Are You Dreading The Merry-Feastmas?
Christmas lunch, it's already filling my stomach... with dread!
Why we can have our cake, and eat it too!
Christmas Pudding, Ham, Pavlova... It's that time of year again and for some of us, Christmas and the over indulgences that often come along with it, leave us feeling anxious for what's to come.
Are you Dreading the Merry-Feastmas?
Tis' the season to be jolly, which for many of us means FOOD! Christmas and food, and especially Christmas food, has this amazing ability to bring people together, providing an important component of tradition and social culture. This is to be enjoyed and savoured!
However, many of you health conscious lovelies may be worried about the extra pounds that can creep on over this time of year. If that is the case, I sincerely hope that this will not affect your enjoyment and experience of this festive occasion. To set your mind at ease, I’m going to explain exactly how Christmas will not make you ‘fall off’ the wagon... unless you let it.
Christmas Won’t Make You Fat
According to estimates, we consume around an extra 3000-3500 calories on Christmas day. I would suggest that this number is highly variable and may not apply to everyone, especially some women. This may sound like a huge amount of calories but before you worry, hear me out.
According to calorie estimates, around 3500 calories of stored energy would theoretically create 1 lb / 400g of fat. This means that it takes quite a lot of excess food to create even a small amount of fat tissue. In addition, this fat tissue will be spread out across the body generally, therefore being undetectable to the naked eye. Even if you did manage to add on this unimpressive 400g of fat tissue, simply eating your normal diet for around a week or so will probably see that fat disappear. However, you won’t even notice if it is there or not, even if you did put it on.
What you are more likely to notice however, is a vast amount of water retention that occurs due a sudden increase in food, salt and carbohydrates. A significant level of bloating can also occur from the food solids being processed in your digestive system for a day or two. You may even see your scale weight fly up in response to all this extra food inside of you. By the way, this is highly not recommended as it may ruin your christmas spirit!
This has been scientifically proven. In one study, participants were given an excess (extra food on top of their normal diet) of 1500 calories a day, for 3 days (1). This is totally possible over the Christmas period, right? They found that whilst everyone increased weight by about 1 Kg, it was entirely through increased body water and food solids in the digestive system. There was no increase in fat tissue and their body weight returned to normal after 5 days.
Things to remember at Christmas:
- Enjoy yourself!
- Release any food anxiety.
- Short term indulgences may change the scales, not fat tissue.
- In fact, just stay away from scales!
- Indulging in as much nutritious food as possible is a form of self care.
- Get back to what feels good to you and your body as soon as possible.
Let's Sum It Up
Some of you may be concerned with fat gain over Christmas. Yes, we tend to eat a lot more at Christmas however, theoretically it would have to be an extremely large amount to create even a small amount of fat tissue, which is most likely undetectable. In reality we don’t tend to see any fat gain from short term indulgences, just a lot of water retention and digesting food matter. What you do over the long term is what matters the most! Don’t let food worries ruin your day, have fun, enjoy the lovely nutritious food available and just get back to doing you after that. Merry Christmas!
If you would like to learn more about the research behind over feeding and how it can affect your health and body fat, please listen to Amy’s Eat Great Chat, DediKate Eat Great Ep. # 58 - Merry Feast-mas!
Members can find this under Nutrition Chats on DediKate!
If you are not already a member, get your 1 week free trial to listen!