How to: Come back after a Holiday binge

Girl running with American flag on farm Image downloaded by melissa sherbon at 17:37 on the 29/06/11

The 4th of July weekend is always a time for celebration- with food, drinks, and desserts. So you may have had a cheat meal, or two, or three, or you may have even put all your healthy eating goals aside for the whole weekend. If you did, I’m here to say- so what.

We are human, we all “lose” control, weather it be voluntarily or involuntarily of things such as our goals. And when it comes to choosing between clean eating & sufficient exercise and a fun weekend spent gorging in festive food, we naturally are going to choose the latter.

We ALL probably had a cheat meal of some sort this past weekend, and if you didn’t, then you either have serious willpower, or you are too hard on yourself. The point here is that occasional cheat meals, holiday binges, etc. are OK! They will not, I repeat, will NOT hinder your success or your long term goals of a fit and healthy lifestyle. Moderation is keyso as long as you get back on track starting today there is nothing that hang your head about!

Tips to get back on track:

  1. Drink LOTS of water! – We’ve all known this for a while, water is good for your body. Not only are you going to rehydrate your body from the likely large amounts of alcohol consumed that puts your body in a dehydrated state, but water also has a natural cleansing So if you want to feel like you don’t have gut rut anymore and have your body feeling fresh, guzzle down more than those 8 recommended glasses of water a day, heck shoot for over 10.
  2. Get right back to healthy eating! – Don’t go with the “oh I’ve already screwed up this weekend’s diet, why not go another day?”. No, no, NO. That is not the way to go! Sure, one bad meal will not make you fat, but if you keep making excuses as to why you can go another meal, another day, another week without sticking to your health plan, then you will inevitably be so far off track that you won’t know how to get back on. So grab for that salad today! Your body will appreciate it and you will feel good too.
  3. Hit the gym – Seems like the obvious answer, but you’ll be surprised as to how many people take on the same mentality as in number 2, or some people- let’s face it- might be too hungover to go. But honestly what better way to cure a hangover than sweating it all out. It doesn’t have to be your most intense workout to date, but getting in there and getting your heart rate up and your blood flowing after a long, sedentary weekend is a much better way to get ready for Monday’s workout than going into the workout out week feeling sluggish and out of it still.
  4. DON’T be too hard on yourself– It’s perfectly okay to have fun every now and then and not feel guilty about it. We are human, we all deserve a few “off” days and an unhealthy meal. It’s life. But what you shouldn’t do after all that is be over critical of your decisions. NO, starving yourself today to make up for yesterday’s binge is not going to even out your weekly calorie count. And NO, working out for an extra hour to burn twice as many calories is going to magically work off your weekend. Calories don’t work like that, they are a daily thing- so if you’re thinking of going to the extremes today in an effort to feel better about your holiday choices now, you might as well just throw in the towel. Embrace the fun you had and get back on track, simple as that.
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