Dozens of promotional messages, ads and advice from trainers invade us on almost every channel during the holidays and tell us that we need to burn off the calories gathered at festive meals. And the trap is effective, because many of us fall: we are sure we have to maintain our routine during the holidays to compensate for overeating.
The vast dieting culture has instilled in us the idea that culinary indulgence is to be avoided or only a reward, and the absence of physical exercise to counteract it is synonymous with “problems” for our health.
But the truth is, it’s not really a tragedy if we put aside physical effort during the holidays – not only are we unlikely to lose all the progress we’ve made in the gym, but relaxing the body could be beneficial.
We don’t have to burn the holiday menu to be healthy
Despite the fact that we are constantly told that we should exercise to compensate for what we have consumed, in fact the opposite of this advice is worth considering.
“There’s this common idea that we have to down everything we’ve eaten, but that’s not right,” said Collen Schreyer, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at John Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore (USA). , appropriate HuffPost.
Specialists point out that when we serve richer meals (as is customary during the holidays) we later notice that we feel less hungry or have fewer cravings than before the feast. Our body is quite efficient and creates a balance for itself, as a result we must “listen” to it in terms of hunger and satiety signal, the professor from Baltimore also pointed out.
The body tells us it needs “fuel”
Of course, paying attention to these signals can be misleading, especially in today’s society when we’re surrounded by messages that tell us it’s okay to suppress or ignore hunger in order to reach unrealistic body weight goals. Specialists point out that when we salivate in front of a plate that looks delicious, we should not be asking if it is good to eat, but when we should eat.
They also point out that we should not hesitate if we are hungry. This is how the body tells us that it needs “fuel” and resources. At the opposite pole, satiety involves the recognition and acceptance that the body is completely satisfied with the food it has just consumed. And if we are full, we can always save the culinary treat for later.
“So the answer should be no Yes or Notbut right now or later“, Schreyer also pointed out.
A few days of culinary feasting does not cancel the progress in the gym
And if we’re worried about losing all the progress we’ve made so far, experts have good news: what we’ve accumulated so far doesn’t disappear so easily.
And this statement has an explanation: the benefits of physical exercise were accumulated over many months or even years, and not in a few days or weeks. And when we skip a day or even two weeks of exercise, our physical condition and health are not affected.
If, however, we’re anxious and feeling guilty after heavy meals, Professor Scheryer says a walk can do wonders.
“There are times of the year and of life that don’t always allow us to stick to our routine – for example travel, vacations, illness, etc. And that’s okay,” concluded Alyssa Vela, professor at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.