“Fitman” Eric Brown, who earned his pro card in natural bodybuilding by winning the 2022 NGA Mr. Natural Philadelphia competition, has a wealth of fitness knowledge and information.
Owner/head coach of the Fitman Performance & Physique Center in Roslyn shared the following for his new series, “Fit Talk.”
FIT TALK #2
Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain: Juneteenth Is Coming Up And So Is Father’s Day. How Can I Enjoy The Food And Avoid Gaining Excess Weight During The Holiday Weekend?
“Before I answer this question each time we have a day of national recognition to celebrate the official end of slavery in America is a momentous day,” Fitman said. “Also, I’m extremely fortunate to be the son of the greatest Dad of all time, the great Jim Brown. I wouldn’t be the man I am or have certain principles instilled in me without his love and guidance throughout my life, so Happy Father’s Day to him.”
“Now I’m not one to tell most people to drastically limit themselves on a holiday or avoid certain foods unless the person has a bodybuilding contest coming up. In fact, the only times I’ve intentionally avoided eating holiday foods is if a contest is coming up around a certain holiday.”
“Holidays are times where family and friends come together to have good conversation and excellent food. But you also don’t want to turn into a complete glutton just because it’s a holiday. I have some options for you to mitigate the damage that can be done with holiday eating.”
1) Eat Less Food
“This is without question the least popular option during a holiday,” Fitman said. “But it’s definitely the most effective.”
“Gaining or losing body fat is all about being in an energy deficit or surplus. If you are consuming more calories than what you burn, you end up gaining weight. And if you aren’t consistently lifting weights to build muscle while in that surplus, that weight gain will be body fat,” he said. “What you can do on the holiday, is enjoy yourself, but practice moderation. For example, if you want to have more macaroni and cheese or yams, have less dessert. This can bring the overall calories you consume down versus you just blatantly overeating everything you see.”
“Another way to eat less would be to put the focus of your meals on protein along with adding some fiber. Protein, along with some fiber, will keep you more satiated and keep your hunger at bay for much longer. Having a quality protein rich meal or a low carb protein shake in the hours before your meal can also bring your appetite down a bit before you eat. An average protein shake is only about 100-120 calories per serving, so the caloric load is not high.”
2) Don’t Drink Your Calories
“It’s very easy to drink a lot of calories, especially when you are drinking juices and sodas that are packed to the brim with sugar,” Fitman said. “And before you know it, you have consumed and additional 1000 calories on top of what you ate!”
“I highly recommend drinking zero or low calorie drinks. I drink zero calorie drinks all throughout the year, and the holidays are no different. What I like to do is drink either True Lemon products or a naturally flavored, 0 calorie seltzer water. I sweeten them both with Stevia, which is a natural sweetener that has zero calories. And they taste excellent.”
“By not drinking your calories, you will consume far less calories on that day.”
3) Train Hard
“While you cannot out train a bad diet, consistent training is a good way to mitigate some of the effects of treat meals,” Fitman said. “When you are lean and muscular, your body burns more calories at rest and uses fuel more efficiently. Natural bodybuilding improves how your body looks but more importantly, lifting weights is beyond critical for long term health, strength, and wellness.”
“For example, if you are having a Father’s Day dinner, perform a hard lifting workout, followed by conditioning or cardio earlier in the day. That’s the best way to mitigate some of the effects of the dinner because this will ensure that you use a great deal of fuel before you dig in. And some of those calories will also help with recovery after your training sessions are over.”
“Excluding the dinner and your pre-workout meal, you also should lower your overall calories throughout the rest of the day to account for the calorie surplus you will more than likely have at the dinner and dessert. Eating less at other times during the day will also bring the overall caloric load down.”
“I personally implement all of this information when I’m planning treat meals. Using these tips will prevent your holiday from turning into an unmitigated, nutritional disaster!”
Your Time Is Now
It’s hard to get into great shape and even harder if you do not have a plan of action on how to get there. Fortunately, we have one of the elite personal trainers in the nation (as rated by Men’s Health magazine) right here in the Abington area.
To work with Fitman at his gym in Roslyn and get into the best shape of your life, please book your appointment by visiting https://fitmanclassicbodybuilding.com/book-appointments-with-fitman/.
Prospective clients will receive one complimentary consultation throughout the month of June. When you are working with Fitman, you are working with an honest, certified professional whose only goal is to get his clients to unleash their inner greatness.