The Runner’s Holiday Weight-loss Plan

Don't sweat your next big feast - we can show you how to get back on track after any holiday splurge.

Sally Wadyka |

Dessert Binge

Food For Thought: Cut Out The Sugar

The least nutritionally balanced of all the splurges, this “meal” is brimming with simple carbohydrates (translation: sugar) and fat. And as often happens after a dessert bender, you may find yourself hankering for even more sugar the day after.

That’s because digesting loads of sugary carbs triggers a tidal wave of serotonin (the so-called feel-good hormone). When those serotonin levels dip, your body craves more sugar to keep the good times rolling.

Fortunately, says Gidus, the solution is simple. Rather than trying to go cold turkey the next day, sate your sweet tooth with healthier treats like fresh fruit, all-fruit jams, and smoothies.

Fitness Solution: Get speedy

As far as your muscles are concerned, ice-cream and chocolate sauce still translates into a decent carbo-load. But unlike your chicken and roast potato buffet, the dessert binge doesn’t offer the body much else in the way of nutrients. That’s why McMillan recommends intervals to burn off those sweets in a hurry.

The plan: Knock out six to eight 30-second repeats at about 90 percent of your top speed with two-minute recovery jogs in between. (Bookend your speedwork with three-kilometre jogs.)

“When you do a hard track workout, you’re tapping into those carbohydrate stores at a higher rate,” he says. “But since it’s a shorter-duration workout than a long run, you won’t break down the muscles as much.” The payoff ? In less than an hour, you’ll torch about 2900 kilojoules.

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