We talk a lot about managing the 51 weeks between New Years and Christmas instead of trying to micro manage the one week between Christmas and New Years.
Over the last week or so there’s been a lot of opportunities to eat, drink and be merry.
It is a time of year that we celebrate and typically over indulge. Don’t stress this too much, just make the choice to keep it brief.
If you weigh yourself regularly you may notice that your weight has gone up.
As soon as that number increases the initial thought is that you’ve gained XYZ kilos in fat. The bright light of reason tells us that this isn’t the case.
Half a kilo of fat works out to be 3500 calories. To gain half a kilo you’d need to be eating 3500 calories over your maintenance calories. This is going to take some doing and I’m not saying you’re not capable of doing it, just remember that this is for a true half kilogram gain of fat.
If the scales are saying that there is a two or three kilogram gain that would take 14-21,000 calorie excess…that’s a very solid, consistent phase of over eating!
Most, if not all, rapid weight gain or loss is due to changes in fluid.
Each extra gram of carbohydrate (glycogen) that your body is storing (from eating all of those tasty Christmas carb treats) will also store with it 3 grams of water.
This will show up on the scales as extra weight and is water weight as opposed to having gained fat.
Higher than usual salt intake will also hold water and show up on the scale. If you’re not weighing yourself you may feel this ‘extra weight’ around your waist or other trouble areas.
There’s no need to stress out and make radical changes to try and right the ship.
By getting back to a normal, sensible diet you will find that most of the weight and bloating will come back down.
This means eat at a calorie level appropriate to your goal (maintenance or slight deficit), adequate protein, veggies, fruits and of course some treats.
I usually allow three times the duration of the gain to allow for the loss. So if you were eating more than usual for the week, allow three weeks of normal, sensible eating to return back to where you started.
If it was just a day or two, you should find that you’re back to normal within a week or so.
There’s no need to use any radical tactics, dangerous detox plans, shakes or pills.
Accept that you’ve enjoyed the festive period, socialised with family and friends, and that it will just take a few weeks to get all the way back.
From there you’ll have 48 or more weeks to make even bigger changes.