Most of us tend to gain a few extra pounds during the holidays: after all, it’s time to gather, eat and be merry! During the months of various celebrations, most people drop their fitness routines in place of party planning, nursing hangovers from previous gatherings and catching up on sleep. I’ll speak for myself when I say, “fitness what?” during the weeks of attending gatherings one after another and feeling stuffed with fatty, greasy, sugary goods, but yet continuing to consume them at the next party. So, what’s the best way to bounce back after binging through the holidays? Know what to do post-holidays to step into the new year with the right foot…some relatable Dos and Donts from Everyday Health.
Don’t: Let the weight of your food baby take you down for the count (or straight to the couch). Lying down can give you heartburn and other gastro issues. It can even aggravate respiratory issues for people with asthma.
Do: Get moving. Light exercise is the best thing you can do to help your body bounce back. Operative word: light. Jogging around the block might not be smart, thanks to the high barf factor, but taking a walk can do a world of good. Not only does it speed up digestion, it’ll also even out your blood sugar and clear glucose out of your bloodstream. Another idea is light yoga. Certain twisting poses have been known to assist and alleviate digestive woes.
Don’t: Drink alcohol or coffee. Knocking back a boozy “digestif” drink after a calorie rager is a common practice for many, but they don’t actually assist with digestion. In fact, alcohol can pump the breaks on your body’s digestive process. Coffee may swing you back up from a food slump with a jolt of caffeine, but it also doesn’t do any good for digestion.
Do: Drink water, seltzer, or teas. It might seem counterintuitive to drink water when your belly is full to bursting, but H2O helps move along digestion. It can also battle sodium and carb bloat, and it’s a preemptive strike against any post-gluttony constipation. You can also try seltzer, which is proven to relieve indigestion. Herbal teas with ginger, peppermint, and fennel have been shown to ease that I’m-so-stuffed feeling. In short, keep these liquids coming.
And for those of you who are happy to keep up with your eating plans during the holidays, but are annoyed with people pushing the not-so-great foods on you, here are a few ways to deal with the food pushers from Dr. Susan Albers to Huffington Post:
1) The Comedian: Say, “No, thank you! I couldn’t eat another piece! I’m starting to feel like the turkey — just a little too stuffed!” Keep it light-hearted.
2) The Professor: Use this as a teaching moment. Hold up your hand and make a fist. Say, “Did you know this is the actual size of your stomach? It’s amazing to think about how much we try to put in there!”
3) The Parent: It’s okay to say no. It’s as simple as that. Too often, we are afraid to put down limits. Say “no” politely, but with conviction. Practice when you are by yourself to make the words come out effortlessly. Other people easily push past a wishy-washy no.
4) The Therapist: Remember that the comments people make are often a reflection of their own fears and insecurities. Offering reassurance may help to take the pressure and focus off of you. Say, “It sounds like you would like another piece. Go for it!”
5) The Magician: Try to divert and deflect. Be sure to hand out a compliment, “The pie is fantastic! Do you have the recipe?” This can redirect the focus from eating to learning how to make it.