We all have the occasional day that consists of a bit too much food. In my opinion, it’s good to have days like these as long they don’t happen often and they don’t stretch into the next day. Eating perfectly every single day would get boring for most of us and one of the biggest benefits of being healthy in the first place is to enjoy life. So, if you overeat once in awhile, don’t worry about it. However, if you let that day turn into several days of overeating (during the holidays, a fun vacation, or just a stressful time at work), you can do some serious damage. This is often the case when you wake up one morning and realize your jeans won’t zip. So, how can you prevent these periodic indulgences from wrecking your healthy habits?
- Exercise. You’re likely feeling tired and sluggish after a few days of heavy eating. I promise exercise will make you feel better. For the next week, do 50% more exercise than you normally would. If you normally work out 3 days a week, aim for 5 days. If you normally work out 6 days per week, stick with your normal routine but add in a few extra walks during the day to increase your activity.
- Eat at least one fruit and one vegetable at every meal and snack. This is a good habit anyway, but it’s particularly helpful after not eating well. Produce helps you stay hydrated and its fiber will help clear out any bad stuff still lurking inside you.
- Plan your meals for the week in advance. There’s nothing worse than deciding you’re going to get your healthy habits back on track, only to open the fridge on day 2 to find nothing but leftover pizza and ice cream.
- Plan your workouts for the week in advance. Decide what each of your workouts will be for the week and when you’re going to do them. Write it on your calendar and have everything ready to go the day before. If you’re going to the gym, lay out your sneakers and workout clothes. If you’re doing a workout video, have it up on your desktop or in your DVD player ready to go the night before.
Your body needs about the same amount of time to get back to normal as you spent eating and lounging. So if you’ve been neglecting your food and exercise habits for a day, you’ll likely be back on track the next day. If you’ve been overdoing it for a week, you’ll need about a week. Experiment with new recipes and workouts to make the process fun.
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