Perhaps one of the most important nights each year is the last one, New Year’s Eve, which is all about celebrating and having fun. And perhaps one of the most critical aspects of that celebration is to include a lot of eating and drinking throughout the night. This has led multiple people around the globe to believe that this one-time event can drastically affect your body due to the excess of food and alcohol.

According to Holly Wyatt, MD, who’s the head of the metabolism and obesity clinic at the University of Colorado’s Anschutz Health and Wellness Center, a single big meal won’t suddenly cause people to become overweight. “Drinking and eating more than the usual can have a ripple effect on your body, in other words, throw it off, but those effects shouldn’t last through the rest of the year” she added.

Here, you’ll get to know how New Year’s Eve will and won’t affect your body through the words of experts.

Excess Food and Booze Equal More Fat

For one, according to Dr. Wyatt, if all the alcohol that you drank on NYE stays in your body, it’ll soon become toxic, that’s why your body will focus on metabolizing the alcoholic liquid as quickly as possible. And as a result of that, all of the calories from the food you ate alongside those drinks will probably end up being stored as fat.

But you should always keep in mind that this also happens when you eat long without drinking. “Whenever you eat more food than your body needs, and as a result, there’s basically no need for the body to metabolize those extra carbohydrates or fats for fuel, it’ll simply store them for later,” explains Dr. Wyatt.

If you notice a new number on the scale on January 1st, it is probably the result of water weight gain, which is usually the product of eating a lot of foods that contain lots of carbs or sodium. Eventually, this water weight gain will go away as soon as possible. In other words, it is entirely normal to notice a sudden spike in your weight after New Year’s Eve, the size of that spike, however, depends on how much you consumed during the night. Dr. Wyatt then explains how a single night can’t really cause anyone to gain much weight, if any. It is when that night becomes a couple of days or more than a week that you start to notice an alarming gain in weight.

How New Years’ Eve Affects Your Workout Schedule

“People who work out are probably the ones that are most affected by this celebration. Why, You might ask? Well, you make home late, fall asleep almost immediately, spend half of the day sleeping off the celebrations, then you’ll probably have to deal with a hangover and feel generally sluggish as a result. Then you’ll get back to work, and we all know how busy those first few January work days can be, and as a result, you’ll probably end up not hitting the gym like you used to” says Frances Largeman-Roth, nutrition expert and author of Eating in Color. “The worst part of any big night out, especially New Year’s Eve, is that it can decommission you for a day or two, and those lost days will definitely delay your post-holiday reset,” he added.

How to Get Back on Track As Soon As Possible

“If you’re the type of person who doesn’t drink to the point of passing out, your body will most likely detox itself quickly afterward,” says Largeman-Roth. What I, personally, and these experts usually suggest, is to come up with a good post-party plan before the party itself even starts.

Largeman-Roth’s first recommendation is to start hydrating as soon as you’re home, then grab a small snack like a banana for example before going to bed, because it is rich in potassium, which helps counteract all the bloating that comes with eating salty foods and drinking all sorts of beverages.

You should also start filling your refrigerator with healthy foods ahead of time so that you don’t resort to having a greasy hangover brunch when you wake up. Speaking of which, Largeman-Roth provided us with his formula of a detox smoothie which is: 

  • A cup of coconut water
  • Two cups fresh pineapple
  • A cup chopped celery
  • The juice of one lime
  • A tablespoon fresh mint
  • A kiwi

The coconut water can replenish electrolytes, while the pineapple and celery both have diuretic effects, thereby reducing the bloat, with the kiwi beef’s richness in vitamin C improves your immune system, which can take a hit after a night full of partying.

Dr. Wyatt recommends against relying on heavy exercise to get rid of everything you ate or drank. Instead of stressing yourself trying to burn off the thousands of extra calories due to the party eats and cocktails that you consumed during the night, do some yoga or go for a brisk walk. Moving your body will burn some calories and eventually make you feel like yourself and ease you back into your preferred routine.

It’s also essential to use the right pre-workout when hitting the gym. Red Bull and Monster present an array of energy drinks that would pump your training sessions and improve them immensely, including the following flavors offered by Monster:

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Final Thoughts

One last thing to keep in mind is that you should never feel guilty for abandoning your healthy eating and workout habits during New Year’s Eve. “Feel good about having all the fun you wanted on New Year’s Eve, and also feel empowered that you already have a plan in mind on how you’ll deal with the after-effects and get back on track eventually,” says Dr. Wyatt.