"I'll start again on Monday..."
I've said it. You've said it. You've seen numerous jokes on your Facebook stream that elude to it. Monday is that magical day where all your fitness and diet sins are forgiven and things will be different this week. While some people blow it in the gym with their goals, the majority of us (I say "us," because it's happened to me plenty of times) blow it on our nutrition. It's like the weekend was designed to throw us off on our goals. Sometimes that weekend mistake turns into several weeks of mistakes, and somehow we're right back where we started with our pants too tight and feeling defeated. IT HAPPENS. If this describes you, it's Monday right now, and it's time to re-commit.
I would like to share some ways to get back on track after a lapse in your good health behaviors, some preventative maintenance tips, as well as a few ways to make your cheat meals not as terrible as they could be. Having a bad eating day isn't the end of the world. It's only really bad if you just say "screw it" and go back to your old ways. Don't do that. Here are some useful tips:
- You went out with your family to dinner and had one of everything. Welcome to the club! Instead of feeling defeated, just chalk it up to a "time out" in your diet and start your good eating habits the very next meal. You only ruined your whole weekend of eating if you use this meal as a catalyst for every meal to come after that. Mistakes happen, but don't make them worse!
- Constantly overeating? You may not be getting enough calories in your diet. While hunger can sometimes be boredom, a lot of times you're just not eating enough, which can be a surefire way to ruin your goals with a binge. Consider calculating your Basal Metabolic Rate and seeing if maybe you're just not eating enough to satisfy your hunger.
- If you know you're going to cheat on your diet, consider maybe making this an intermittent fasting day. Drink a ton of water, and even possibly a Bulletproof Coffee throughout the day and fast right up until your big night out or family get together. Read about intermittent fasting HERE and HERE.
- Make your cheat meal work for you by hitting the gym and lifting heavy weights before you start smashing the pizza and beer. At least some of the nutrition in your cheat meal will actually aid in muscle recovery and sometimes growth. A win-win situation.
- Avoid processed foods at all costs on your cheat nights. Have pizza, hamburgers, donuts, whatever. Just buy them from an actual donut shop or from a pizza place instead of the frozen food section or the Hostess aisle at the store. Think as close to home made as possible. Nobody needs trans fat, high fructose corn syrup, and chemicals they can't even spell in their foods to have them taste good.
- Under no circumstances should you EVER starve yourself as punishment for slipping up with your diet. I personally know people who do this, and you're doing yourself more harm than good. Eventually you'll get so hungry you'll just binge all over again, and nobody needs that vicious cycle in their life.
- Sometimes boredom with your current nutritional plan is the culprit behind your poor choices. Being on a bland diet can cause your mind to wander to places it doesn't need to be which in turn leads your body to the nearest Chinese buffet for a food bender. Hire someone (me) to come up with a nutrition plan that involves a wide variety of foods, and the occasional reward meal built in. A well designed diet that includes foods you like on occasion can be the difference between success and failure
So, it's Monday. Are you content with where you're at right now, or have you slipped up more than you should recently and your pants are getting a bit tighter? You're not alone, but it's up to you to say "enough is enough" and get back to your healthy ways. I'll end this with one of my favorite quotes, and one that rings true to my heart. "Nothing tastes as good as fit feels."
Tomorrow is a new day. Time to start working on a new you...