I recently had the pleasure of coaching the Easton High School Wrestling team. It was New Year's Eve and the hot topic of conversation was weight loss. Wrestlers are notorious for having to cut weight, do it quickly, and in an unhealthy manner. Some students had just a pound or two, but others, like so many adults who have endulged this season, have more. What did I tell them?
As a food coach and human, I like to encourage my clients to MAINTAIN their weight over the holiday season. To simply avoid or refuse the feasting is just torture and not really worth it. Humans have feasted since the beginning of time and we're unlikely to get rid of the tradition anytime soon. Depriving yourself will result in a bad mood and, eventually, a binge. To illustrate, someone recently asked me, “What if I really crave chocolate at that time of the month?”
Have the dang chocolate. Just not ALL of the chocolate. You know what I mean.
We've come to the question of what I told those wrestlers to do to safely take off the few pounds they've gained and the most likely reason it's there. Well, usually people are eating excess carbohydrate at this time of year and your body will store what it doesn't use. A couple of pounds of fat, yes, but also pounds of water.
Your body stores carbs as glycogen, which requires water in storage. Burn the glycogen, lose some bloat. In other words, lay off of the starchy carbs for a couple of days and take a walk! It really is that simple.
In addition, the bacterial flora in your gut have enjoyed the feast as much as you have, so—STOP FEEDING THEM. Put the cookie down, and focus on more colorful choices. The bad gut guys (candida, proteus, serratia, clostridium difficile....) will be sorely disappointed and you just might feel a little better, with less gas and tummy troubles.
Take note, though!
You will deplete glycogen stores and certainly take off some weight but it is NOT fat loss. It's just a start. Keep eating colorful, healthy carbs and you'll start to see the fat loss. Rembember, the more colorful your choices, the more vitamins and minerals your body gets. Eat smaller meals, more frequently (about every 4 hours) and you'll fuel efficiently. Eat colorful carbs WITH protein and you'll control your blood sugar, keeping it in a steady state. Eat a little fat with your small meals and you will be satisified longer.
Let's turn your New Year's Resolution into your life!!