Curing the After Effects of a Holiday Binge

Written by: Susan Hang

619503601e1a16f27c9f442ba0f41c19 We’ve all been there…healthy eating and fitness on track right before the holidays and then we suddenly have an excuse to loosen up a little often resulting in overeating. Portion control gets buried in the depths of our stomach somewhere and we end up with more-than-necessary rounds of dessert. Come the weekend and we’re caught in the frenzy of steep discounts and great deals – that shopping high also comes with much unhealthy food repercussions. However, now that the party’s over, we’re left sluggish, bloated, and uncomfortable. But don’t panic – it’s temporary…you can easily rebound by following these steps:

– Commit.

The fastest and easiest way to getting back on track is getting your mindset in the right condition to commit to it. You should start as soon as possible to avoid falling into the downward spiral of eating poorly because you’re “already” on that route – that’s just paving the way to out of control eating. This commitment also means avoiding the leftovers. If it’s out of your sight, it’s out of your mind and you want to keep it that way. You’ve already had your chance to indulge in the goodness.

– Be well-rested.

We all know that getting an optimal amount of sleep allows you to make better sound decisions, which in this situation results in a higher chance of eating less and making healthier choices. Note how lack of sleep contributes skipping exercise and convenient eating (e.g. leftovers or take out). The first step to committing is actually being well-rested.

– Hydrate.

No matter how bloated you think it makes you feel, drink water and tea to help with the digestion process. I strive to drink 50 oz per day and increase it to at least 65 oz after a binge. The main thing is to avoid anything with sugar or caffeine.

– Eat better.

Yes, you know all those health foods fitness/nutrition addicts always talk about – eat those – dark leafy greens, whole grains, avocados, and lean protein. Again, avoid sugar, (bad) carbs, coffee, dairy, and gluten. Think whole foods only.

– Ease into exercise.

I’m not encouraging you to do high-intensity exercises immediately after that may cause you to vomit. It’s going to be impossible for you to burn every single calorie you ate over the holiday, but start light. This means go out for a light jog, power walk, or do 30 minutes of some bodyweight exercises. Once you start to feel better, you can hit the gym full-on as you normally would.

We usually go into the holiday season knowing we’ll overdo the food situation, but maybe we end up doing it a little more than we anticipated. It’s human nature – forgive yourself and let the recovery process begin.


– Susan

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Image Source Credits – VK Rees, Apartment 34