We all do it. We fall off the fitness wagon, either by accident or sometimes by choice. I recently celebrated my 30th birthday in NYC with my friends and family who flew in from all over the country to ring in this new decade with me.
I knew leading up to the five day extravaganza, that there was going to be food/alcohol involved. There always is with my crazy, fun bunch. I tried my hardest to be proactive and strategize how to balance eating well while indulging in moderation, but let's face it, when you're in the moment, sometimes it's fun to just let loose. It's choosing to eat based on pleasure rather, temporary satisfaction, rather than necessity. Sometimes it's good to just have a complete mental break from the pressures of a diet or structured eating plan. I may be a nutrition/fitness coach, but I totally get it. I've been there, I've struggled, I love pizza and cheesecake too, clearly by the food porn images below.
The good part of falling off the grid is that once you overindulge, you tend to feel crappy due to highly processed, sugary and salty foods, which is motivation to hop back on that fitness train. The important and crucial next step is after the fun is over and you go back to regular programming, is to make positive choices to get back on track.
Here are some TIPS for you to take charge to get back to a nutritious/active lifestyle and to just feel better inside and out after 1, 2, 3, in my case 5 days of falling off the fitness wagon.
Tip #1-Get rid of the guilt! You made the choice to overindulge, now it's time to move forward. You don't need to feel bad and you don't need to punish yourself for "what you did." The best advice I can give you is to just start making positive choices, like well balanced meals with a lean protein, healthy complex carb and generous portion of veggies and/or committing to waking up and getting a good cardio session in, to sweat out some of the toxins you consumed or drank.
Tip #2-Drink lots of water! This will help re-hydrate your body and flush out your system. Most of the time after a treat meal (s), we tend to hold onto water weight due to indulging in foods most likely higher sodium content from being processed/packaged. I shoot for a gallon per day.
Tip #3-Sweat! You can get a good cardio session in or if you have access to a sauna, that will cause you to sweat and drop some of that water weight. Another good recommendation is to take an epsom salt bath. The heat from the water will cause you to sweat, plus the salt helps boost magnesium levels, reduces stress and toxins, helps to relieve pain and reduce inflammation and is just overall soothing. Sweating helps us release those positive endorphins that makes us feel good and high on life.
Tip #4-Order your groceries online for the following week. This prevents me from being tempted to buy foods off my grocery list! Sometimes after you indulge, you want/crave more sugary/salty/processed foods. Resisting temptation from physically seeing those items at the store can help. Shopping online is quick, easy and convenient. I live on the east coast which has Fresh Direct, but there are a lot of grocery delivery options out there that offer service to your location. Walmart offers an order online, then pick up option. I recommend doing a quick google search to find out services near you.
Tip #5-Food prep! Once you get your groceries, start prepping you food in bulk, that way you pack meals ahead of time or just have food easily accessible for you when you're hungry and need fuel. I often prep my protein, carbs and veggies, that way when it comes time to eat, the work is already done.
Try those tips out and I promise you, you will feel better and back in control. Here's the takeaway from all of this...
Use those indulgences for the greater good, as motivation to get back on that fitness wagon, one step at a time. Try not to stress yourself out and think you're doomed. One bad meal does not make you fat, just like one good meal does not make you skinny. Both gaining and losing weight happens over time. After a treat meal, we might get on the scale and notice the number up anywhere from 3-5 pounds. That fluctuation is most likely from water weight, holding onto to water from intaking higher sodium foods. You literally have to eat 3,500 calories to gain 1 pound of fat and most treat meals don't even come close to that. Give yourself time to get back on track, be consistent with your meals and activity and have patience. With positive actions towards you goals, you will earn those results.