Wow, some of you are really feeling the effects. I’ve had so many emails from people in the last couple of days venting their panic and shock about how much ‘weight’ they have put on from Christmas Eve to Boxing Day.
Firstly, stay off the scales. You’re going to be heavier. I’m going to be heavier… the scales are going to groan. Stop doing it. It’s only temporary. And it’s temporary because of this.
When you overeat, especially carbohydrate and sugar, some is used up for energy and some is stored as ‘glycogen’. This is packed away in your muscles and liver (I know, odd places) and there’s about 1200 -1500 calories worth. Anything over and above this will be stored as fat. It went on quickly, it will come off quickly.
Every molecule of glycogen sticks to three molecules of water… hence you feel a bit, sort of, swollen. The nicely fitting black trousers you bought for the work Christmas do are now OMG so flipping uncomfortable that you’re panicking about your NY Eve outfit.
Here’s me clutching my inner thighs this morning, after bootcamp. That’s where my turkey is hanging.
So, to make you feel physically (and therefore mentally) on top of the world, try and find the gumption to do some of the following to get shot of that temporary festive fat feeling:
- Use up that glycogen! Do some exercise but fast at the same time. So, just drink water and do whatever training or exercise floats your boat… use up that 1500 calories sitting in your liver! Don’t use it as an excuse to over eat later in the day.
- Work your muscles. After that (preferably on the same day, and than again the day after) add in some resistance training. That means, using your muscles so they hurt a bit so that you are signalling to your body that you want to hang onto your muscle and that any exertion should be fuelled by the newly formed fat. So, for example: 1 squat, 1 squat jump, 2 squats, 2 squat jumps… all the way up to 5, 10 or even 20, depending on your fitness level. Then follow it with 1 press up, 1 abdominal crunch, 2 of each, 3 of each etc ad nauseam.
- Cut down on starch and sugar. Spend two days eating only protein (meat, fish, eggs, pulses) and vegetables (especially green ones which have more vitamins and minerals in to keep you from feeling lethargic and to reduce the bloat). No fruit, nothing sweet at all. Trust me, you will be gagging for a banana by the end of it. Over the last few days your brain will have been re-programmed to expect sugary, carby foods and it will be prodding you every hour on the hour to succumb. Don’t give it the satisfaction.
- Hydrate. Drink 2-3 litres of water (helps flush out that other water).
- Flush it out. Wee that glorious pale coloured I’m-not-dehydrated-any-more wee.
- Resist the fizz. Have a couple of days without alcohol. Remember it’s a depressant so apart from the initial high (and the jolly nice taste) all it will give you is interrupted sleep, a tired face, a bloated stomach and a struggling liver. Not to mention more fat storage.
- Fast for a day. Give that digestive system a good old rest. Wake up, have herbal tea and water. Go for long walks. More tea, more water. Feel hungry. Bit snappy, maybe. Feel flatter. Feel more energetic. Go to bed on an empty stomach. Wake up and eat normally but healthily the following day.
Just don’t panic and give yourself a hard time. Just do something about it for the odd couple of days when you have a gap in between visitors and parties. Then, in January, you can reassess and decide if a more permanent plan of action is needed.
Enjoy the rest of your break and thank you for reading. Annie x