We’ve all been there. We indulge in one too many cookies from the office break room, order carry out more than we cook healthy meals at home, say yes to that third margarita, or skip our scheduled workouts for days on end. Whether it’s life that gets in the way, a vacation or just plain laziness on our part, falling off the health wagon from time to time happens to the best of us. The important thing is getting back on it! Here are my top tips for doing so:
1.) Don’t restrict the next day
Number one, my most important tip is not to restrict your food intake the day after you eat or drink too much. This will only backfire. Your body is extremely smart and knows how to regulate itself. If you go the entire day without proper fuel, your body will compensate by making you ravenous that evening, prompting you to eat until you are stuffed and feel guilty once more. This therefore, restarts the whole cycle over again. Avoid this by eating healthy meals throughout the day, even if they are smaller than normal. And if you find yourself craving a little treat, allow yourself to have it, just keep it small (one drink or one piece of chocolate for example). There’s always room for a little treat, even after an overindulgence!
2.) Eat a healthy breakfast
Starting the day with breakfast, even if you don’t feel hungry is very important for getting back on track. It not only jump starts your metabolism so you burn more calories throughout the day, but it also helps prevent you from eating too much later on. Even if it’s just something small, like a yogurt or piece of fruit, that little something is better than nothing at all and can have a big impact.
When in doubt, sweat it out. There’s nothing better than a great workout after a night, week or month of overindulgences. Not only does it make you feel good, it also contributes to our desire to make healthier choices in the future. Basically, killing two birds with one stone!
4.) Make a plan
Identify what caused you to fall off the wagon in the first place, then figure out solutions to prevent it from happening again. Maybe this includes meal prepping so you have healthy food ready to go. It may also include making yourself a workout schedule for the week so you have a plan to stick to. Whatever it is, use your setbacks as a learning experience to improve upon.
5.) Accept it & move on
Don’t beat yourself up or get down on yourself. Recognize that it will take a few days to get back into your old healthy habits (or even more if your starting new ones!). A healthy mentality is key to moving forward instead of falling back.