How To Recover From A Bad Diet Weekend
For most people, weekends usually involve a few alcoholic beverages and some pretty unhealthy food choices. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to avoid allowing a bad diet weekend to set you back.
As I briefly talked about in “Starch And Your Body Fat", incorporating cheat meals or a cheat weekend after a week of clean eating is a good way to indulge yourself and also satisfy some of your cravings. One meal, or even one day of a sub-par diet is not going to cause weight gain. It’s meal after meal, day after day that causes you to gain those extra pounds.
Let’s assume that you do pretty well with your exercise plan, but often feel like you take two steps forward during the week, two steps back over the weekend with your diet (yes, I just referenced Paula Abdul). Here are three tips for quick recovery:
1) Have a high protein, high vegetable day(s). Odds are that your weekend consisted of a lot of empty carbs. Having a high protein, high vegetable day(s) will help to even out your caloric balance between the weekend and the beginning of the week, offset some of those bad carbs, and help get you back on track.
2) Drink lots of water. Hydrate and replenish your system. Flush out some of the toxins from the weekend.
3) Have a plan. Pinpoint where it is you seem to go wrong, and make a plan for next time. If you have strong cravings for fast food or junk food when you are hungover, have something healthy ready to go the night before, and resolve to eat it the next day no matter how bad you want that cheeseburger and fries. Once you are full, your craving for junk will go away. Plus, you will feel a lot better than you would with a belly full of burger compounding the guilt or sluggishness you might be feeling from the weekend.
4) Put it behind you and move forward. One bad weekend is not the end of the world. We all have them. Get over it, get back in the gym, and commit to step #1.
Being able to relax and enjoy your weekend is as important as having a productive week. Try applying an "80/20 rule". 80% of the time, work hard, exercise, and eat clean. 20% of the time, live a little. If you consistently exercise and eat healthy, you deserve to be able to enjoy life's simple pleasures from time to time.
Yours In Health,
Coach Brian Donovan