5 Expert Tips To Kick Your Metabolism Into High Gear After A Big Meal

by Gigi Engle

You wake up the day after Thanksgiving feeling bloated and sluggish, with a giant food baby pushing over the top of your pants.

The memories of mashed potatoes, gravy and pumpkin pie being shoveled down your throat are foggy at best.

What did you eat? Oh, just everything you could get your hands on.

It’s the holidays, after all. Thanksgiving is one of the only days of the year a girl gets to say, "f*ck my diet and pass me the turkey — all the turkey -- and the stuffing; hell, just give me the whole damn table of food."

And now those feelings of food guilt are kicking in as you pull yourself out of your childhood bed and drag your overstuffed self back to reality. You likely consumed more calories yesterday than you have in the past six months.

The only thing to do is damage control, to try and kick your body back into gear so you’re able to put your skinny jeans on and face the rest of your life.

You can indulge again at Christmas, but for now, here are some excellent tips from health expert Ricki Friedman of Break The Weight on how to kick your metabolism into gear the day after your relentless chowdown on Thanksgiving.

Keep a bottle of water nearby.

Water is key to jumpstarting your metabolism after a day of heavy eating and drinking.

Friedman points out, “Water helps us digest all that crappy food we may have put into our bodies,” which will help you flush out your system.

Take that hike you've been talking about for months.

Friedman is sure to take a walk after any big meal because, “it gives my body the opportunity to digest, burn some calories and feel less full.” So after your Thanksgiving feast, walk for at least 10 minutes -- it'll help you get your body back on track.

Friedman is also a fan of interval training: 15-20 minutes of intense exercise, “This type of workout will get your heart pumping, body sweating and calories burning.”

Sweating it out is key in recovering from your holiday binge eating,

Sweating is an awesome way to get rid of toxins and pumpkin pie. So get moving!

Don't skip meals. Instead, eat more often.

As Friedman points out, skipping out on eating the day after your Thanksgiving pig-out will only do your metabolism harm. Have six, small meals the following day and “think of them as bigger-sized snacks.”

Friedman also points out you should avoid pressing snooze in favor of indulging in breakfast before 9 am. You won't just jumpstart your metabolism, you'll also naturally prevent overeating during the day.

An early worm-inspired breakfast will ensure that you eat a lighter, healthier dinner later on.

The leftovers might look good, but they're not helping.

You're probably thinking it's safe to snack on a little leftover turkey and some roasted veggies, right? And, I mean, mashed potatoes are technically good for you, so a helping of those is safe too, right? Wrong.

While the leftovers might be tempting, Friedman suggests filling up on heart-healthy foods your body can easily digest.

Green tea and water with lemon help amp up your metabolism; Greek yogurt is a natural probiotic, so it's excellent for the digestive system (aka: pushing all that bad stuff out of your body); egg whites provide a steady stream of protein; and beans and lentils keep you feeling full for longer because they are high in fiber instead of empty carbohydrates.

And now that you're getting yourself back on track physically, maybe do some good for your soul and give all those leftovers to your local homeless shelter.

Cheating on your diet is actually pretty healthy.

It’s OK to splurge once in a while, especially around the holidays when food is plentiful and goodies are everywhere. Though you might feel like you’ve self-sabotaged, get back on the horse. Friedman says,

Don’t throw in the towel or give up on your healthy journey because you had a few bad nights of eating.