Your fat is jumping for joy knowing Christmas is coming!

You can think that it's just a joke, or carefree personification, but you know well, that this mocking and cruel title depicts what's going on in your body. Admit in front of yourself, that, although you sweat a lot at the gym and refuse to eat culinary temptations in order to look better, some part of your inner “you” can't wait to sit by the table and – let's name it – gormandize.

You should definitely read:

The blood type diet - the tale of Santa Claus

Because it's such tradition...

There is such tradition in our culture (sic!), which makes us celebrate any kind of opportunity, distinguishing at least one day from everyday existence, with another portion of food. It may be Friday evening (going out, i.e. there will be at least some hamburger and alcohol), sometimes Saturday (film session with a package of crisps), or sometimes Sunday (dinner at parents-in-law). These are, of course, just some tiny “celebrations”, but still, the element of sealing their uniqueness is consumption – often unlimited.

Easy, it's just cheat meal

In the fitness world such procedures have gained their name in a form of “cheat meal” or “cheat day”, to which ideology is attached, thanks to which, instead of bitter pill of “stupid gluttony” there is a beautiful idea of increasing metabolism with the help of great amount of calories coming from food criticised everyday. I want to make myself clear that, as a dietitian, I think that so-called “cheat” may have its place in a healthy diet. The problem is that it's often exchanged by gluttony, and that's all I want to add in this matter.

Come on, it's Christmas

As far as weekend “cheat days” can be just a “habit” of overeating, in Christmas time this practice – according to unwritten law – is our tradition. Tradition is a concept connected with habits, but it's transferred from one to next generation as a part of culture accepted as significant for the presence and future. At least, that's what definition states. If that's so, I'm wondering which element of significance for presence and future is there during the act of overeating with everything that stays within the reach of our hands during Christmas. The only answer that comes to my mind, which could be some kind of explanation, is that our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents have done the same thing. In other words: we have gormandized during Christmas from time immemorial.

Other perspective

Well, even if we admit that the statement above is 100% true (the truth is that those who could overeat, have – not everybody or all the time), let's be honest: if we refer to a part of culture and tradition, remember that before Christmas... it's Advent. This fasting was based on spirituality, but it caused physical effects: during this time people used to eat less and lose weight. Then they gained weight during Christmas – but they kept balance. Even if such body mass changes weren't healthy, it still looked much better than nowadays, when there is no fasting and during Christmas there are no limits. What's worse, nowadays we overeat not only with traditional Christmas dishes prepared from scratch at home, but we also consume highly-processed foodstuffs rich in refined sugars and hydrogenated fats.

Therefore, we have approached the matter of tradition in a very selective way by choosing only those elements, which suit us and are a cultural blessing for our weaknesses. As a result, we lose on such behaviour, because we feel and look worse after such Christmas gluttony. But there are also beneficiaries of such state of things.

Happy adipocytes

Maybe it's hard to imagine, but adipose tissue is a kind of creature living according to its own rules. It is composed with cells called adipocytes, which have extraordinary abilities. They are able to gather enormous amount of energy and, additionally, they can release various substances, thanks to which they are able to develop. Until we keep restraint with food, we are physically active and lead healthy lifestyle, fatty tissue is calm and doesn't meddle in that much. But as soon as we give in to our weaknesses and start to gormandize, we turn on the mechanisms responsible for deregulation of the feeling of hunger and satiety. As a result, the appetite becomes larger along eating. There need to be only 1-2 days of gluttony to lead to insulin resistance and increase of inflammatory factors. Of course, it may be temporary, but it may cause long-term consequences. I encourage those who are interested in this matter to read the article available under the link below:

Cheat day: what is it and how does it influence your organism?

Christmas biochemistry

Leptin is one of the hormones excreted by adipocytes. Its task is to protect from starvation: when the level of stored fat gets lower, adipocytes produce less leptin, which causes, among others, the feeling of hunger. Intake of food has similar effect on leptin (if it increases, it lifts its level, and starving – decreases). Theoretically, together with large intake of energy and increase of stored fat, the level of leptin should also be higher, decreasing appetite at the same time. Unfortunately, it doesn't work this way, what is connected with the mentioned insulin resistance, which leads to high blood sugar and hyperinsulinemia, what causes lowering the leptin sensitiveness. It is also connected with the mentioned increase of inflammatory cytokines production, which decrease leptin sensitiveness, too. As a result, the brain cannot see that there is too much food and the level of fat reserves gets higher. Appetite does not decrease. We feel full, but there is no moment of switching off craving for food. As a result, we continue eating.

Only two days are enough to lead to such pathology. It's very difficult to stop such vicious circle later on. Of course, Christmas ends, we have to go back to everyday life, perhaps life with porridge, chicken breast with broccoli and quark poured with olive oil. You will enter New Year with additional package of experience and... kilograms. At your own whim.

Summary

Are you happy about Christmas? Great, your adipocytes also enjoy the upcoming day when they start their expansion and extend their range, and maybe even – who knows – they will start some pathogenic process thanks to excreted cytokines. So, celebrate the pre-Christmas time, perhaps these are your last days in such shape and size...