The Thanksgiving feast is done and you’re probably feeling a bit tired and worn out after all those excess carbs and calories. It’s normal to allow yourself a cheat day (I like to have a cheat day or a cheat meal each week. It helps me motivated to eat healthy for the other meals of the week). But if you’re feeling bloated and bogged down, here are a few tips for getting back on the healthy lifestyle bandwagon after the holidays.
Drink plenty of water
Most people don’t drink enough water on a regular basis and by the time you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. A goal I like to suggest is to drink at least half your body weight in ounces each day. You can make it easier by carrying around a gallon of water or a water bottle. You’ll be surprised by how much better you feel if you up your water intake.
Try fruit infused water if you need something with flavor. The holidays make you more inclined to drink your calories, but if you can swap your sodas and juices for a healthy fruit infused water, you’ll see a large improvement with how you feel and how you look. A proper water intake will help you shed a few pounds as well, because it hydrates your muscles and your body doesn’t feel the need to carry all that excess water weight.
If you don’t feel like doing a huge workout the day after a big meal, try something simple like going for a brisk walk, or doing a tabata or HIIT (high intensity interval training) exercise. Any movement is better than none at all.
I recommend shooting for 20-30 active minutes each day. You can easily encourage your family to do it with you – go play football in the park, for a bike ride around the neighborhood or challenge your children in a quick workout session (they’re totally fine to do the same movements you do, as long as they don’t add any weight).
Meal prep for the week
I’m a huge believer in meal preps. I like to get my main courses done on Sundays and do a quick veggie meal prep again on Wednesday nights. Meal prepping helps ensure that you’re getting the proper portions of each nutrient, and it helps keep you from binge eating. Also there’s nothing better than coming home from a long day of work and knowing that dinner is already done!
Get rid of holiday leftovers
As tasty as leftovers are, it’s never a good thing to keep them lying around to tempt you. Try and get guests to take home the leftovers, or take them in to work and share them with coworkers if they’re holiday treats. By ridding the house of temptation, you won’t find yourself sneakily eating that platter of cookies at 2AM.
Just because you fall off the bandwagon, or indulge in a big meal doesn’t mean that you’ve failed. It’s important to remember that this isn’t a diet ,and it isn’t a pass or fail scenario. It’s called a healthy eating and healthy living lifestyle for a reason. So, forgive yourself for the times where you indulge – in fact, indulge often and without guilt. You need to live your life and enjoy it – just be sure you’re jumping back into a healthier way of being in-between. It’s all about balance.