Today, Sunday, November 29, 2015, I vow to stop putting cranberry sauce on everything.
I promise to stop eating bites of leftover gluten-free cornbread dressing every time I walk past the fridge.
I will stop trying to convince myself that the turkey & vegetable pastales my mother-in-law made are probably pretty low in carbs and high in protein and thus, okay to eat between meals.
Thanksgiving 2015, I hereby declare you over.
The Fat Loss Foodies - Alaina, Jenn and Leslie Ann - had some pretty amazing Thanksgiving feasts this year (see photographic evidence below.)
Left to Right: Jenn's Thanksgiving plate, Leslie Ann's dessert, and Alaina's Thanksgiving plate. We take Thanksgiving seriously...
But here we are, three days after the main event, and it would be really nice to NOT feel bloated, constantly full, and slightly pudgy around the middle, right?
Welcome to the post-holiday bloat, a phenomenon caused by eating foods out of your normal routine, foods higher in starch, sugar, fat, and salt, and eating slightly more food in general.
If you LOVE the holidays but hate that bloated feeling, here are our top 5 tips for getting back to normal and back into your skinny jeans. No drastic measures required, just a sane, sensible, measured return to normalcy.
1. Avoid the Scale and Remain Calm
"BUT I JUST KNOW I GAINED FIVE POUNDS OF PURE FAT! I'm scared to step on the scale!"
Then don't. Why do you need the scale to tell you how you feel? If your clothes are fitting a little tighter, you're feeling sluggish, and your digestive system is hating you, then that's all you need to know. You know what needs to be done regardless of what the scale says.
Most of the discomfort and "why don't my jeans fit!?" is due to water retention, not actual fat gain. One or two days of indulgent eating (i.e. more carbs, higher sodium, higher sugar, just more food in general) may make you FEEL like you've gained five pounds of fat, but the reality is that most of it is water weight and will disappear in 2-3 days of "back to normal" fat loss eating.
Don't let the "yuck" you're feeling today cause you to slide into next week with lazy eating and missed workouts. You haven't lost all the progress you made this year. It's still there, it's just temporarily hiding under a layer of fluff:)
My strategy? Put on a pair of my most slimming black leggings and a tunic and enjoy the day or two of extra junk in the trunk.
Do NOT let a temporary bump in the road throw you off your game.
2. Start chugging the water.
Drink 3-4 liters of fresh water. Flavor it with citrus slices and cucumber and mint if you need to make it more exciting, but get that water in!
Go ahead and count unsweetened black and green tea towards your water content as well. Green tea even has a mild diuretic effect and helps the body shed excess water. Skip the skinny lattes at Starbucks and order a Venti Green tea to sip while you're making your shopping rounds. Yes, you're going to make a lot of bathroom trips, but being dehydrated will only make the current problem worse.
It's not even 10 a.m. and I'm already finishing my first 20 oz. first bottle. Four more to go today to hit my daily goal of 100 ounces!
3. Get Your Sweat On!
This is as much for the psychological benefits as it is the physical. One workout can improve your mood and enhance your outlook on everything - including how you look and feel.
Use the extra fuel that's stored up in your body right now to set some PRs (personal records). Add a little more weight to your barbell for squats. Up the speed on the treadmill for your sprint intervals. Get in a few more reps. You fueled well, now use it for something good: fitness gains.
Grab your spouse or a girlfriend or your dog and get your sweat on! An hour-long sweat sesh with your favorite person or animal - how can you NOT feel good after that!? My workout today: GRIT Strength + a run-through of tracks 1-6 of BODYCOMBAT® 66 with my husband.
4. Restock with what you SHOULD be eating.
You are never going to win the battle against that leftover pie on your counter. You are going to keep shaving off mini-slices until it is gone, because it is there. That pie is delicious. That pie is also very powerful. Stop making this harder than it has to be and get rid of the pie. Willpower is never there for you when you need it, and in the Pie vs. Willpower Battle, the Pie always wins.
It's time to move on and set yourself up for success.
Freeze or repurpose the leftovers and get the pie, gravy, dressing, and mashed potatoes out of your fridge. Load up your grocery bags and head to the Farmer's Market to stock up on lean protein (not turkey, okay?), fresh seasonal vegetables, apples and pears, and whatever else you need for a week of back-to-normal eating.
Personally, I was in a losing battle against my gluten-free cornbread dressing and cranberry sauce. I had my last square of it for breakfast (I'm gross - I know this), and then bid it farewell once and for all.
I'm headed to the Farmer's Market later this morning - check!
5. Eat High Protein and High Fiber Meals
This is the bedrock of fat loss nutrition, not cutting calories, skipping meals, or drinking putrid green juices.
Too many women think the solution to over-eating is not eating or under-eating. Do this and you're forever trapped in an endless cycle of over-eating, then under-eating and over-exercising, and then doing it all over again and hating yourself along the way.
Fat Loss Foodies strive for equilibrium year-round, even through the holidays.
Equilibrium: a state of rest or balance due to the equal action of opposing forces. Mental or emotional balance; equanimity.
The online diet gurus are well aware of how you feel right now, and they are trying to take advantage of it with their flood of e-books, programs, and plans promising 6-packs and chiseled bodies - if only you'll buy their special Black Friday/Small Business Saturday/Cyber Monday deal.
Here's the real deal: you already know everything you need to know to fix this problem, and the solution is readily available. It's at the grocery store and/or farmer's market. It's chicken, steak, salmon, pork, and eggs, and spinach, kale, carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower. (Let's avoid turkey and sweet potatoes for the time being, mmmkay?) Add some herbs and spices and olive oil. Keep it simple. Make it taste good.
Nourish your body with enough of the right foods and you'll shut down the post-holiday panic and hunger pangs.
Thanksgiving, you were delicious and you were good to us, but I think I speak for women all over America when I say: we are ready to fit back into our jeans! Put these 5 tips into action and let the de-bloat begin! We'd love to hear from you and let you know how it goes! Drop us a line any time at LeslieAnn@FatLossfoodies.com!
- Leslie Ann