Updated: Jan 5, 2022
How is it going, folks? Holidays are over now and it's time to head towards achieving our pre-set goals. We were so determined before. Then so off during the family and friends gatherings, and now super motivated to go back on track, as soon as possible. However, though, it seems like we are more self-sabotaging instead of excelling.
I have been hearing so many regrets about overeating, not training, overconsumption of alcohol, and the list goes on. The more alarming for me are the sentences I hear after woods, such as: “I am going to not eat for a few days or cut the calories a lot for the next two weeks to compensate”. Or “I am going to train twice per day to burn the calories I have over-consumed”. OK. Chill for a second. Let me tell you how it actually works.
How much have you over-consumed? Like 500 calories more? For how long? 2 days? 3 days? See, your body knows how much it needs on a daily basis and yes, you can consume more around the holidays. But that cannot last for more than 3 days in my experience. Let`s say you eat 2500 calories every day. For 3 days straight you ate 500 more calories. You know how it works. Cakes, wine, champagne, good food, etc… How do you feel after? Heavy, bloated, like you, cannot eat more. Well, it is simply because you have eaten 1500 calories more in total, for the past 3 days and because it is not ok for your body, it tells you to stop.
This is why we shouldn’t stress about how much have we eaten. It is actually not that much. So, instead of stressing about it and taking irrational decisions, just say: ”So what”. Really. You had great connections with your family and friends. You tried new food maybe. You enjoyed new experiences. There is nothing wrong with that. It was just for a bit. And it was not that much. 1500 calories more over the course of one week is nothing.
In fact, it is not even that much probably. I have been tracking calories for the past 2 weeks and I can say that even though I ate a bit more, in fact, I consumed 300 calories more the New ears eve and 100 more the next day. So, why stress about something, so meaningless, compared to a great time I had with my family?
There is no point to starve the weak after, just because you had 500 calories more. That is going to slow down your metabolism even more and cause even more frustration. A day of fasting can be beneficial if you really want to detoxicate from alcohol, other substances, or certain types of food. But be careful though, if you are not experienced with fasting. May be fast for 8 hours only. Then go back to your normal way of eating.
I must run 5 miles every day so I can burn the calories I over consumed. Bullshit!
Maybe you have not trained for the past week. Maybe you still have some side effects from the alcohol. Why burn out when you can just train normally. Why do you think, you can burn the excess calories (that was not even that much in excess) by overtraining? I mean overtraining is the worst you can do when wanting to be in any sort of shape. Under training is going to give you some results, overtraining is going to give you none.
Burning yourself out is like pushing your car to the limits, without letting it even warm up. How long is that car going to last? You guessed it.
If you skipped one week of training, just start slow. Allow your body to warm up again and get used to the training. It happens fast, but it still takes more than you think. Take your time, start with some lighter weight, less volume, and intensity. Then, slowly build it up to your previous one and, voila. In no time you are going to e back on track, hitting PR`s.
The reason behind post-holiday syndromes.
Many people including myself, are driven by body image issues. It is normal. However, it leads to bad behavior towards food and training, which can lead to slow results and even health issues.
It is completely normal to judge ourselves by the way we look after we go off track for a few days. We are constantly fighting with that insecurity. To look good, to be rewarded with the approval of our friends and even social media. In reality, it doesn’t work this way, but in our tricked minds, eating 200 calories more for 3 days seems a lot. So, what happens when insecurity kicks in? Irrational decisions take place and drive us towards the edge.
My personal experience tells me that it happens all the time and the only way to stay away from those unhealthy decisions is to make the demand for a better once.
Let me explain.
When feeling fat, skinny, not in good shape, and so on, I tend to scale up the training intensity and even neglect some health issues I fight with. For instance, I will start to push more weights, add extra workouts, and do exercises, which are totally bad for my disk herniation. Why? Well, you already know. Because I am human, and I am driven by emotions.
However, sooner or later I would experience pain. My knee would start to bother me, my lower back is going to feel sore all the time and especially my neck. Boy, does it hurt? So luckily, I will be frustrated by the way I feel, and I am going to remember that it is more important to feel strong and fit, rather than look like so.
The problem is that so many of you, lucky for you, do not have any pain or discomfort and are able to push their bodies more. But for how long?
When you create the demand of feeling good, you are going to focus on training for it. Therefore your body is going to feel more capable than ever, even with a bit more fats than you desire.
It is not easy to switch focus, especially when you have not experienced any health issues. This is why I aim to raise your awareness and help you do it the right way. This is why I am telling you that it is OK if you had a bit of alcohol or ate 3 cakes. It is OK if you did not train for a week and then have to start slow. It is OK to have some fats or be a bit skinnier. There is no perfect physique, there are healthy and unhealthy bodies.
Check out the latest episode 20 of Fit Life Radio where I share my own experience with the Post Holidays Syndrome in more detail.