• The Psychology of Pigging Out

    The Psychology of Pigging Out

    People like to eat; there is no doubt about that. If there is no other pleasure to fulfill life—there is always food. For many of us, getting together on the weekends never ends up with just a cup of coffee or tea. Very often tables are “bending” from food, all sorts of alcohol, pops, juices, meats, potatoes, pastas, salads, cakes, cookies, puddings—you name it.

    This is the reason why in all countries all over the world, gyms are packed with people on Mondays and Tuesdays—people feel guilty after their weekends.
    At a regular party with 3–5 course meal and alcohol, you can easily consume between 2,000 and 5,000 calories. This is not very hard to calculate:
    ·         3 drinks – 450 calories (150 cal. each)
    ·         3 courses – 900 calories (300 cal. each course)
    ·         1 midsize desert – 450 calories.
    Here you go, the total is approximately 2,000 calories. But at a single party, some people drink more than 3 drinks, eat more that 300 calories per course, and have more than 1 desert.
    How can we enjoy our parties but still prevent from gaining fat? In order to understand that, let’s first see how our body stores the energy.
    Imagine your body storages as containers. There are containers for sugar and also containers for fat. Our body always tries to keep those containers full for future use.  When we exercise, our body uses energy from those containers. Later when we eat again, the body fills them up.
    The fat containers are the ones that cause us to get bigger because the body has the ability to build more of them. It does it by building more of the fat cells. Later, when we try to lose body fat, the unpleasant thing happens—the body gets too “comfortable” with the new number of fat cells because these new fat cells are like a bank account for the body and are not considered as a bad thing. The body always tries to hold on to that new “account”—number of fat cells—and empty them only temporarily. When we overeat again, the body will try to fill them up just like we would try to recover money we spent from our account. Once new fat cells are built, they never get removed from the body, and those “accounts” never get closed.  This is one of the main reasons why people “go back and forth” on the weight loss progress—their bodies don’t like the idea of keeping the new fat cells empty.
    Preventing building new fat cells is the main trick to always stay in good shape. Keeping fat cells empty is harder, and those who previously lost weight know how hard it can be to lose body fat and how easy it is to gain it back.
    But there is a trick to prevent yourself from generating new fat cells when going to parties, and that trick is called “paying it forward.”
    If you do intensive workout right before your party, you will partially empty your storing containers, and before your body builds new fat cells, it will try to fill them up, converting sugar from your cake into glycogen instead of fat, using your meat protein from your steak to rebuild your muscles, and using fat from your sauces and salad dressings to help your body recover after the workout. If during your party you move, dance, or play instead of sitting around, some more energy will be spent, leading to even less chances for a new fat cell generation.
    People who don’t exercise during their weekends and go to their gyms after their parties are doing it too late. While they are still burning some body fat, that fat comes from fat cells newly generated over their weekends.
    In order to prevent building new fat cells, exercise before your party, not after, and pay it forward.

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