The best thing about the cold winter season is the bulking phase!
Those that are lean tend to feel the cold easier than those with a higher body fat percentage. So, during the bulking phase we gain muscle and more than likely some extra body fat too, but we can look at the positives here... at least we feel warmer!
During a bulking phase we will eat in a calorie surplus, which is the opposite to eating in a deficit. When we eat in a surplus we eat more calories than our body requires, resulting in a weight increase... but gaining weight when building muscle is not the same as gaining weight through poor nutrition as this will just result in typical fat gain, which isn’t what we want when we are trying to build muscle. We will still build muscle even if the diet isn't great because the extra energy is available but we will most definitely store body fat too and generally feel rubbish and not perform and recover as well as we normally would.
Consuming calories in a surplus is ok and very necessary to increase muscle size and strength levels but we need to put those extra calories to good use! Don't choose just any type of food, aim to eat good quality protein, plenty of carbs and good fats as much as possible.
During the Christmas period though, its more difficult to eat healthy with all the delicious options we're faced with on a daily basis but don't stress it.
Take time to spend it with family and friends, have fun and get those winter gains in the gym! Use the extra energy to lift some heavy weights and make some strength gains this Christmas!!
Just make sure you eat plenty of protein during the bulking phase AND cutting phase. You can lose muscle as well as fat when you're cutting, if the muscles are not supported through the correct nutrition.
The increase in extra body fat is good insulation to keep us warm during the cold season, but when the weather starts to warm up again, you might decide to start cutting and losing body fat - most choose to do this immediately after Christmas (New Year's Resolutions etc.).
During the cutting phase, It’s like taking off the coat that’s been keeping us warm throughout winter and as we continue to train hard and cut out those treats we’ve been over-eating the last few weeks, your new gains from over the surplus period will be revealed once the fat stores begin to decrease again ready for summer time.
Have a great Christmas and make lots of fun memories and don’t forget... enjoy your food over christmas and lift those weights.
Merry Fit-mas... now lets hit GROW MODE