Holiday Bloating

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Can you relate to this cartoon?  Unfortunately, I can. Binge eating, drinking and no exercise can leave us feeling bloated, sluggish and guilty.  It can also put us in a bad mental spot where we keep that horrible cycle going.  Don’t fear, we can combat these obstacles before it gets out of hand.  We will be on the right track before the new year even starts.  Won’t it feel great to say your new year’s resolution is to continue to stay healthy instead of getting started?

It’s not rocket science, but it is a nice reminder of what we need to do to get and stay healthy.  Let’s cover some basic “DON’Ts” first.

DON’T: 

Skip Meals

When you do this, it confuses your body into thinking it needs to store what it has because of starvation.  It is a fight or flight mechanism for our nutritional survival.  It will slow your metabolism down, activating stress hormones possibly causing your body to store excess fat.

Do a Liquid Cleanse

Companies market these to those that want to lose a couple pounds quickly – generally they starve you of real food in place of having you drink their juices for a couple days.  What you end up losing is water weight.  It is an unhealthy “quick fix”.  Your body knows how to detox.  That is your liver’s function.  Don’t do these types of cleanses.  There are better options out there for a different time.  If you want to add nutritional juices – think greens.

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What to DO after over indulging: 

Drink Water

Like any other day, you should start it by drinking a large glass of room temperature water.  Adding lemon to it helps stimulate your digestion and may make it taste better if you need added flavor.   You should always try to drink at least have your body weight (pounds) in water (ounces).  For example, if you weigh 150 lbs. then drink at least 75 oz of water.   If you feel dehydrated from too much alcohol or salt intake, make sure you are drinking plenty of water to help flush it all out.

Eat Breakfast

You have heard your mother say breakfast is the most important meal of the day – believe her, especially after not eating well the day or weekend before.   Steer away from carbs that will only make you feel more bloated.  Aim for fiber and proteins that will sustain you and help motility.   A good example of a Monday morning meal – two eggs omelet stuffed with spinach, bell peppers, onions and tomatoes.  You could add in a lean meat too.  Drink with a glass of water and green tea.

Exercise


Get back on the bandwagon.  If you let it go until tomorrow, you may never pick it back up.  Remember, you are trying to get rid of the bloating feeling which also has associated guilt.  Get those endorphins flowing.   Jump back into your regular routine as if you never fell off track.  Or, if you are moving a bit slower, at least get in a brisk 30 minute walk.  ANYTHING is better than nothing!

Eating the Rest of the Day

Make sure you are eating small meals every few hours.  It keeps your metabolism going.  If you are on the 21 Day Fix, follow your container counts.  If you didn’t meal plan over the weekend, grab a previous plan and stick to it until you make a new one.
Stay away from refined sugars and other simple carbohydrates.  Try and eat leafy greens and other vegetables to fuel your body and feel better.  Add in your flax seed and chia seed to help clean out your body of the bad toxins.  Try to eat lighter meals – psychologically it will help you dispel your bloating feeling.  For example, grilled or baked salmon or tilapia served with quinoa and a spinach/kale/spring greens salad and a tall glass of water.

Include Fiber

Like I mentioned above, after binging with bad foods, it is recommend to make sure you get in the correct amounts of fiber to your meals.  Examples are  fruits, vegetables, and complex carbs such as sweet potato, brown rice and quinoa.  Fiber helps you get your digestion back on track and helps keep you full in between meals.

It’s not all down hill because you were experiencing and enjoying life!  Don’t beat yourself up.   Just remember to stop treating your body like it can and should handle all the junk – it is your temple.  Treat it well and it will serve you well for years to come.  It’s 80% what you do in “the kitchen” and 20% in “the gym”.

Don’t forget, I’m here for you if you want support, encouragement and accountability.  Let me know if you want to join one of my challenge groups. Simply Balanced Fit Life.

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