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Guest Blog: Phil Mackenzie of Leansquad with Thanksgiving Advice for Staying Fit

By: Phil Mackenzie, Leansquad

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about ways to fight those inevitable Thanksgiving pitfalls.

Here are 5 tips I’d like to share with the Ædelhard American tribe to help maximize your Thanksgiving week – and entire Holiday season – while maintaining the leanness!

  1. Fasting

Staying lean over the Holidays is always much tougher than when you are in your normal routine. One trick I use all the time is intermittent fasting! Fasting is even MORE crucial over the Holiday season because we often over-indulge into dinner and drinks.

Fasting breaks your day into two blocks: “feeding” (when you are eating) and “fasting” (when you are not eating). Intermittent fasting is a very easy way to get your body burning fat and speed up the metabolism right before a big meal! During the Holidays, if you are able to extend your fast each day, it will help boost your metabolism and lower insulin levels which are both keys to staying LEAN! For example, after I wake up, if I know I will be eating a big dinner, I will drink my coffee and remain in a fasted state (not eating) for 3-5 hours after I wake up. If I know it’s going to be a REALLY BIG eating endeavour, I will try remain in a fasted state for 4-6 hours after waking up.

  1. Fasted HIIT

My second lean secret for the holiday season is fasted HIIT (high intensity interval training) cardio.

HIIT cardio is a workout style which calls for short bouts of intense physical exertion to raise your heart rate and get the body burning! It is important to keep the rest times short between each movement, so you keep your heart rate HIGH! When your heart rate is elevated in short bursts, your body is able to burn fat faster. AND, if you can perform your HIIT workout in a fasted state, your body is forced to use STORED ‘PHAT’ as its energy source which means: DOUBLE THE LEANNESS!

Fitting a HIIT workout into your morning after (or the day of as well!) Thanksgiving dinner will definitely give your body the kick it needs to get back on track and get back to lean living! Here’s a link to a body weight Hiit that you can do in anytime around the big meal so you can enjoy your Turkey dinner guilt free!

  1. Pick your spots!!

When you’re on the pitch, you have to know when to pick your spots! You can’t try to be everywhere at all times. You have to pick your moments when to run that hard line and break through the defence.

We have to take this same approach on Thanksgiving! For those of you who have “back to back” (dinners on consecutive nights) Thanksgiving dinners this year, listen up! It is VERY important to pick your moments to indulge. I know, Thanksgiving foods always look great and it’s easy to just dive right in and eat a little bit (or a lot) of everything, but it’s super important to pick your night! I suggest choosing one dinner to fully “indulge” (this INCLUDES alcohol), and to try and keep the other dinner as lean as you can. Another trick is to have a small lean meal before heading to dinner (don’t tell your host) so that you are not starving when you get there! Finally, I mentioned this above, but beware of your alcohol intake over the Holidays. When you drink alcohol, your body stops the fat burning process for 48 – 72 hours, so try to limit your drinks on multiple occasions!

  1. Stay Hydrated

Staying hydrated is SUPER important over the Holiday season. Water does so many great things for your body: It helps your body cleanse out any waste, it helps with digestion, it keeps your ligaments and joints lubricated, and it keeps you feeling energized all day long! Hydration is ESPECIALLY important over Thanksgiving and Christmas because Holiday foods tend to be super savoury and packed with salt, which drains the body of water – leaving you feeling dehydrated. Staying hydrated will help you sleep well, and wake up the next day feeling refreshed.

  1. Enjoy yourself

The last, and MOST IMPORTANT tip I want to share with you guys is to ENJOY YOURSELF!

One super important part of living a healthy life is balance. Living a lean life is important, but it’s also important to know when it’s okay to indulge and enjoy your time eating with your family and friends! Try to keep these tips in mind over the Holiday season, but always remember to take time to relax and enjoy yourself!