The holiday season - when treats are plentiful and waistlines become ever-expanding. There’s a reason most people put on weight at the end of the year: from Halloween to New Year’s Eve, food is everywhere, and there’s no escaping it. Holiday parties, family dinners, and every other social gathering you could think of becomes all about food and drink, and even the cleanest eaters can give in to temptation. This author believes that you should enjoy everything in moderation, but this post is all about how you can do damage control after over-indulging.

Brush off the Crumbs, and Move On

I know I am not alone in having that all-or-nothing style mentality. After overindulging, regret over your “mess-up” takes over, and guilt drives you to continue bad behaviors for the day, or even the week. The trick here is to change the way you think, and to reassure yourself that one “bad” meal, does not a lifestyle make. It takes 3500 calories over your personal daily maintenance calories to gain a full pound, and I will argue that most of us can’t take in enough calories in a single meal to truly gain a pound of body fat. If you make the mistake of stepping on the scale the day after a large meal, you can reassure yourself that the 3-5 pound increase overnight is nothing but water weight.

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!

Speaking of water weight, the best way to get rid of all of that excess sugar and salt swimming around in your body is to drink, drink, drink. An overload of carbs floods your system with excess water (carboHYDRATE - get it?), then the surplus of sodium causes your body to retain that extra water. All that abundance can cause you to gain pounds of water weight, causing the number shock if you step on the scale right away. Plain ol’ water is amazing at flushing out the excess water and impurities out of your system, enabling your weight to go back to normal within a couple of days. In extreme cases, I also recommend the use of a diuretic like Evaporate, which will help you flush out all that water, faster.

Put the Excess to Good Use

There’s a reason people bulk to build muscle - excess calories, protein, and carbs are the building blocks of not only fat, but quality muscle. Extra carbs means extra fuel for your muscles, and utilising a supplement like a Glycolog - a nutrient partitioning agent that helps your body use sugar more effectively - will help guide that fuel for growth straight to working muscles. After a big meal, don’t succumb to laziness. Hit the gym, and work your weak spots (or your strongest, your choice). Not only will your pumps be insane, but you’ll lift harder and be stronger, while burning off some of your meal in the process.

These tips don’t only apply to the holidays. You can use all of these strategies on days that your cheat meal/cheat day have gotten a bit out of control. Feel good and not guilty when you’ve over-indulged.