Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Turkey Day Damage Control

Everyone loves to eat too much on Thanksgiving.  And why not?  Is there a better way to show how thankful you are for all you have than over indulging in a multitude of rich and delicious entrees, sides, desserts and drinks, and then sitting down for hours on end watching other people exercise on a 100 yard field?  I don’t think so.  So this Thanksgiving I’d like to give you a blueprint to overeating with minimal fat gain (if not fat loss).  Remember, you can’t do this stuff all the time, but every once in a while this method can save you from derailing your fitness goals.  Here’s how it works:
1) Be Prepared:  Purchase beforehand grapefruits or grapefruit juice, yerba mate tea (or a sugar free energy drink with yerba mate), lemons or lemon juice, coffee, cinnamon, almonds (or another healthy fat source), and have loads of water on hand.
2) Eat a Good Breakfast:  Part of minimizing damage begins when you start your metabolism on the right foot.  Eat a meal that is composed of roughly a 9:7:3 ratio of carbs:protein:fat, and make sure your fats are healthy (e.g. olive oil, macadamia oil, almonds, peanut butter, etc.), make sure your carbs include 8 oz. of grapefruit juice or half a grapefruit and no starches, and make sure your protein is lean.  Also have a cup  of coffee with a few dashes of cinnamon with this meal.
3) Have a cup of coffee every few hours after bingeing begins, and always add a few dashes of cinnamon.  Have half a grapefruit or grapefruit juice to extend the time the caffeine is active. (coffee speeds the metabolism, and increases the speed of gastric emptying so you poop more and absorb less.  The cinnamon keeps your blood sugar spikes lower, which keeps insulin levels lower, so you store less fat)
4) Have a glass of water with a lemon squeezed in it (or an equivalent amount of lemon juice) with every horrible, huge, delicious meal you eat (including desserts.  Yeah.  I pluralized dessert.  You better have more than one).  Lemon juice also keeps blood sugar spike lower.
5) Eat a handful of almonds (or another serving of healthy fat) before or between each delicious indulgence.  Eating fat (and to a smaller extent protein) first in a meal is another great way to keep blood sugar spikes low.
6) Shortly after your first binge, have a serving or two of yerba mate tea (or have a sugar free energy drink that has NO ASPARTAME and yerba mate in it.  This energy drink can replace one of your cups of coffee.)  Yerba mate will also increase the speed of gastric emptying, which means you poop more and absorb less of the food.  Don’t do this more than twice.
7) Drink water throughout the day.
8) Exercise:  I know, I know.  No one wants to exercise on Thanksgiving, but I promise it isn’t much.  You can do any one of these micro-workouts 5 – 15 minutes prior to every binge meal.  These small workouts will open your muscle cells up to be replenished with glucose before that glucose has a chance to be stored as fat.

A: 40 air squats (fast), 30 wall push-ups, 20 bungee rows

B: 40 air squats (fast), 20 Push-ups (standard, modified, or bench modified)

You can learn more about the science behind these binge techniques in “The 4-Hour Body” by Tim Ferriss, and in “The Anti-Inflammatory Zone” by Barry Sears.  Good Luck! 

Comment below, tweet @geoffcraft, or shoot me an email!  Eat (very) well, drink lots of water, and have fun! 


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