Why are you reading this?! It’s the holidays. Enjoy it!
I mean, come on, taking a few days to hang out with your friends and family and enjoying some good food isn’t going to kill you. Quit worrying about how you look for a little bit.
Have a good time, eat a little too much, then pass out on the couch.
It’s ok. You can get back in the gym tomorrow.
Now, I realize that’s easier said than done for some. So, if you just can’t let go and you’ve got to have some tricks up your sleeve for minimizing the damage from holiday feasting, I’ll throw out a few tips from some folks who know a thing or two. I should also mention that this isn’t medical advice. You should always consult your health care provider before trying anything I mention below.
- Get plenty of sleep.
- Drink tons of water.
- Cut back on or cut out carbs the days leading up to and the days after your big feast.
- Workout the morning of.
- Fast leading up to and after your big feast.
- Eat lots of veggies.
- Take prebiotics and probiotics.
- Drink bone broth.
- Take a collagen or L-Glutamine supplement.
- Drink grapefruit juice and/or lime juice before eating and drinking.
- Consume your favorite form of caffeine before eating and drinking.
- Put some cinnamon on it.
- See number 1.
You can probably see an underlying theme here. Recovery.
The majority of this list will help you recover from the excess stress you’re putting on your digestive system.
I mentioned sleep twice because, well, that’s your best tool for recovery. There’s a book on my wish list that I’ve yet to read. Although, I bought it for one of my friends who was struggling with sleep, and he says it’s a game changer. This miracle book is Sleep Smarter: 21 Essential Strategies to Sleep Your Way to A Better Body, Better Health, and Bigger Success by Shawn Stevenson.
Reducing your carb intake will increase your insulin sensitivity which means your body will be more inclined to make better use of the carbs you eat and less likely to store them as fat. Although, depending on your current state, it will probably take more than a few days to increase your insulin sensitivity. I will say though, if you experiment with carb reduction, be careful. This won’t work for everyone, and you should definitely do your research and talk to a professional before experimenting with this. If you do dive into the low carb/no carb life, consider taking some amino acids. It’s helped me keep my sanity and fight off carb cravings.
Workout the morning of your big feast. Your body will be more likely to put those excess calories to good use and not store them as fat if you create some demand.
After your workout, don’t eat if you can manage it. I know this is counterintuitive to the old school thinking of eating within 30 minutes after working out. BUT, there is some good science behind the body’s reaction to fasting and the positive effect on our hormones. Fasting will let your body use it’s currently stored energy (fat) for repair/recovery. It will also improve your insulin sensitivity. Fasting afterwards will help your body recover as well and minimize the damage. Aim for at least 16 hours after your last bite or drink. So if you have your last drink at 10pm, don’t eat or drink anything until 2pm the next day. Sleeping as long as possible this night will help as well. Less time awake means less time thinking about food.
Speaking of drinking. If you’re going to partake in some alcoholic beverages, try making your cocktails with either grapefruit or lime juice. These two are great for fighting the insulin spike from alcohol/sugar. Check out one of my favorite videos from Mr. John Romaniello:
Again, all that extra food and drink are going to wreak havoc on your digestive system. You’ll want to do anything you can to help it recover afterwards. Prebiotics, Probiotics, Bone Broth, Collagen and Glutamine are all great for helping your tummy heal. Some of my favorites are Organifi green juice which is packed full of inflammation-reducing super foods, Kettle and Fire Bone Broth, Vital Proteins Collagen & Probiotics, and L-Glutamine.
Hopefully you can worry a little less about your fitness goals and the way you look and just enjoy the holidays with your friends and family.
Leave a comment below and let me know what dish your looking forward to the most or what hacks you have for fighting the holiday weight gain.
Check out the links below for some more info on fasting and damage control.