How would you describe your body after you over indulge?
Someone messaged me yesterday on IG and said … Is it normal for my body to feel like a sponge when I eat too much?
I asked for clarification.
She said that every time she over indulges, it feels as if she is immediately gaining fat.
Most coaches and trainers will go into their whole spiel about how you can’t gain body fat in one night. How it’s mostly water retention, more food in your system, and inflammation.
If you just get back on track you’ll feel normal in no time!
I’ve said those things too because it’s true.
However, I think we need to also understand that when someone is feeling this way AND has a pattern of doing it over and over again …
Maybe we should dive a little bit deeper in our feedback?
Do you feel like you gain fat when you overeat?
After chatting back and forth for a bit, this individual told me that when she travels or goes away on vacation, she is almost always gaining body fat.
So there are really two things going on here …
1. Mentally she feels like crap when she over indulges. Feels like she’s gaining fat and that brings about guilt and shame which only makes her turn to food more.
This can be resolved by accepting and acknowledging those emotions without judgement. Using self-compassion as the leading driver to sit with those emotions and ride them out.
And ultimately learning that your thoughts and emotions do not have to dictate your actions.
This takes time, practice, and lots of support so I’m not going to get into too much detail right now. Bottom line … you should be working with a coach who can help you with this.
2. Physically, she’s not responding well to any form of overfeeding, which is also a red flag. Spikes on the scale are totally normal. It’ll always fluctuate. But seeing massive increases consistently, any time you eat a little more than normal is a sign that your metabolism is not in a good place.
It shows very little resilience to an excess of energy coming in. Once again, that’s a red flag.
And a common one at that.
You may even resonate with her description of her body …
It feels like a sponge when I eat too much.
Why does gaining fat seem so easy?
Because if your metabolism is not where it should be … gaining fat IS easy.
It’s pretty straightforward …
If you diet or restrict yourself, your metabolism will compensate by slowing down.
Having a fast metabolism is not particularly helpful when there is not much food coming in. Ya know, staying alive is kind of important.
To account for the energy deficit, your body tries to preserve energy.
Makes sense, right? Don’t use energy we don’t need to use in case this “famine” lasts a long time.
When you diet long enough or extremely enough, these adaptations continue to get progressively worse. And your body remembers.
It does not want to put you at jeopardy of starving to death, either now or in the future.
So, what happens when you over indulge or stop dieting?
You are actually like a sponge.
Storing up more energy reserves (body fat is nothing but stored energy) in case that famine hits again.
Gaining fat is actually a bodily defense mechanism.
It’s frustrating for individuals like the one who messaged me yesterday. But it’s exactly how your body is designed. So no, your body isn’t sabotaging you. It’s protecting you.
When you understand this, you understand the solution …
Don’t send the “ALERT” signal to your body. The alert signal is when chronic stress is present through extreme and/or prolonged dieting and/or calorie restriction.
In fact, any chronic stress will present the same way in the body. You’ll see the same metabolic adaptations across the board. So if you’re constantly operating on over drive and wondering why your results are non existent … that’s your reason why.
The good news is … your metabolism is adaptive and reactive. So we can create a positive adaptation in the other direction.
It’s something that we at POP call – Metabolic Priming.
Here’s how metabolic priming works …
It’s the process of removing stress from your system, restoring homeostasis, and getting your metabolism working the way that it should be.
If you want to be able to eat more freely without gaining fat or to be able to over indulge on occasion without feeling like a sponge …
Metabolic priming is necessary.
It’s one of the phases of our 1 on 1 coaching program that makes it so successful. During that phase, we’re helping our clients establish quality habits that will support their hormone health, gut health, and metabolic health. We’re also helping their bodies restore the ability to lose fat with ease by sending the safety signal (meaning, there’s no excessive amount of restriction or energy deprivation).
The outcome is that they get to eat more, do the things they love, while simultaneously getting leaner.
When you combine that with a plan that accounts for your personality type, family dynamics, lifestyle, and goals …
You get a pretty epic transformation.
The key is in the behavior change that we help to facilitate. It’s not just a cookie cutter, one-size-fits-all approach.
It’s about learning what each individual responds to and feels best doing and making that the foundation of the process.
On average, our clients lose between 20-30 lbs. in 6 months and walk away feeling totally confident in their ability to continue making progress on their own. Some of our clients stay for 1 year or longer because they get so much value out of the coaching process and they recognize that this is a lifelong pursuit and there’s no rush.