Don't Let Overeating Make You Fat

During this holiday season, you're very likely to eat a lot of heavy, fatty meals. But that doesn't mean you have to gain weight! Get-Fit Guy has a simple strategy to keep the pounds from piling up on your waistline this winter.

Ben Greenfield,
December 6, 2013

We all know that the day is quickly approaching when you’ll probably be pushing yourself away from a holiday meal completely stuffed to the gills and wondering just how much of that enormous meal is going to wind up stored away as inconvenient fat on your hips, abs, butt, and thighs.

The good news is that new research in the Journal of Physiology looked into exactly what happens when young active men stuff their faces to caloric excess for several days in a row, and then either A) exercise for 45 minutes on the treadmill on the same day of the overfeeding or B) sit around and do not much at all.

Not only did a 45-minute bout of exercise keep weight gain at bay, it also controlled for potentially more serious health risk factors, such as high insulin and high blood glucose. The take away message will probably not surprise you: If you go for a brisk walk after that holiday meal – or really anytime during the day of the meal – you’re going to significantly lower the propensity for those extra calories to be stored as fat.

Perhaps the most interesting part about this study is that the group of men who exercised were actually forced to eat more calories than the group of men who didn’t exercise, just to even out the extra calories they were burning with exercise. And yet, they still were able to mitigate the effects of overeating! So it’s not just that exercise is burning calories. It’s actually causing a hormonal effect that makes you more bulletproof to weight gain.

Of course, this study was short: just 1 week. I suspect if you overeat for months or years, just 45 minutes of treadmill per day may still not save your waistline – and that also sounds like an exhausting “train-to-eat” and “eat-to-train” vicious cycle. But for a short term strategy (such as the holiday season), exercise obviously works!

Do you have questions about this fat loss strategy for overeating? Then leave a comment over at Facebook.com/GetFitGuy!

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