Christmas is a beautiful opportunity to see friends, family and have some fun. It also often coincides with less meal planning, less of your healthy staples and more of the things that you’d ordinarily turn a blind eye to – you know, that extra glass or two of wine, indulgent desserts and sides of fresh breads.
If these changes are sustained throughout the Christmas and New Year period they can wreak havoc on your metabolism and here’s what you might experience…
1. Carbohydrate cravings
Craving carbohydrate in the form of desert straight after a meal is one thing, but if you’re craving it in the form of bread or fruit smoothies then this a tell-tale sign that you’ve been over exposed and need to recalibrate. It’s simple, the more you eat the more you’ll crave. It’s partly because your taste buds become adapted to the taste, but also because you become reliant on it as a fuel source. High blood sugar (blood glucose) levels will cause equally high levels of the hormone insulin to be released. In doing its’ job insulin promotes the use of sugar as a fuel source and therefore leaves you scrambling for more when your blood sugar levels start to drop again.
2. Afternoon energy slumps
You might think that your calling for a 3pm nap is simply due to being in ‘holiday mode’, but it’s actually more likely associated with your recent food choices. Your energy levels will be most stable when blood sugar levels are stable. This means the equal and opposite is true – peaks in blood sugar (due to carbohydrate rich meals) will cause steep crashes in blood sugar leading to lethargy which can present after mealtimes.
3. Weight gain
You’ve been indulging in food and alcohol you wouldn’t usually have, it’s no surprise you’ve noticed a kilo or two creep on. When insulin is secreted and chronically elevated, fat has an opportunity to accumulate in the tissues. When insulin levels drop, fatty acids have the opportunity to be used for energy production. The answer to overcoming the bulge is therefore to reduce free circulating insulin levels which, for most, can be achieved by reducing carbohydrates.
4. Cases of the ‘hangries’ (angry when hungry)
The blood sugar crash that can happen after coming off a high definitely has the capacity to leave you feeling irritable and reactive. Couple this with flailing energy levels and there’s no wonder you’ll feel more on edge in the absence of a sugary snack after a few weeks of indulgence. This can absolutely be resolved by reducing carbohydrate intake and therefore your reliance on it as a fuel source.
5. Poor appetite control
Main meals will ideally offer four, or even five, hours of satiety. Your overnight fast (time between dinner and breakfast) should easily be able to stretch to 12 hours or even up to 16 if you’ve previously done more intermittent fasting. If these times lines were once achievable and now aren’t it’s a sign that you’re edging more towards sugar burning, as opposed to fat burning.
If you can relate at all, I encourage you to act now. Similarly, you might be reading this and realising that these symptoms have long been present. If that’s you, then a metabolic reset is what your body is calling for. Book your complimentary 15 minute consultation here if you’d like our support in the process.