The Post-Holiday Diet
The feeling of regret the day after a holiday or cheat day, when you wake up wishing calories didn’t count on holidays, and fighting the mental battle between eating really clean today or giving up and finishing yesterday’s leftovers.
(Whatever you do, don’t do that!)
Well I’ve been there, done that, and after doing some research I put together a plan of action for a post-holiday, low-carb diet that really works.
The reason why it’s a low-carb diet is because your glycogen stores have been filled from all the festivities the day before, and you need some time to deplete them again. If you have more glucose (carbs) today, your glycogen storage units will be overloaded and your food will quickly be stored as fat. Don’t think about making this a low-calorie day specifically, but just a low-carb day.
Do not cut out vegetables. The fiber in veggies help your body flush out toxins and waste quickly, and you definitely need that extra help today. All other carbs from grains, starches, and rice are the ones you need to cut out.
The Post-Holiday Diet:
Breakfast #1: Morning vegetable juice smoothie
Breakfast #2: Egg whites with spinach. Almonds or other nuts.
Lunch: Hearty salad with grilled chicken and other vegetables such as mixed peppers, cucumber, tomato, celery, etc. Oil or vinaigrette dressing.
Mid-afternoon snack: Mixed berries, celery with almond butter.
Dinner: Ground turkey with garlic, steamed broccoli and cauliflower, almonds.
Snack: (If you need it) Mixed berries, raw veggies, or a vegetable juice smoothie.
The best thing to do is follow the post-holiday diet for the next three days. It takes a while for your body to completely recover and detoxify after a lot of cheat food. Notice that there are no carbs in any of the meals that are not from vegetables or fats. I also recommend the only fruit you have for the next few days are berries, since most fruit is high in carb content. Also stay away from peanut butter and substitute with almond butter to give you energy without too many carbs.
Here are a few more tips to get yourself feeling 100% back on track!
- Freeze, give away, or throw away all your unhealthy holiday leftovers. Usually when I’m about to leave a family Christmas party or dinner, I leave all the leftovers with my relatives for them to take home. If you are the host, then try to send home as many plates of leftovers as possible. However you decide to do it, the best way to a quick post-holiday recovery is to prevent yourself from indulging at all for the next week.
- Drink lots of infused water. Check out my recipe for infused water or just water with a few lemon wedges squeezed in works great too. Chances are you’re dehydrated from all the sodium in most holiday foods and from any alcohol you may have had, and infused water has more antioxidants and detoxifying agents than plain water.
- Hit the gym with a solid 30 minute workout of High Intensity Interval Training. (This is a must!)
- Follow the post-holiday diet above for the next three days.
- Don’t beat yourself up 🙂 The holidays are about cherishing family time and enjoying life for a bit, so you deserve a little break from your diet and workout regime. Just take advantage of your rest to bounce right back at it with more vigor and determination than ever!
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