Holidays weight gain is NOT inevitable*

Tuesday, 21 November 2017, By Jeff Osborne

One of the issues with this time of the year is that people put on weight and think that it is inevitable. I for one believe that you should be able to enjoy yourself and the people close to you without destroying all the good work you have done to get to this point. 

From what we see there are 2 main things that make people come undone when it comes to celebrations. 

Overeating (bad) Carbs.

If you have been working hard to lose some weight, one of the ways you can come undone this time of the year is with eating too many carbs. So many of the snacks and food that get served to us this time of the year are carb heavy and it is easy to over consume and turn your body into a fat storing machine. The problem doesn't so much lay in the calories a carb carries with it. It is what the carbs do to your hormones that causes the issues. 

Every time you eat carbs your body will store the other things you have eaten and try to work on burning the carbs off. The higher GI and the bigger the load of carbs the more efficient your body becomes at storing the carbs you ate. You need some carbs to burn for fuel but when you eat too many it can take an hour to burn through the excess before you even start burning some fat during exercise!

What you eat before, during and after you drink alcohol.

Alcohol is a toxin (we all have felt that!) but it is also an energy source and the only way to rid it from your system is to burn it off as energy. Problem being that if you are eating while you are drinking, then your body will prioritise the alcohol to burn and store everything else! When each glass of wine takes 10 min to burn off cycling one big night could take a fair bit of undoing! 

But don't despair, there are some things you can do. Here are my top tips:

  1. When you know you have a party on, plan the food you are going to eat for the day. Make sure you get a high protein, low carb breakfast done (my fav is a 1 egg + egg white and veg omelette with ham), have some low carb snacks like Biltong or grilled prawns and make your meals a good serve of protein like rump steak, fish or chicken with salad (low carb dressing). Avoid starchy carbs, fruit, sugar, milk, bread etc.
  2. Eat a good meal before you go. You are less likely to overindulge in snacks, chocolates, hors d'oeuvres etc. That way you don't have to avoid them completely but you won't eat too many. 
  3. Dance! Don't sit on your butt all night! Get up and boogie... burn some of that alcohol off!
  4. The next day, make yourself a coffee (black preferably) and go for a good long walk. If you are up for it a swim, this will help you feel better too. Get some exercise and get to work burning off some of the 'bad' cabs and alcohol from the night before. Then for the rest of the day follow the point #1 formula with a protein breakfast and low carb snacks. It can also be helpful if you are not feeling the best to have some avocado and lots of good quality salt (unless you have blood pressure issues, in that case you need to be more cautious). 
  5. Get some accountability! If you have a person you need to see... (like a Vision Personal Trainer) every week during the holidays you are less likely to blow out completely and wait until January to start getting back into shape! 

Remember, the holidays are meant to be fun. Enjoy yourself, don't destroy yourself! Keep in mind my favourite quote on the subject - "Drinking alcohol is the practice of borrowing happiness from tomorrow"

*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.

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