Splurging during the holiday season is one of the most common reasons for weight gain. The reason you feel so sleepy after eating Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner has less to do with the turkey, as many would have you believe, and more to do with the fact that you ate way too much.
When you eat too much, your digestive system requires the energy (blood cells) that your brain would usually use for activity to spread the nutrients from the food to the rest of your body. However, what you choose to splurge on can affect you long after your afternoon nap.
If you are eating carbohydrates, or foods that contain tryptophan (such as turkey and milk) that sleepy feeling may not go away as quickly as you would’ve liked because these substances turn to glucose, which causes the same affect on the brain as overeating.
Now that you are completely confused, let’s simplify this for you. Turkey makes you tired, rolls give you rolls and overeating makes you beg for a pillow and blankie.
Get Fit Not Flab
Instead of pigging out on the candies, pies, and other baked goods sitting around the house, take some time to do something active. Some people feel like eating helps keep them warm, but the food isn’t what’s giving the warm sensation, it is the metabolism starting to work.
There are other ways to warm up, including physical activity. I have included some exercises that will get your body moving and help quickly warm you up so that you can get the most out of your exercise routine.
Warm Up with Workouts
Working out will obviously help warm up your body; however, before you actually start the workout process you need to do some exercises to get your body ready to perform. Warm up exercises include:
- Light physical activity – such as walking, jogging, and cycling.
- Catching and throwing activities
- Sports activity motions
These easy activities will help increase your heart rate, blood flow, breathing, and general circulation so that you can be ready for the higher activity level that is required with more intense activity levels.
Get Up Off of that Thing!
Instead of letting your cravings control you, take control and change your habits. Of course, you won’t be able to avoid the dinner parties at the family get together and it would just be offensive if you didn’t have at least one slice of Aunt May’s famous apple pie.
However, enjoying family company and homemade dishes doesn’t mean you have to be constantly stuffing your face. Engage the family in a rousing game of touch football, Frisbee, volleyball or racquetball. If you like the winter sports, go out for a day on the slopes, enjoy a day at the ice rink or find a hill and take the kids in the family sledding.
Even if the family doesn’t want to be active together, do something yourself. You aren’t with family 24/7 because if you were we’d all be hearing about it. Make time to get in some crunches, jumping jacks or just take a few laps around the block. Doing this will keep you feeling great throughout the holiday.
Skip the Soda
Last, but not least, skip the soda. Maybe you don’t over eat at Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners and you don’t even really like pie and cookies, but you still seem to gain weight during the holiday season.
Many people don’t realize that holiday drinks are the quickest way to pack on the extra pounds without even knowing it. Sodas, wine, beer or other drinks have enough sugar to send your 3 year old through the roof with just a sip and you can be sure it will all go straight to your hips.
Undoing the Damage
Maybe you’ve done all you can and you still packed on the extra pounds. Then it’s the perfect time to check out a weight loss boot camp, such as one of the various adult weight loss camps located throughout the country, to get your rear back in gear.
Heidi Rothert writes content for Inspire Fit Resorts, located in the beautiful mountain area of Park City, Utah, where you can start your weight loss journey right away.