We’ve all enjoyed those moments of over-stuffed joy, followed by stomach aches, constipation, and a general malaise that seems to form like the rainy clouds Eeyore used to carry with him in the Winnie the Pooh books of our youth. Over-eating during the holidays, or any time, doesn’t have to be the recipe to a disastrous downfall of your general health, but you should try to get back on track as soon as possible – or risk the moment of self-indulgence lasting for days or weeks.
Here are 5 easy ways to get your metabolism back into high-gear and recover from a few indulgent days over the holidays.
1. The first thing to do is increase your water intake. Drinking water (preferably pure water), and especially water with lemon, is one of the easiest and fastest ways to detox from anything – not just environmental toxins, but also over-eating. It will help keep your body hydrated and the ‘pipes’ of your digestive system in full working order. Research has even shown that simply drinking more water can help with weight loss and provide a mental boost.
2. A metabolic slump can occur when we overeat, but the good news is that there are many ways to give your metabolism a kick start when it needs one. Interval training is one of the fastest ways to burn calories in the least amount of time, so even if you have a million things to do during the holiday season, just squeeze in 20 minutes of HIIT, or high intensity interval training, three to four times a week and watch your waistline shrink. Similarly, take the stairs, park farther away when going shopping, walk more, or plan your Christmas shopping and to-do list while exercising with a friend. Getting moving is a great way to overcome eating too much.
3. Don’t drastically cut back your calories after over-indulging and starve yourself as punishment for eating too much. This can cause a yo-yo effect in your glucose levels and result in your body to holding onto fat instead of burning it. Just eat regularly portioned, healthful meals full of nutrient dense foods.
4. Sleep – It is a well-documented fact now, that losing too much sleep can cause your metabolism to slow. It also inhibits your brain from releasing a special hormone that tells you when you are full, and in its absence, you are likely to indulge in unhealthy snacking. A University of Colorado study proved that losing only a few extra hours of sleep a couple nights in a row can cause weight gain.
5. Add B Vitamins – B vitamins, especially vitamin B 12, have been shown to reduce weight gain. One reason is because B vitamins provide us with extra energy which then allows us to stay active. There are other vitamins and minerals that boost energy as well, including Spirulina, an Ayuvedic herb called Ashwaganda, and many more.
Christina Sarich is a humanitarian and freelance writer helping you to Wake up Your Sleepy Little Head, and See the Big Picture. Her blog is Yoga for the New World. Her latest book is Pharma Sutra: Healing the Body And Mind Through the Art of Yoga.