You’ve gone all out with the food; getting through heaps of potatoes, pie and turkey. “The only damage done is mental damage,” says fitness trainer Jonathan Goodair.
“Women are under more pressure than men to look good. They restrict what they eat as they think they can’t indulge if they want a flat stomach, skinny thighs or a great bum. All this panicking increases stress levels, but weight gain doesn’t happen overnight and one slice of cake won’t make you fat,” he explains.
“There’s no point in not participating in all the good things that come your way. You’ll do no physical harm by pigging out for a few days.”
Leftovers. You want them. You eat them. You also watch a marathon of reality TV and rarely move from the couch.
“Enjoy the food while it lasts. Traditional food isn’t the healthiest, but if you’re going to sit there doing a calorie count, there are ways to make it healthier. Avoid too much sugar, stuffing, potatoes and cranberry jelly and go for the turkey and green vegetables,” says Goodair.
By this point, all the hard exercise you did leading up to Christmas has started to melt away.
“A week of letting go can make a difference,” explains Goodair. “Too much of anything is bad for you. Excess sugar adds belly fat, salt increases blood pressure and fatty foods are high in calories. The best way to counteract the binge is to clean out your system. Drink around 1.5 litres of water a day to keep the body hydrated and eat sensibly and simply. Don’t eat all your calories in one meal but spread them out throughout the day, as small regular meals get your digestive system going. You will feel stodgy, so be harsh with yourself and shake off all the accumulated laziness by picking a specific time in the day when you will actively stimulate your body.
All that food was totally worth it. The damage is done but it’s not irreversible.
“The best way to lose weight is to do engaging, big moves. The larger muscle groups require more energy to work, raising your heart rate higher and burning more calories,” says Goodair. “Swimming, running, power walking and aerobic activities are perfect. Cut out all sugars and eat lots of green leafy vegetables and lean protein for a few days to kick-start your metabolism. Workout for three days a week and within two weeks you should be back to your old self.”