How to avoid the dreaded Christmas ‘double-P’ (i.e.”Paunch & Popdown”).

[adjective – Bajan colloquialism]
[Pronunciation: pȯnch \ pänch]
The state of being absolutely stuffed with food, and unable to properly move, think, or function.
//”Yo fam. I paunch as RH!”

img src:

[adjective – Bajan colloquialism]
[Pronunciation: päp dau̇n]
The state of appearance, where one looks like (s)he just… can’t ( – can’t be bothered; can’t find the energy to care etc).
“Girllll. You looking fairly popdown yeh!!”

Stardate: 12th December, 2019.

Hey! Wuh gine on?!

So… I know you absolutely ignored the plan I advised in my last article. Now, it’s literally 2 weeks before Christmas… and you’re just about ready to give up on fitness until the new year. You’re about to stuff your gut indiscriminately, until you’re paunch to the point of looking popdown… and you’re fairly effing fine with that. (lol)

Put a pin in it.
Seriously. I got you!
Remember: I’ve been there!
So, with that said: Here’s our game plan!!

  1. December 13th-17th – Clean up your diet, and have breakfast later:
    I’m a big proponent of intermittent fasts. And, I (personally) prefer longer fasting windows. That said, even shorter fasting windows can be beneficial. If you’re in bed by 10, and break your fast by 10a.m., you’ve easily inserted a 12 hour fast. Couple that with a cleaner diet and higher activity, and you’ll start to tighten up quickly. Aim for 3 balanced meals during your eating window.
  2. December 18th-24th – Hack it!
    Improve on what we started on December 13th, by throwing in a couple really cool hacks. What are they?
    a.) Start each meal with a glass of water.
    No… I’m not talking about that knee-jerk shit people are quite to chime in with – You know what I mean: “If you’re feeling hungry, most of the time it’s thirst. Drink some water.”
    Nonsense. ‘Cus half an hour later, the pangs start again.
    Nonsense, I say! lol.

    That said: Studies have shown that water before meals can help prevent overeating, and aide in weight-loss. [1][2][3].

    NB: These studies used 500ml of water (specifically), 30 minutes (also specifically) before eating… but, there’s no need to be overly anal about it. Trust me on this.

    b.) After breaking your fast, only eat again when you feel hungry.
    Yes… I know: earlier, I asked you to have 3 meals in your fasted window. I’m asking that you discard that now, and listen to your body’s cues!

    If those cues call for 3 meals in your feeding window, then have 3 meals.
    If you’re only hungry twice, don’t force another meal
    We’re keeping it simple!
    Thirdly, lastly, and even more simply (lol):

    c.) Be more specific with your meal structure. Use the hand guide!
    A hand-guide?
    Yes, fam!
    Structure each of your meals within your feeding like this:

    img src:

    ^EASY-PEASY! And if you really want to up the ante, halve the carbohydrate amount… OR limit carbohydrates to the meal(s) after your workout. Simple!

    Jeez louise… we’re really cranking now!

  3. December 25-26th – Eat every fuck, fam!

    I said what I said. If you want it, eat it. I’m not saying to try to go for an eating record. I’m saying, enjoy your holiday. Laugh with family and friends. Have that glass of wine. Have that cake. Don’t overthink it, and don’t guilt-trip yourself. It’s food, not algebra. Relax.

  4. December 27-December 30th – Return to the point #2c.

    Resume the structured diet to the letter. No cheating! Attending parties during this window? That sucks for you. You may want to try actually partying.
    Pose for pics,
    Sip your soda water, and marvel as your stomach shrinks before your eyes.
    Hell… feel free to ditch all starchy carbs during your eating window. That’ll help you shed bloat like crazy!

  5. December 31st – PARTY!

    Aite, this is basically THE MOST IMPORTANT day of the holiday season… and you’ve got to treat it as such. You’ve got a tux or super-sleek, super-sexy dress to fit into.

    Fast today.
    Fast like it’s your religion. (lol – That was so politically incorrect of me.)
    I said what I said: Put the fork down!
    Have water, tea, or black coffee throughout the day. No diet sodas. I’m usually a fan of them, but they can cause some lower abdominal distension. And, while this has no bearing on fat-loss… it CAN affect the aesthetic look of your tummy. And today, we aren’t playing that!

    Two hours or so before you head to your party that night, have a balanced meal… using the hand guide referenced previously as your go-to structure.

    Take a walk after your meal, to aide the digestion process, and we’re set!

    Slip into your outfit.
    Be a motherfucking beacon!
    Take plenty pics!

    (…and then you head to the buffet. lol)

  6. January 1st-until – Recover:

    Return to point #1 (i.e. the December 13th diet advice)… and add a couple supplements:
    a.) Digestive enzymes.
    Your body is going to need these. Alcohol consumption, for one, lowers our enzyme output. That’s why our gut feels fucked after the holidays. Enzymes can, potentially, aide in alleviating a host of other issues as well: yeast overgrowth, systemic inflammation etc. – i.e. all the crazy shit that happens to our bodies after we flood ’em with too much sugar for too long.

    b.) L-Glutamine.
    Glutamine is an awesome amino acid, which can help heal a leaky, damaged gut. Repair aside, it’s can also protect the gut from reinjury… thus preserving intestinal barrier integrity (- which is just sciency talk for: you can absorb the nutrients from your food, as you should, and not feel icky).[4][5][6]

    c.) Activated Charcoal.
    Bloated? Gassy? Then charcoal is your friend. I’m serious. It’s basically a life-saver: superrrrr-effective. [7] Also, it may ease diarrhea from the myriad of mishaps inherent to the holiday season. My supplement is never without a bottle. Hell… I always travel with a bottle as well. Trust me, fam: grab a bottle!

And there’s our plan in black and white.


Make me proud. 🙂
Yours in fitness,
– Corey Springer
Apollo Fitness Barbados


1. Dennis et. al. “Water consumption increases weight loss during a hypocaloric diet intervention in middle-aged and older adults.” Obesity (Silver Spring). 2010 Feb;18(2):300-7. doi: 10.1038/oby.2009.235. Epub 2009 Aug 6.Mar;2(2):81-4.

2. Davy et. al. “Water consumption reduces energy intake at a breakfast meal in obese older adults.” J Am Diet Assoc. 2008 Jul;108(7):1236-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jada.2008.04.013.

3. Corney et. al. “Immediate pre-meal water ingestion decreases voluntary food intake in lean young males.” Eur J Nutr. 2016 Mar;55(2):815-819. doi: 10.1007/s00394-015-0903-4. Epub 2015 Apr 18.

4. Achamrah et. al. “Glutamine and the regulation of intestinal permeability: from bench to bedside”. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2017 Jan;20(1):86-91.

5. RadhaKrishna Rao and Geetha Samak. “Role of Glutamine in Protection of Intestinal Epithelial Tight Junctions”. J Epithel Biol Pharmacol. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2015 Mar 23.

6. Wang et. al. “Glutamine and intestinal barrier function.” Amino Acids. 2015 Oct;47(10):2143-54. doi: 10.1007/s00726-014-1773-4. Epub 2014 Jun 26.

7. Maconi et. al. “Alpha-galactosidase versus active charcoal for improving sonographic visualization of abdominal organs in patients with excessive intestinal gas”. J Ultrasound. 2012 Dec; 15(4): 232–238. Published online 2012 May 17. doi: 10.1016/j.jus.2012.04.002


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