Holiday Hangover? Here is how to cope.

By Weight Management at The Group Certified Personal Trainer Allison Elfline

The holidays are almost coming to an end. You have indulged in sugar, salty foods, alcohol, and how do you feel? Most likely sluggish, your mood may be sour, you may be dehydrated, you may feel so bloated you resemble a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon, and you may feel as if you have gut rot. No one is immune to all the joys and overindulgences of the holiday season.

So, what now?

It’s simple. With these ideas and tips, you can get back to feeling like your normal self in no time!

Let’s first tackle the dehydration piece. Too many salty foods and indulging in alcohol without taking in enough water can leave us feeling swollen and just down right yucky. We often see our patients come in after a holiday or celebration up a few pounds, and often feel discouraged. Fear not. Here are some things to remember:

  • It is metabolically impossible to gain 2-4 pounds of BODY FAT in a few days. It just can’t happen. The scale is a LIAR. The number you see is most likely water retention from too much sodium and alcohol. Our bodies can’t process or flush this out without water. So next thing…
  • Up your water intake. We should be taking in half our body weight in ounces every day, if not more. A great example is a 150 pound person should take in 75 ounces of water each day for maximum hydration. That bloated Macy’s Parade balloon feeling will soon subside.
  • It will take a few days for your body to process out all of the water from sodium and water retention. Be kind to yourself and give yourself some grace.

What next? Let’s get back to brass tacks and focus on sleep. Our sleep hygiene is very important for maintaining and losing weight. With the holidays, it can sometimes be difficult to focus on this piece due to the excitement and overwhelming activities of the season.

  • When our sleep is off, our cortisol (stress hormone) can skyrocket. When cortisol is high, our bodies’ natural instinct is to hold on to weight (body fat) to prepare for the craziness that may lie ahead.
  • Focus on getting some down time before bed. No screen time, read a book, do something good for yourself to relax and calm down after a crazy few days.

How else can you get back to feeling good? Exercise! You don’t need to go out and join a gym (unless you want to) to get some activity into your daily routine.

  • The more active we are, the better we will sleep (see above!).  Fitness helps regulate our cortisol levels.
  • Being active will also help improve our mood, start to burn calories, build lean muscle, and generally help us feel better both mentally and physically.

Lastly, if you are struggling getting started with a new health and fitness routine after the holidays, come and see us at Weight Management at The Group. We are offering “Tune-Up” specials for the New Year! Get started with a 6-week program that focuses on nutrition, fitness, and behavioral change with the best team in the Quad Cities. Give us a call today!

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