The holiday season is a time for indulging. A time to forget about the diet and enjoy the countless snacks, desserts, and cocktails. Right? At least that’s what you may have told yourself as you shoved yet another cookie into your mouth…Don’t worry, I’m totally guilty too!
But now that the holidays are over, and the visions of sugar plums have danced from our heads, we may find ourselves resolving to get healthy and fit. Perhaps, you have vowed to go to the gym more or to stop eating fast food. Maybe you are trying a cleanse or a detox to help get you back on track. Whatever it is that you have decided to commit to, GREAT JOB! I am proud of you for taking initiative and setting goals for yourself!
Bouncing back after a holiday season of over indulgence can be somewhat of a daunting task. It can leave you feeling not only physically ill but mentally and emotionally drained as well. You may start to question why you ate so much. Or why you chose to drink ALL of those cocktails at ALL of those holiday parties. Trust me, I totally get this feeling and it doesn’t just come after the holidays.
Returning from a vacation, bachelorette party, girls weekend, or even a wedding can leave you feeling absolutely blah. Thankfully, I have some experience in dealing with these types of indulgences and have the perfect list of ways to get back on track! (Please note that I am not a nutritionist. These are things that I focus on after a weekend of indulging!)
Let it go!
And no I am not quoting Elsa on this one. I mean it. Just let it all go. What’s done is done and there is no point in dwelling on the fact that, yes, you drank 8 margaritas, and yes, you ate 3 baskets of chips in one sitting. In all seriousness though, the best thing that you can do is to readjust your focus. Instead of focusing on what you did wrong, start focusing on what you are going to do right. Positive thinking is the key here and you need to plan and prep for a healthy week ahead.
Drink LOTS of water
I know you hear this all the time but that’s because it’s the most important thing you can do. I usually try to drink a gallon of water a day, especially after indulging all weekend. If you find it hard to drink water throughout the day, try filling a gallon jug and making note of when you should drink. Also, I am a firm believer in detox water! Add 1 lemon (sliced) + 1 cucumber (sliced) + 10 or so sprigs of mint to a large pitcher of water. Drink this all week, changing the mixture at least once, and you will feel like yourself in no time!
It might be the last thing that you want to do on Monday but sweating out all of the toxins is exactly what your body needs. Personally, I go to hot power yoga to really sweat and rid my body of all the junk. Yoga has done wonders for my body and overall health (more of that in future a post!) and I swear by it these days. Or, if you aren’t feeling super motivated to hit the gym or the yoga studio, try going for a long walk. This is the easiest thing you can do while still moving your body!
Do NOT weigh yourself
I stopped weighing myself, in general, about 6 months ago. The scale became an obsession and I analyzed every ounce that I gained or lost. The worst thing that you can do is to step on the scale after a weekend of over eating and drinking. First of all, it’s not accurate. Your body has been retaining water and you are completely bloated. Second of all, why put yourself through that? You know you aren’t going to like the number that you see on the scale, so instead of bringing your confidence down, focus on the actions you are going to take to make sure that you get back to feeling your best.
Eat whole + clean foods
I am a true believe that this is really the only “diet” rule anyone should follow at any given time, not just after a weekend of too many french fries! Avoiding preservatives, additives, and any other chemicals that companies add to foods these days is so important for our overall health and weight management. I will admit that I am a label reader. I’m the girl standing in the bread aisle comparing 6 different loaves of bread as I try to figure out the healthiest option. Stay away from “low carb” and “low-fat”. Instead, reach for fresh vegetables, fruit, whole grains, preservative free dressings and snacks. A good rule of thumb; if you can’t pronounce it, you shouldn’t be eating it. PERIOD.
You had plenty of salt over the weekend and now your body has swelled up like a balloon. Do yourself a favor and cut back on the salt for a few days. Your body needs to absorb all the water that you are drinking and if you are eating salt then it kind of becomes counterproductive. Another great reason to avoid processed foods? They are LOADED with salt! Pass on the salt this week and opt for simple homemade recipes with lots of vegetables and complex carbs. Vegetable packed soup is always my go to after a rough weekend. Try this recipe for Detox Lentil Soup from Pinch of Yum.
Wear loose-fitting clothes
Again, you are bloated! Why would you want to wear skinny jeans and a tight-fitting top? Not only will you feel self-conscious wearing these clothes but physically it will make you feel horrible. Tight jeans pressing onto your stomach isn’t going to make anyone feel great, especially when you are swollen. Throw on some cozy sweatpants, or leggings and a flowy dress or tunic if you are heading to work!
So there you go! Some of my top tips for recovering from a weekend (or holiday season) of overindulging! I am in no way suggesting that you binge and recover every weekend. This is something that I used to do for years and the only thing that it produced was extremely poor body image and a very unhealthy self. When you restrict yourself during the week, you are more likely to binge on the weekends. Instead, try focusing on eating everything in moderation. Think before you eat. One of the best things I do is to ask myself, “How will this make me feel in a few hours?”. If the answer is, “HORRIBLE!” then I avoid it at all costs! Learn to listen to your body, trust what it is telling you, and treat it like the temple that it is.
Have a great weekend! And go easy on those margs 😉
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