How To Recover From A Bad Diet Weekend

Tuesday, October 02, 2012 • Chicago, IL 60647

For most people, weekends usually involve a few alcoholic beverages and some pretty unhealthy food choices. That's just the way it is. Fortunately, there are a couple things you can do to avoid allowing a bad diet weekend set you back.


As I briefly talked about in "Starch & Your Body Fat", incorporating cheat meals or a cheat weekend after a clean healthy week are a good way to indulge yourself and also satisfy some of your cravings as long as you don't go overboard. One meal, or even one day of a subpar diet is not going to cause weight gain. It's meal upon meal, day after day, that will put you in the hole, cause you to get discouraged, and eventually take your foot off the gas or give up.


Let's assume that you do pretty well with your exercise plan, but constantly feel like you are taking two steps forward during the week, than two steps back over the weekend with your diet (yes, I just referenced Paula Abdul). Here are two tips for quick recovery. 


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 even out your caloric balance between the weekend and the beginning of the week and help get you back on track.


Put it behind you and move forward. One weekend is not going to kill you. It is not a reason to have a pity party, feel like you are now on the path to gaining it all back, and abandon ship. Pinpoint where you went wrong, and have 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 crap goes away and you can move on with your day. Plus, you'll feel a lot healthier than you would with a belly full of burger compounding the guilt or sluggishness you might be feeling from the night before.


Being able to enjoy your weekend is as important as having a productive work week. Like the saying goes "Work Hard, Play Hard, Eat Smart".............OK, I added that last part.

Brian Donovan