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Holiday Fitness & Nutrition Strategies


How Do I Get Ripped?


You enjoy the holidays.


What? Seriously, please let me explain. I subscribe to the discipline of working hard with my workouts and nutrition so that I CAN enjoy the holidays… of course in moderation. I have found that too many people lose focus of their health during the holidays, and then feel guilty for “cheating” ultimately causing them to resent their healthy lifestyle. Often times this is the root cause of quitting a program. It is really a shame. My good friend Dennis and I would rather characterize enjoying the holidays as “treating” yourself or getting “rewards” for all of your hard work. In other words, work hard so that you can play hard(er). With that said, moderation is important and there are many ways to support your healthy lifestyle during the holiday season. This includes numerous fitness and nutrition strategies that YOU can choose to implement to avoid derailing all of your hard work.




How Do I Get Ripped?


Make better nutrition decisions in terms of the type, quantity and timing of food and drinks. Of course decisions are dependent on your current lifestyle and goals. Someone that is bulking up for significant mass gain may make slightly different decisions that someone that is focused on shredding body fat. Regardless, general nutrition tips include….


  • Focus on a lot of vegetables such as broccoli, green beans, asparagus, celery, onions, mushrooms, green salad, avocado, zucchini, Brussels sprouts, yellow squash and spinach. Watch the sauces, sugars, dressing and creams – even for non-vegetable dishes. Unprocessed, healthy fat oils are typically the best.
  • Some fruit is good. Examples include apples and pears.
  • Lean meats are perfect. Turkey (white over dark if possible) and chicken are great choices. Removing the skin is ideal.
  • Complex carbohydrates over starchy carbohydrates. For example, sweet potato (yams) over baked potato. Limit sour cream, cheese, butter, brown sugar and other additions to manipulate flavor. Watch the casseroles.
  • Unsalted nuts are excellent source of healthy fat such as raw almonds, walnuts, pecans and peanuts. (Great snack food!)
  • Unsweetened teas and coffee without cream are recommended.
  • Minimize dairy and breads (complex grain-type is best).
  • For alcohol, I typically focus on red wine or some hard liquor such as rum without soft drink mix. (Remember, alcohol is 7 calories per gram relative to 4 calories per gram for carbs and protein. Fat is 9 calories per gram. Body typically burns off alcohol before fat intake, which can thus enhance fat storage.) For me and many others, beer is a poor choice (yes, even the low cal – carb options). However, my advice here is to drink one glass or bottle of water per drink regardless and enjoy yourself in moderation if you choose. Listen, I WILL have drinks. Also, the fitness recommendations below will cover ways to ramp metabolism to burn calories.
  • Minimize desserts.
  • Watch your salt intake. Excessive salt is unhealthy for many reasons, but you also retain more water as a consequence. I typically recommend 2400 mg per day.
  • In general, taper carbs during the day with less in the evening.
  • Do not overload your plate with food and take your time to eat. Trust me; you WILL consume less this way. Some people choose to take a smaller plate for portion control.
  • Cooks – Be careful how much you “sample” your dishes since the calories may add up fast!


How Do I Get Ripped Over the Holidays?


Engage in exercise. This is really important. There is no better way to enjoy holiday nutrition than to make sure your body is burning calories like a furnace. Exercise, especially high intensity interval cardio and resistance workouts, will ramp your metabolism for up to a day or more after the workout is complete. This means enhanced calorie burn. I recommend working out the day before holiday parties and day after to ensure your body is processing your nutrition efficiently. Any exercise is better than nothing. I highly recommend the efficient Beachbody® programs such as P90X and INSANITY. Join TEAM RAGE and let me help you achieve your goals. Click here to join. I will also personally help you get dialed in with your nutrition and supplements consistent with your workout program. Take advantage of my free coaching services and let’s do this together. I have many other tips for the holiday season… Let’s get ripped!!


Happy Holidays!



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Premiere 5 Star Diamond Independent Beachbody Coach, CEO and Founder of TEAM RAGE, Mike Nowak Fitness, and How Do I Get Ripped, LLC. You are about to learn how I went from out-of-shape busy dad with significant travel, 2 kids and a wife to losing 20 pounds, 16% body fat and 7" off my waist while getting paid more income from home than my Ph.D. in Science & Engineering. Retired my Ph.D. career to focus on FAMILY & FITNESS!


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