Post Cheat-Day Recovery
If you are one of those people who seeks out EVERY event as an opportunity to toss your diet out the window, you are not alone, my friend. And this past holiday was the perfect opportunity. Thanksgiving is one of those holidays that specifically calls for us to eat until our bellies ache. So, if you are one of those “go big or go home folks,” (like me), then your bellies are feeling extra bloated after this past weekend. I should’ve posted this blog the day after Thanksgiving, but my Thanksgiving holiday went right on through the weekend. And, to be honest, I’ve been in a turkey-induced coma for most of that time.
I alway face this holiday with good intentions: “I’m only going to have one helping of mashed potatoes,” or “I’m just going to walk right past the table of desserts.” Then, as if a force beyond my control undermines my willpower (and takes over my fork), I just shovel in some more. Ugh. And this particular Thanksgiving, I took it to a whole new level. But it’s Monday, folks, and it’s time to get our sh*t back together. So, if you find yourself screaming at the scale the day after sabotaging your diet… Here’s what to do:
FIRST of all, throw the Freaking scale away! Nobody should own a scale. It’s all about how your jeans fit. And right about now, I bet those jeans are squeezing your muffin-top to new heights. So, let’s get our sh*t together, folks, and get back to feeling good about ourselves.
Here is the way to get back on track quickly.
1. Assess the situation: How bad of a cheat was it? Did you have that mini-slice of pecan pie you don’t normally have? Or did you eat an entire quart of rocky-road ice cream, followed by spoonfuls of ready-made fudge frosting out of a tub? Is this a once-a-month violation, or is it a holiday bout of binge-eating? These are important questions. More often than not, these diet-breaking events are minor infractions that don’t happen on a regular basis. For most of us, this is a somewhat rare occasion, which brings us to the next point….
2. Forgive yourself. Stop beating yourself up. It’s not going to help the situation if you say “F— it,” and throw the entire diet away. You are not a failure; you just had a little slip. You are capable of living a healthy life. Change that negative internal dialogue, and get a grip on yourself.
3. Do NOT starve yourself! After a day of eating cr@p, our knee-jerk reaction is to refrain from eating in order to make up for the damage. This is the absolute worst thing you could do! In fact, the best thing you can do for your body after you’ve loaded it up with junk food is to load it up with healthy food. And the sooner the better! I know, I know, it seems a little counter-intuitive, but let me explain. If you eat a green salad right after you’ve “accidentally” squirted half of a can of whipped cream into your mouth, the fiber in the salad mixes with the cream (or other junk food) to help slow down the digestion of the sugar. Without the fiber to mitigate the sugar, the sugar hits our bloodstream too quickly and our body stores it in our fat cells. And once it’s there, if you starve yourself the day after, our bodies will hold onto it for dear life. So, eat healthy ASAP!
4. Load up on healthy food the day after. I know this is redundant, but it’s important! (So I’m saying it twice.) Let’s assume you didn’t munch on celery stalks immediately after your marshmallow sweet potatoes. Now what? You still need your digestive system to get rid of all of that junk that’s hanging around from yesterday. So, eat foods loaded with fiber. Brussel sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, swiss chard, and spinach are among the better vegetables. But also load up on apples, oranges, strawberries and raspberries. Beans and legumes will keep you full, while helping to clean out your system. And raw almonds will help manage your sugar cravings you are sure to have the day after.
5. Drink a ton of water. You need to flush out all of those toxins you just ingested. Keep drinking all day long until you are going to the bathroom regularly and your urine is basically clear.
So there you have it. The 5 things you should do to get back on track. Back to feeling… well, thankful.