is essential to your body’s, including your brain’s, health. Fat gives food flavor. Fat also makes you feel full. Without fat in your diet, your body will suffer. However, it’s also important to remember that it’s the type of fat you eat that matters. Fat that naturally occurs in nuts and avocados, for instance, are considered by most diets as essential elements. Added fats for cooking and serving foods, such as olive oil, are often included in healthy fats, but not in all stages of all diets. It all depends on which diet you’re following. Clear as mud, right?

So what is the truth? Should you eat whole grains and black beans on a low carb diet or stick to celery and broccoli? How much protein is enough protein? Should you eat eggs fried in olive oil or poached in water? Are fats good or bad for you? The fact is, the answer is different for different people. Some people respond very well to a high protein diet with added fat, while others simply don’t. Some people lose weight eating a diet that’s rich in whole grains, while other people gain weight. The best thing anyone can do is get all the information, then use your own common sense to decide what works for you. Keep a journal as you add and subtract foods from your diet, then do what works best for you.

Low Carb Holiday Recipes

Celebration Turkey Wild Rice Soup

1/2 cup wild rice, cooked according to package
2 tsp olive oil
3 celery stalks, chopped small
1 onion, diced small
1 tsp dried sage
6 cups turkey or chicken stock
2 cups finely chopped cabbage
2 cups cooked turkey or chicken, cut small
1/4 chopped parsley
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

In a large soup pot over medium heat, put olive oil, celery, onions, and sage, cooking until celery and onions are softened, about 4 or 5 minutes.

Pour in the stock, add the cabbage, stir and turn heat down to low, cover pot loosely, and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes or until the cabbage is soft.

Add the turkey, cooked wild rice, and parsley, and simmer very slowly (without bubbles), uncovered, for about 15 to 20 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in the balsamic vinegar, taste and adjust seasonings, adding more balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper as desired.

Devilish Spicy Eggs

12 large eggs
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped (optional)
1 teaspoon grated onion
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon good mustard
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt and black pepper to taste
paprika to taste
parsley for garnish

Fill a large pot with cold water and add eggs along with a tablespoon of white vinegar (this helps keep the white from leaking out of any cracked shells.)

Bring the pot to a good rolling boil, put cover on pot, remove from heat and let stand for exactly 13 minutes.
Meanwhile fill a large bowl with ice cubes and cold water and set in sink.

As soon as timer goes off, remove eggs from water and immediately put eggs in ice water bath to cool quickly (this prevents the yolks from turning green.)

When the eggs are cold, peel. (Hit egg on fat end then roll to crack completely to make peeling as easy as possible.)

Taking a sharp knife, cut the eggs in half lengthwise and remove the yolks carefully, putting them in a bowl.

Add to the yolks the mayonnaise, jalapeno, cumin, mustard, and cayenne pepper. Mix together until smooth and creamy, then stir in salt, black pepper, and paprika to taste.

Fill egg white halves with yolk mixture. Top with a sprig of parsley if
desired.

Store in refrigerator until needed and serve cool.

Makes 24 appetizers.

In conclusion, the holidays are a tough time of year to stay on track with your fitness plan. But with a little planning and ingenuity, you can keep the fitness level you’ve worked hard for all year – AND partake in all the holiday fun. Train hard and good luck!

Forest

P.S. If you liked this post, you’ll love my Holiday Fat Zapper package – and you’ve got just one more day to grab a copy of it at almost 50% off. Click the link below for details:

Holiday Fat Zapper

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