Fitness columnist Emmet Rushe has a good explanation for that Christmas pooch and has the guide for minimizing the damage before New Years.
If you are sitting today, completely stuffed and wondering how you are ever going to eat again, don’t worry, you are not alone.
It is the time of year where excess seems acceptable.
Too much food.
Too much alcohol.
Too many sweets.
Too many savoury treats.
The list is endless, and the more that is set in front of us, the more that is devoured.
If you have tried to assess the damage already, and have stepped on the scales and found a figure that you did not expect, fear not.
The extra 5-7lbs increase, or more, that you probably have seen isn’t as bad as you might think.
The scale only tells one part of the story when it comes to weight.
It doesn’t tell us how much is actual ‘fat’ gain, (the only that we should be worried about), and it doesn’t tell us how much is fluid retention.
If we consider that it takes and extra 3500 calories to gain 1lb of fat, it would mean that you would have had to eat between 17,500 and 24,500 calories in order to get an increase of 5-7lbs in 1-2 days.
If the scale has gone up more, then, you would have had to have eaten more calories in order to gain the extra ‘weight’ from fat.
This is almost impossible in a short space of time.
So, if it isn’t fat gain, what is it?
The type of foods that we over consume around this time of year are usually high in carbohydrates and fats. Our sodium intake is usually high also due to high salt snacks.
We can add in excess alcohol on top of this and a drop in water intake as we usually survive on tea, coffee, fizzy drinks and juices for our fluid intake.
This combination is a great environment for fluid retention.
While you may have gained 1-2lbs of actual fat from the excess of the past 2-3 days, the rest is fluid and muscle glycogen. Once you get back to normal way of eating and reduce your carbs, alcohol and salty snack intake, this will dissipate.
This is why people get such a drop in ‘weight’ when they start a ‘diet’, the body ‘dumps’ the excess fluid it is retaining. This will slow down and then level out to a slower rate of weight loss. But don’t be disheartened, as this is actual ‘fat’ loss and stopping now would be the wrong thing to do.
Things you can do to minimize the ‘damage’ between now and New Years.
- Drink more water
- Eat more vegetables at dinner to fill yourself up for less calories.
- Eat more meat to fill up on protein.
- Don’t sit next to the nibbles table (out of sight, out of mind)
- Snack on fruit in between meals (more fibre and fluid)
- Don’t add salt to your meals. (If you are snacking on salty snack, don’t add more when you don’t need it)
- Drink 1 glass of water for every alcoholic drink consumed. (Less alcohol and no hangover, that’s a win,win)
- Exercise. (Make use of the extra energy from all the food and put it to some good use)
If you are dreading the though of starting your fitness journey in January and aren’t sure where to start, let me help you.
My Drop a Dress Size challenge is kicking off on January 9th and it is designed to get the maximum results without severe dietary restriction. There are no diet pills, shakes or powders and we have a support community that will help you every step of the way.