7 Damage Control Tips for After Thanksgiving Weekend

So you did it.  No holds barred, you ate what you wanted, had seconds, and had a slice of each of the three pies offered for dessert…. Hmmm and maybe a little more booze than a typical weekday?  Whatever, it’s done, it was fun, hopefully really yummy.  Now your body is doing it’s job and storing all those extra calories as fat for future use.  Don’t freak!

Here are a few ways to undo the damage by simply using that body fat:

  1. Give your body a full day (at least 16 and up to 36 hours if you can hack it) of fasting.  Seriously, our bodies were built for feast and famine.  That’s what the darn turkey holiday is really about… the bountiful harvest after times of famine (and inviting the native people who weren’t slaughtered to partake).  Drink coffee, tea or vitamin infused water.  Done regularly, intermittent fasting has been showing promising results for weight loss, management, longevity, brain function and is even being studied for help in treating cancer.  See my previous post about it’s benefits with links to studies.
  2. Do a liquid day.  I’m not suggesting a juice fast with that uses sweet fruits or vegetables though.  That spikes the insulin response which pulls the sugar out of your blood stream and makes you feel that crash.  A lot of people swear by those $7 – $10 kale juices, but I prefer just coffee or tea (for like .35) and a protein rich smoothie.
  3. Drink a Vitamin C and anti-inflammatory elixir to make you feel less puffy.  Boil water and add a teaspoon of fresh grated ginger.  Steep it to make a “tea” then strain out the ginger pulp.  Squeeze in a half a lemon and violá!  It’s good hot or cold.
  4. Workout before you eat anything (except coffee or tea).  This can help you burn more calories from fat.  However, if you feel weak and lightheaded from not eating, you won’t get a good workout, will you?  I put about 5 – 10 grams of BCAAs (branch chain amino acids) and a vitamin supplement with Creatine hcl (and a little caffeine) in my water and I’m cranking.  The BCAAs help muscle synthesis.  Caffeine by the way is a performance enhancer so you can workout a little harder with less fatigue.
  5. Clean up the leftovers.  Toss or give away the unhealthy sides (sorry stuffing) and desserts.  Save the turkey sans gravy.  Scramble it with egg whites and leftover veggies.  For lunch or dinner, put the turkey, beans, brussels sprouts, quinoa, etc. over a bed of fresh greens and toss with balsamic vinegar.  Skip the sandwich part.
  6. Get a lot of extra sleep if you’re feeling tired and fried.  It’s hard to over eat when you’re snoozing.  And, it helps reset your hunger hormones.
  7. Drop the carbs and go for the fat.  Whaaaaat?  Remember the Atkins Diet where you could wrap a sausage in bacon and smother it in cheese and still lose weight as long as you barely eat carbs?  Dr. Atkins popularized the ketogenic diet for a while which is basically a high fat, moderate protein and low carbohydrate diet.  Do a search for “ketogenic diet” on PubMed.gov and well over 1,500 published papers pop up, many from just this the past year.  It’s a hot topic in the research world and these studies are showing some remarkable results – not just in weight loss, but with cancer, diabetes and even epilepsy.  I suspect the ketogenic diet is going to be a big deal again only with a healthier spin – a “Modified Atkins Diet.”  Test it out this weekend by just eating the protein from turkey, lean meats, eggs, along with healthy fats, plain veggies with olive oil (even butter is allowed) but no stuffing, breads, pastas, rice or anything with sugary.  Note:  If you’re at risk for heart disease, you should probably pass on this option.

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