Updated: Jan 3
The answer to this question is completely personal to each individual. Although the following may help you make up your decision.
First of all ask yourself why you are exercising over this Christmas period? Is it because you are mid training programme? Do you just love exercising? Are you afraid you will lose your momentum? Do you feel guilt for not working out? Are you you using it as a tool to counter the calories you are consuming?
If you are one of those strange people like myself and really enjoy training, then it makes sense to still workout over the Christmas period. However if you are only choosing to exercise because you feel guilty for not exercising and eating lots of food then it probably isn't worth it. Using exercise as a tool to allow you to eat more is a slippery slope no one wants to be sliding down.
A good way to counter these issues is planned a deload week over the Christmas period. A deload week is when you cut back on your training, this normally involves reducing your training volume (reps, sets, weight). Other ways you can deload is by completely changing your programme up for the week or even not train at all. This takes away the guilt of not exercising because it is a planned rest and research shows that it will have a positive effect on your training. You will come back feeling rested physically, mentally and ready to go again.
One week of calorie surplus is not going to make you gain drastic levels of body fat, just the same as one week in extreme calorie deficit isn't going to make you lose drastic levels of body fat. The majority of the increase you will see on the scales post Christmas will just be water weight. Your extra indulgent in carbohydrates will result in greater water retention. The energy we do not use is stored as glycogen molecules and each gram of glycogen is attached with 3 grams of water.
However you spend your festive period is completely up to you, but just don't feel guilty if you take a week off away from the gym. Enjoy all the festive food and socialising with your friends and family.
If you would like help to kickstart your training this January or you would like help with your programming please just get in touch!