The holidays are a time of celebration and cheer…a time filled with family gatherings, good times, and mighty feastsLots of feasts. So over the next few weeks, you might be eating. a little more (and a little worse) than usual. 

That’s OK. With a few minor adjustments to your standard holiday menu and training regimen, you can make all those extra calories work in your favor.

You can head into the New Year with more muscle and, if you keep up with your cardio, you might start the new year a little leaner.

Follow these guidelines for maintaining (or even gaining) muscle.

1. Train Hard

It’s this stimulus that prevents the buildup in body fat. If you’re going to take a holiday break, it’s better to take one from dieting rather than your training.

2. Schedule 5-6 Meals a Day

Strive to eat something bodybuilder-friendly. every three hours. This prevents you from overeating and letting cravings take hold.

3. Eat Your Vegetables

They hold hardly any caloric value, so you can use them to fill up, suppress your sweet tooth, and get your fiber. Try to load up on salad with a light dressing before dinner.

4. Emphasize Low-fat Proteins

Skinless turkey breast, fat-free cheese and protein powders will help you get your fill of muscle-building calories without wrecking your progress in the gym. It also allows you to make room for higher-fat desserts and meats.

5. Skip Meals To Save Calories

Contrary to popular belief that fasting. can wreak havoc on your metabolism, there are many studies that short-term fasting. can be beneficial to directing energy to muscle instead of fat—as long as you don’t make a habit of it.

Instead of scheduling several meals for the day, you can also have small snacks and drink a lot of water to prevent gorging on foods that are dense in fat, sugar., and calories come dinner time. 

6. Don’t Worry About Weight Gain

When you go back to your regular bodybuilding routine. of eating and lifting, your body is sure to respond by dropping that weight.

7. Don’t Weigh Yourself After a Meal

Sugar– and salt-laden holiday meals can cause a lot of water retention, so if you step on the scale too early you could get discouraged. Most water retention will subside after 72 hours or so, giving you a clearer indication of how much weight you’ve gained, if any.