Late August and early September every year, the gyms fill back up. People get back from vacation, get their kids settled into school, and then they head back to their personal trainers to hit the gym again.
Summer vacation is over and its time to get back to work. Between the time school starts and Thanksgiving, there is almost 3 months. In 3 months with a good personal trainer, if you work hard, you can make alot of progress in the gym. This will make it much easier to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner without any guilt or regrets.
My clients always ask me if I eat a big Thanksgiving dinner and if I think that its okay to eat a big meal that day. I say "Yes, of course! Enjoy it! We're not training to be monks. Have some good food and enjoy some relaxing time with your family as well...there's alot to be thankful for here in the good city of Dallas in the free country of the United States. You have all year to watch your diet. Give yourself a day off and just relax!"
Now, all that being said, if you haven't trained hard and eaten right in the meantime, I'm gonna have a hard time telling you to take a day off for Thanksgiving...because you've already been taking a bunch of days off!
Work hard for a couple months, get your body in the shape that you want, get your metabolism going fast, and then enjoy the holidays without guilt and regret. If you put on a couple pounds over the holidays, so be it. If you got in shape before hand, and you hit it hard again in January, no harm no foul. Live a little!
We train to live, not live to train!
Enjoy life, train hard, live with balance.
And, of course, get started with a good quality Dallas personal trainer if you haven't already.
There's nothing more frustrating than giving something your absolute best effort only to find out that you were doing the wrong thing and consequently will get no results.
Cardio is one of those things for many people.
Walk into any gym around the Dallas any day of the week and you'll see dozens of people on the cardio machines pushing themselves hard, straining, giving it their all.
Bless their hearts, they are working so hard...but they are not burning an ounce of fat..
After a while they will typically either quit or try hiring a Dallas personal trainer...and hopefully their trainer will know enough to direct them to a wiser approach...
Anytime you are pushing your body intensely, carbohydrate is the energy source being used. Not fat. This means that if you are straining yourself working hard on a cardio machine then you are not burning fat, you are burning carbohydrate. (ie you are operating in the anaerobic energy zone rather than the aerobic energy zone).
There is nothing inherently evil about the anaerobic energy zone. In fact, its the energy zone that increases your metabolism,. stimulates anti-aging hormones, builds lean muscle, etc, etc.
However....and this is a big big however...
If you are in the anaerobic energy zone constantly for an extended period of time (more than 1-2 minutes) then you cease to derive the positive benefits mentioned above and instead you begin to elevate your cortisol levels which causes you to accelerate the again process, burn off lean muscle tissue, and exhaust yourself with no actual benefit gained. No fat lost. No muscle gained, No metabolism improvement. Just accelerated aging and extreme fatigue.
Its possible that you might have seen a few ultra lean bodybuilders doing cardio for an hour or two straight...nice and slow. Heck they may have just been walking on the treadmill enjoying a movie in fact. You may have wondered how the heck they can get so lean if they're not even pushing themselves.
Well, the answer lies right there in the question itself...
Its the not pushing themselves that is the key. In order to burn fat during cardio you absolutely must keep your heart rate at a level that is low enough that your body is not induced to enter into the anaerobic energy zone in which carbohydrate becomes the primary energy source instead of fat.
We want to burn fat right?
Good, then let's burn fat...not carbohydrates.
There is plenty of need for anaerobic exercise done in a burst type of fashion...but that's not cardio.
to get lean and muscular you need to do
Don't get the two of these backwards.
Many people do. they take it easy when they're lifting weight and then they push hard when they're doing cardio. I couldn't come up with a better recipe for staying chubby if you asked me to.
If chubby is the goal, follow that plan.
If not, follow steps 1 and 2 above.