Dull gut and fatty liver: How to get your body in top shape
If you turn down the alcohol in January, you can get rid of the fatty liver you (may) have built up in December. Then January is well underway.
The liver breaks down all the bows. The liver generates energy when it breaks down alcohol. The alcohol first degrades into the drug acetaldehyde, which is toxic and can give a hangover. Then it turns into acetate, which is harmless.
Christmas and New Year are behind you, and the hangover has gradually evaporated.
You are ready for a fresh start to the new year. The only problem is that your body is not super clear. It is filled with food from Christmas dinners, cakes, and shots in copious quantities.
But what have the Christmas holidays food and drink parties really done to your body? And how do you get it back in top shape? We have asked two researchers.
Fatty food stops the system
It is probably not surprising to anyone that Christmas food is not exactly the most calorie-light.
We run duck, gravy, chips, cream, and other greasy stuff into one away.
Of course, the significant amount of fat can be seen on the weight, says Maja Thiele, a doctor and research lecturer at the University of Southern Denmark and Odense University Hospital.
– Many people get a calorie surplus at Christmas, and it settles as fat in the body. And you can actually put on a lot in December depending on the type of fat you eat and your genes, she says.
But besides a little extra on the side legs, the fat can also go beyond your digestion. Fatty foods are heavier to digest, and you are at higher risk of getting constipation.
The fat slows down the bowel movement
– Furthermore, classic Christmas food does not contain very many fibers. Fibers help push the bowel movement. So fatty foods and few fibers are a terrible combination, says Maja Thiele.
If you want to help your digestion and gain the extra pounds, then only the classic advice is to follow: Eat less fat, but good with fiber and exercise.
– Yes, those are the little annoying advice. But it’s the ones that work, she says.
Fortunately, your body condition is not just about what you drive down in December, but what you consume throughout the year.
– If you went extra for it in December, you won’t get anything out of having a bad conscience in January. Drop the bad conscience and look ahead instead. Pay attention to your diet, get out and move. Try to incorporate some good eating habits that can last all year instead of a quick fix in January, says Maja Thiele.
Alcohol (+ fat) sends the liver on overtime
It can be hard to get through December without attending a party or 20. And with Christmas parties often come copious amounts of shots and beer.
And it can have a significant impact on your body.
Not just the moment you consume it, but also in the longer term.
This is stated by Stine Johansen, a medical student, and researcher at the Center for Liver Research at Odense University Hospital.
– The liver is your body’s extensive purification center. The liver breaks down the alcohol into other substances, which are then excreted from the liver, she says.
It makes the liver look so good. The problem arises when we are at the same time filling with fatty foods.
– The liver really comes to overtime in December. When the liver is occupied breaking down alcohol, it cannot digest fats at the same time. That’s why they are stored in the liver, says Stine Johansen.
The fats are stored in the liver’s cells, and it can lead to fatty liver. A fatty liver is when more than five percent of delivered cells contain fat.
And you can actually come up with it over Christmas.
A fatty liver only causes problems if you continue to consume excessive amounts of alcohol, as it can lead to fatty liver inflammation and scar tissue formation in the liver.
– Therefore, it may be a good idea to cut down on alcohol consumption in January. Or completely abstain from alcohol and hold a so-called ‘ White January ‘ if you want your liver back in top shape, says Stine Johansen.
Also, it is a good idea to exercise as it burns the fat in the body.
Sugar is good for the brain, bad for the weight
There is a reason why you say ‘the sweet Christmas time’. When Christmas food is heavy in the stomach, and you flatten out on the couch, you often run the Netflix with candy.
And it can be hard to stay away from the sweet cases.
– Fast-acting sugar, which you often get at Christmas, causes your blood sugar to rise. But it also falls quickly again. Therefore, you also quickly become hungry again, says Maja Thiele.
Fast-acting sugar from sweets is not good if you want to avoid overeating.
Like fat, sugar also activates your brain’s reward centers. Therefore, it can be challenging to stay away from sweet cases.
Too much sugar helps give your body a calorie surplus. And this is again something that can be seen on the weight in January.
Therefore, according to Maja Thiele, we are back at the dull advice again.
– It’s the same as with fatty food. Simply think about what you eat and turn down the sweet stuff after Christmas. Eat a proper diet and move, she says.