Did you overindulge this weekend? For many people, Friday through Sunday can involve some pretty unhealthy choices. Finding a balance between allowing yourself to splurge a little and overdoing it can be tricky. Whether you’re reading this and it’s already Monday or you are looking ahead to minimize future setbacks, you’ve come to the right place. Read on to find out how to recover from an unhealthy weekend.
As I briefly talked about in How Starch Affects Body Fat And Weight Loss, incorporating a few cheat meals after a week of clean eating and exercise can be a good way to indulge yourself and also satisfy some of your cravings without going overboard.
One meal, or even one day of a sub-par diet is not going to cause significant weight gain.
But what happens when pizza and a couple drinks on Friday turns into burgers and beers on Saturday turns into brunch on Sunday with a couple of mimosa’s or bloody mary’s?
When that is the case, here are a few tips to help you recover quickly and get back on track on Monday:
1) Have A High Protein, High Vegetable Day, Low-Carb Day
If your weekend consisted of a lot of empty carbs like booze, appetizer foods, bread, rice, pasta, and snacks, then having a high protein, high vegetable day will help to balance out your macronutrients. If you don’t know what macronutrients are, these are protein, carbs, and fats.
Generally speaking, you want your macronutrient ratios split somewhere around the range of 40% carbs, 30% protein, 30% fat. This will vary greatly depending on an individuals fitness goals and activity levels but for the sake of illustrating this point, on a weekend where you overindulged, your macronutrient ratios probably look more like 70% carbs, 20% unhealthy fats, 10% protein. So having a high protein, high vegetable, low-carb day will allow you to bring these numbers back to where they should be and for you to recover quicker.
2) Drink Lots Of Water
If your unhealthy weekend consisted of booze, then you will definitely want to drink plenty of water on Monday to hydrate and replenish your system. Alcohol consumption causes dehydration. It decreases the body’s production of anti-diuretic hormone, which is used by the body to reabsorb water. With less of this hormone available, your body loses more fluid than normal through increased urination.
Water aids in digestion, circulation, absorption and transport of nutrients. It cleans the body of toxins, increases our energy levels, improves brain function, energizes our muscles, helps prevent cramping, and can even help to stave off hunger. The recommended daily intake is eight 8-ounce glasses.
3) Sweat It Out
A great way to get back on track after a weekend of unhealthy choices is to sweat it out with a workout, even if it’s not a great one. Just get moving, get in the gym or do a circuit workout from home, break a sweat, lift some weights or do some bodyweight exercises, and remember to drink lots of water. This will help you start Monday off on a good note and build momentum for the rest of the week.
4) Have A Plan
Pinpoint where it is you seem to go wrong, and have a plan before the weekend. For example, if you have strong cravings for fast or greasy food when you are hungover, have something healthy in the fridge and ready to eat the next day. If you tend to eat out often on the weekends, start taking into consideration portion sizes and the balance of macronutrients (carbohydrates, protein, and fat) in your meals. Make a conscious effort to stop eating when you are full and also make sure your plate has some protein and veggies on it.
I will be covering my top strategies for quitting weekend overeating in a separate article and will link to this post when I do.
5) Put It Behind You And Move Forward
We all fall off the wagon. Nobody is perfect, not even fitness professionals.
Expecting ourselves to adhere to a perfect diet and never make mistakes causes us MORE issues than if we just accept the fact that it won’t be perfect all of the time and that there will be times when we get off track.
Realistic expectations will allow you to recover quicker from a bad day or a bad weekend.
When it comes to fitness, the ones who can recover the quickest are the ones who get the best results over time. It’s not about being perfect, it’s about making consistent forward progress.
Committed To Your Health,
Brian Donovan is a certified fitness and nutrition coach, and the founder of Online Fitness Coach, LLC – an online fitness program where clients get direct coaching and personally tailored training and nutrition plans. Coach Brian was voted Chicago’s “Best Personal Trainer” by Chicago Reader magazine, Best Of Chicago 2014 edition. He has been featured in magazines such as Muscle & Fitness, Chicago Reader, Voyage Chicago, and The PTDC as well various other health and fitness blogs.
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