The best thing about winter is hoodies. I’ve always hated winter, but I’ve always loved the food it brings.
I have always said that I would much rather be sweaty in the heat than shivering in the cold, and that is 100% true.
But winter brings holidays, and holidays bring food. And food brings, well, me blowing out my fitness goals at the year’s end.
So this year, I decided to approach things a bit differently in an effort to be smart about how to approach the holidays, but still enjoy them.
My Plan of Attack
A big reason that the holidays are such a struggle for me is that I have no dietary or fitness commitments going into them. No commitments leave room for no rules. And without rules, there is chaos. And by chaos, I mean pies. Lots of pies.
So this year I have decided to commit to a dietary and workout plan starting on November 1st, which will last for 75 days. This puts me in a committed state until January 15th (which also protects me from New Year’s stupidity).
My thought here is, if I can start a commitment 3 weeks prior to Thanksgiving, then sticking to a plan will be that much easier to reinforce, being that I don’t want to lose the progress I’ve already made over the 3 weeks prior.
But I also want to be able to enjoy most of my favorite dishes during the holidays. So, how can I accomplish this?
The 75 Hard Plan
The 75 Hard has become popular over the last couple of years, thanks to 1st Phorm CEO Andy Frisella (who also wrote a book by the same name).
The 75 Hard plan is simple to follow, yet hard to follow through. The rules are as follows:
- 2 workouots a day, 45 minutes each (one must be outside…yay cold temps)
- follow a diet plan (more on this in a moment)
- drink a gallon of water a day
- read at least 10 pages of self help material a day
- take a progress picture every single day
The most difficult part about this challenge is the food, the diet. The rule also states no cheat meals, but it also doesn’t clearly define what it means to follow a “diet plan”. This leaves room for the person taking the challenge (me) to determine what type of diet I would want to follow that will get my best results at the end of the challenge, yet allow me to still enjoy the holidays and not feel like I’ve missed out.
My 90% Whole Food Diet Plan
I thought to myself, what foods do I enjoy the most during the holidays? The answer was easy. I love the eggs, the turkey, the potatoes, the salads, and the veggies. It turns out, the food I like most is predominantly whole foods, foods that aren’t prepackaged and processed.
As it turns out, during my normal day-to-day, I eat a LOT of packaged foods, albeit generally healthy and within my caloric limits. Nonetheless, I’ve been kicking around the idea as of late to avoid all prepackaged foods, and so this becomes a great time to implement.
Commit early, win later
So keep that in mind as we roll into the end-of-year festivities. Commitment early changes how you approach your decisions later in the year. Having 1, 2, or 3 weeks of killing it under your belt is a lot to lose for a few slices of pie and will help you make better choices during the holidays.
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75 Hard Rules: Everything You Need To Know
Rob is a Certified Personal Trainer and Certified Nutrition Coach through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. For the past 10 years, Rob has been navigating the health and fitness landscape in a quest to better himself and those around him focusing on tools such as calorie and macro counting, intermittent fasting, and HIIT training techniques.