Why You Should 'Stuff Your Face' This Christmas!

What if you could enjoy your Christmas dinner guilt free. I mean, literally stuff your face until you are ready to explode and actually-prohibit the body from storing excessive amounts of Visceral fat, even increase your metabolism and start to get fit, all at Christmas time.  

‘Impossible, what is this nonsense now’ I hear you cry.

Actually, not impossible and I am going to tell you exactly how to do it!

 

Feeding your face like a hamster with a cream cake

There has been a talk around cheat days (whereby you eat lots of unhealthy calorie dense foods on a day off from your diet each week) for about a decade now and although some myths of the body burning 25% extra calories after a cheat day have been debunked, there still is a lot to gain from them. I want to share with you a formula, a step by step approach to owning your Christmas dinner with storing little to no extra fat in weight while still stuffing your face with Yorkshire pudding and chocolate log!

Now, unlike many articles these days, whereby they dribble on with the nonsense before getting to the point, I am going to start this one backwards. I am going to tell you the steps, then explain why they are important and how it works. Okay with you?

Here is exactly what you need to do, please try to keep to the steps (any questions let me know):

Step 1:

Start your Christmas morning with a 7 Minute Bodyweight or HIIT workout in the morning or before your Christmas dinner, you can get our full Max exercise programme with personalised diet plan for free HERE.

Pro tip 1: If this just isn’t realistic then try: 20 lunges, 30 toilet seat squats, and 40 wall press ups during sneaky toilet breaks. This will trigger your muscles to store more sugar instead of fat so it’s worth it.

Pro tip 2: you can also do the above exercises the night before Christmas day, that will still work in the same way.

Step 2:

You will need to fast: so try to skip carbs in the evening on Christmas eve and skip breakfast and lunch (basically you shouldn’t eat for around 16 hours and your Christmas dinner should be your first meal).

Step 3:

Feast and properly enjoy the dinner, dessert and even a few glasses of your favourite cheeky Christmas drink. But, keep your calories within an 8 hour window (if you have Christmas dinner around 3 pm then stop eating and drinking around 11 pm). That should be possible even for you Grandma!!

Step 4:

Do another workout in the morning on boxing day (if you did HIIT the day before then do bodyweight and visa versa).

Step 5:

Fast again for 16 hours on boxing day.

If you follow these 5 simple steps I can confidently say you can enjoy your Christmas dinner with all the goose fat trimmings guilt free. 

So, let me explain why.  

7 Minute Mornings workout (Step 1)

When you exercise on an empty stomach your body will likely burn more fat than it would if you had fuelled it on breakfast oats. This is especially true during a fast as your body has little glycogen levels and as a result must rely more heavily on fat stores to supply the necessary energy for exercise. This will also increase the bodies demand for any sugars to be replenished into muscle and not Visceral fat cells, meaning Christmas pud may have a use after all!

Feasting, Leptin, increase metabolic calorie expenditure  (step 2)

It is thought that after a period of over feeding your body has increased leptin activity and this increased activity is coupled with an increased burning of calories. In fact, the numbers are currently understood to be between a 3-10% increase in calories burnt 24 hours after a calorie dense period (in this case Christmas dinner).

However, more research of over feeding lasting more than 3 days in a row has shown that you may increase both leptin sensitivity and insulin sensitivity (a precursor to type 2 diabetes). Which in turn will slow metabolism and store more visceral fat. So, it’s important not to binge for 3 days in a row during this holiday season. Best keep it to cheat meals instead of cheat days and fast between with some HIIT exercises.

The key is to keep the cheat within a compressed period of time and for it to not stretch over a long period of continual unhealthy snaking and drinking.

Glycogen stores and sugar cubes  (step 3)

When you fast for around 16 hours your body starts to run very low on energy and even may achieve depletion on glycogen stores (the bodies energy reserve if you like). As a result to this depletion in glycogen, when you consume carbohydrates again your body will need to use those as glycogen stores instead of using them as visceral fat stores.

Carbs can either help with performance in the form of energy or in storing fat for future energy (often especially around the stomach).

Let’s think about it like this. Imagine your body can store 16 sugar cubes of energy in its muscle’s and liver in a day. Now, when you sleep your body uses quite a lot of those cubes to help your body with its repair and recovery and other bodily functions. So, for arguments sake let’s say you wake up and have 8 sugar cubes stored in your body from the previous day’s food.

Now, you haven’t moved much and have eaten often, your body hasn’t used much of those sugar cubes so they don’t burn away. You drink 2 glasses of wine (6 sugar cubes), you eat Christmas pudding (6 sugar cubes), chocolate and biscuits and other goodies (16 extra sugar cubes).

So, as a result you body has a total of 8 cubes (still stored) + 6 (wine) + 6 (pudding) + 16 (extras and dinner). Meaning, your body has a total of: 36. Lets remove 16 for glycogen stores and you will have around 20 extra sugar cubes that need to go somewhere.

Where are they to go?

They will have no choice but to be converted into fat stores and placed on the stomach and perhaps hips. Well a moment on the lips….

Which sucks. However, now let’s apply the formula of this 5 step programme.

You have fasted for 16 hours = 2 sugar cubes left (your body will use more cubes to keep you going during the day). You have worked out using the 7 Minute HIIT workout (and thus increased the need for a couple of extra sugar cubes, especially for those who haven't exercised for a while) = 7 sugar cubes burned. Now you have minus 5 (and have likely reduced some fat too – go you!).

So, you eat 16 sugars of dinner and dessert (after all it’s Christmas and you have earned it) plus you have now 3 glasses of wine = 9. You have stuffed your face and drunk well. Your number: 25, but wait you need to take away the minus 5 from the exercise and fasting. Okay so 20, but 4 over.

Fast again and exercise again (steps 4 - 5)

Fear not, your body wants to burn a little faster now form the increased calories. So, due to eating a lot over a short period of time, you've been increasing leptin and possibly benefited from increased calorie burning over the next 24 hours which could be anything from 50 - 250kcal extra calories (easily accounting for those extra 4 cubes).  But, you don’t just want your Christmas cake and to eat it, you want the whole cake and to reduce body fat so you fast again the next day, lowering the number back down to just 2 and do another 7 Minute workout and thus are in the minus again and starting to burn extra body fat as a result.

 

Now, although some of this formula will work better for some than the others and of course there are many details missing here, fasting, HIIT, glycogen store, leptin levels are very complex systems and are affected by many different things. I can tell you that I have used this approach on a weekly basis with hundreds of clients and find that the continued fat lose is steady when done in this way. I have rarely faced an exception to this rule.

So, enjoy, but don’t store to much fat as a result.

 

Anthony Delamare - 7 Minute Mornings

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