If you feel like you indulged a little bit too much last weekend, don't stress. Here are 4 easy things you can do to bounce back to healthy living.
Remember this? Everyone wanted to order dessert, and even though you were full, you gave in and said yes. Or you had a fun night out with friends (which may or may not have involved alcohol) and somehow you wound up at in-n-out, gorging on animal fries at 2am. Or maybe you were invited to a dinner party with tons of decadent foods that you don't normally eat, but hey, you wanted to celebrate, so you went a little overboard. Or your friend begged you to have "just one more drink" with her, which you knew was one over your limit, but you gave in anyways and paid for it with a killer hangover the next day. Maybe 1 cupcake turned into 5, and then you just said "F it" and ate everything in sight for the rest of the day because you "cheated" on your diet and all of your hard work was cancelled out anyways.
Not only does sabotaging yourself with excessive indulging have unwanted consequences immediately after (i.e. bloating, indigestion, dehydration, fatigue, unclear thoughts, hangovers, mood swings, lack of motivation, cravings, guilt), but these side-effects can linger days or even weeks after your indulgences. Some people have the youth of a 17-year-old and can bounce back immediately, but if you're anything like me, you feel the effects well into the next few days. This is not to be confused with treating yourself every once in a while! Please, if you want a cupcake, EAT THE DAMN CUPCAKE! What I want to make clear is that if you are harming your body by excessively indulging over your limits and guilt tripping yourself after, or you want to be healthy after the holidays, I've got your back!
No amount of beating yourself up will make you feel better. In fact, you'll feel even worse if you kick yourself for splurging once in a while. If you've completely overdone it, and your one innocent french fry turned into a downward spiral of poor food choices for a few days or weeks, it's okay. Forgive yourself, learn your lesson, and move forward.
Here are my 4 actions to help you get back on the healthy train after indulging:
1. Be willing to choose a new perspective. Understand that this unhealthy choice is just a setback in your health journey, and that you WILL feel better. See this setback as a learning lesson and remember the consequences of your unhealthy choices when you are influenced to make this decision again. Forgive yourself for all harm that you did to your body, and make a promise to yourself to love your body and treat it the way it deserves to be treated: with love. Know your triggers and your boundaries. If your friend is pushing you to have just one more drink with her, and your intuition is screaming, "NOOO!!", honor your body, remember what happened last time you had "just one more drink", and politely decline. For many of us, this may feel uncomfortable, but after a few practices, you'll be respecting your body in no time. If you know that your trigger is donuts in the office, when one bite is enough to send you into a wild donut frenzy and next-day sugar hangover, it's time to get real with yourself. It's time to take a minute to think about and be aware of all of these tempting choices, and honor what you and your body truly wants.
2. Set up a game plan. It's only going to be easier to give into your cravings if you don't have your meals set up for you. The first step starts with carving out time to go grocery shopping: the farmers market is a wonderful choice, and if you can't make it there, start at your local health food store. Trader Joe's has affordable prices with relatively healthy options. Pick up some whole, unprocessed, fresh ingredients at the store and start cooking. Check out my meal prep hack that will save you hours in the kitchen on MindBodyGreen here! Set yourself up wisely to love your body and treat it with healthy, clean meals that you know you love and enjoy. One benefit to home cooking is that you will have more $$ in your bank account for all the things you love to do that doesn't involve food. Eating out all the time can really add up!
3. Move. I don't care if it's taking a 5 minute walk around the block at work on your lunch break or hitting the gym every day. The more you move and sweat, the more toxins you're releasing from your body. When you move, you're allowing your body to excrete stagnant energy and emotions that take up valuable space in your body. You're clearing more room to heal and repair from the inside out. You'll get a kick of endorphins when you workout and a huge confidence boost . Don't forget to hydrate more than usual to help with flushing toxins, especially if you've been drinking, which is seriously dehydrating. Working out more and enjoying it means you'll make better food choices. I promise. It's one of those things that goes hand in hand. You'll feel better in your body and more motivated to continue taking care of yourself in the kitchen.
4. Self care. This is my favorite tip. Think of all the ways you love to take care of and pamper yourself. Start by doing one of them! Self-care is one of the highest forms of self respect that you can practice, which combats all the stress you've been putting your body through. Taking care of yourself will reap wonderful benefits, such as stress reduction, body love, increased confidence, a sense of peace, and a heightened awareness of your body's messages to you. Here's a list of my favorite self care practices:
• taking a hot bath with essential oils, candles, and epsom salt
• getting a massage
• getting my hair and nails done
• DIY facials
• taking extra time to do hair & makeup
• wearing a favorite outfit
• cooking a nourishing, healthy meal with good music & company
• hot yoga (super detoxing)
• swimming in the ocean
• hiking with a friend
• random acts of kindness
• calling/texting a friend
• making a hot cup of tea
• deep belly breathing
• positive affirmations
I can barely believe that I used to party almost every weekend in college and go on late night food binges with friends. I know firsthand the effects this destructive behavior has on the body and every aspect of your life. Please reach out if you'd like more help with getting back into a healthy routine for the New Year. I'm offering complimentary initial Health Coaching Sessions for the month of January!