How to recover from holiday binge eating

By on November 27, 2012
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The average American consumed 4500 calories on Thanksgiving Thursday. That is enough calories to gain more one and one tenth of a pound in one day, not including the delicious day-after leftovers of turkey sandwiches with sides of dressing. But what about those who aim to recover from the binge and get healthy after undoubtedly the worst day of the year for dieters and health nuts? Follow these simple steps for a quick two days to get your body back to its baseline.

Continuing to partake in an exercise regiment during the holiday season can lift guilt from heavy meals. MCT Campus

First of all, wake up early. Feel positive and feel motivated. Just because you gorged one day does not mean all hope is lost. Drink a glass of hot water and lemon juice, both proven to speed up your metabolism. If you don’t particularly like lemon water, drink regular water instead. The water will help flush out your body and keep you from bloating.

Before breakfast, perform fifteen minutes of light exercise, such as walking. Then, have a small and clean breakfast- such as a bowl of Special K or egg whites with spinach. True, it may not be the most filling meal, but how bad do you feel about your meal from Thanksgiving? About fifteen minutes later, perform one hour of your favorite exercise; working out in the morning also increases your metabolism and helps you maintain strength towards temptation throughout the day. And through your day, remember to drink a glass of water every couple of hours to keep you from eating out of boredom.

For lunch, have a medium-sized clean meal with lean protein and vegetables. Although more meat may not sound appetizing, eat protein or stay hungry and angry. However, your snacks for the day should be strictly fruits and vegetables. If your Thanksgiving binge exceeded 1000 calories, try to find another hour to exercise somewhere in the day. One hour of exercise consumes approximately 4% of your day, so you have no excuse. You need to burn off the calories before it turns to fat.

Have a small dinner with more lean protein: these can include tofu or chicken. Ideally, one day per week should be considered a day of vegetarianism (think Meatless Monday), but if you are just beginning to diet, this day will be a struggle with hunger. But on your detox days, about twenty minutes after dinner, have another class of water and lemon juice. Lastly, go to dinner about four hours after dinner. In those hours, don’t become sedentary: walk during commercial breaks, clean your room, anything that keeps you moving.

If you repeat these steps for another day before eating another big meal, you ultimately will feel less guilty and bloated and more ready to get back on your general exercise program- or start one! Don’t, however, starve yourself out of guilt. Not eating every three hours or so, even if you only consume an apple, sends the body into starvation mode. And if you don’t eat at all in twelve hours, your body’s metabolism actually slows by 60%. Remember that moderation is key in all things food! Good luck!

Mariah Gibson
Features Editor
features@insideuab.com

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