Everyone starts off their new diet or new healthy life style change with enthusiasm. We stock our shelves and fridges with fresh produce and whole wheat bread with all the ambition in the world that we will continue on this path. We set our alarm clocks and get up early to hit the gym or fit in a run and we feel empowered and proud when we accomplish the workout.
The trouble is that after some time has passed, things tend to “come up”. Motivation starts to fade little by little. Gym fees and sessions start to look more like torture. Long weekends, holidays and birthdays complete with cake happen to us all. We suddenly find ourselves feeling guilty as we reach our hand into the near empty chip bag. How did this happen when we were so sure of our new diet?
This past weekend I threw a Halloween costume party. I love party planning. It’s something I enjoy and I’m good at it. I guess it must be the PR side of me and all the event planning I’ve been involved with!
The party was, of course, adorable and full of Pinterest inspired crafts and food, however, it was basically hog heaven. There was beer (LOTS of Redd’s Apple Ale), chocolate, candy corn, cupcakes, bread, dips, pasta, cookies, sloppy joes, Jello shots with whip cream and bacon and cream cheese dishes galore. It was a fantastic feast with good friends and very much enjoyable. I gave myself a free diet pass and enjoyed whatever I wanted…sometimes life is just too short to waste a good time counting and cutting calories! Plus what’s the fun in planning the party if I didn’t get to enjoy all the treats I made for it?!
My free-for-all feast was fun and a nice break while it lasted…that is until Sunday morning suddenly rolled around and I felt like complete and total garbage. I wasn’t hung over because I only had about five beers in the span of six hours. It was more of an entire overall body bloat and crappy mental state. There’s a reason I try so hard to eat a clean diet and exercise five to six days a week, because if I don’t, I know how terrible I will feel afterwards. I may sound like a typical girl and my boyfriend would roll his eyes at me, but I feel so fat and bloated after a few days of eating junk or even after a larger than life cheat “day”. I hate that feeling and it makes me crabby. I ate a little better on Sunday during the day, but not by much and I went to bed that night feeling generally crappy.
Monday morning rolled around and I dragged myself to the gym at 5:30 a.m. to fit in my workout before the office. (As you can guess, I didn’t workout all weekend as I was busy preparing for the party by decorating, cooking and baking. As you can also probably guess, I kicked my little butt at the gym with 40 minutes of HIIT that morning.)
Now I’m in the midst of a dramatic diet comeback from the past week and a half free-for-all. When I make the decision to get back to my regular clean eating habits, there are a couple of key things that make a huge difference for me that I always try to include.
Four tips to help you get back on your diet:
- Drink Water Like It’s Your Job. I try to drink over a gallon of water each day at work and then about three or four water bottles before, after or during my workout. All of this water helps to remove toxins from the body. You should normally be drinking a gallon a day, but it’s especially important when you’ve slacked for a few days and ate lots of sugar or grease. Keep a gallon right next to you wherever you go. Make it a priority to drink a gallon for a minimum of five straight days in a row.
- Meal Replacement Shakes. Some people may not agree with me on this, but this is what I’m recommending because it works for me and my body. I have a meal replacement shake for lunch everyday at work for about a week and a half when I’m getting back into the swing of things. If I head to the gym late one night, I’ll have some tuna before the workout and then another meal replacement shake after and use it as a protein recovery shake. (It’s important to take note of how your body responds to different components of your fitness journey. Some people I know can’t just eat a meal replacement bar or shake because they mentally can’t do it and find themselves distractedly hungry an hour after. Do what works for you and listen to your body. Although a healthy lifestyle requires a great deal of dedication and self-discipline, if you find that you are hallucinating from hunger pains an hour after you had a meal replacement shake, then maybe it’s not the best route for you — and there’s nothing wrong with that.)
- Start On A Monday And Don’t Miss A Day All Week. Being in the gym is motivating. Finishing a run with a strong sprint makes you feel like a bad ass. Find that inner “pump” every single day to help build back up your motivation and inspiration. You’re not going to find inspiration by sitting on the couch feeling sorry for yourself for falling off course. At the gym you’re surrounded by people with the same attitude that you once had. Watch them, learn from them and then inherit that attitude again.
- Sauna It Up. I absolutely love the sauna at my gym. I love being hot and a deep sweat is a great way to flush toxins out of your system. The sauna is also super relaxing and a great place to go after a tough workout to reflect on how hard you just worked. Listen to music, close your eyes and try to stay in for about 40 minutes while taking short water breaks every 10 minutes.
Apart from eating lots of fruits and veggies, preparing your meals in advance and getting lots of sleep, these are my top tips for getting back into the swing of a clean eating healthy life style.
Here are a few very other quick tips that you can incorporate when you feel like you’re getting back into a good place:
- Drink your coffee black or only add one Truvia packet.
- Drink green tea instead of coffee or sip on it during the day. (Green tea can aide in weight loss.)
- Don’t eat after 7 p.m. (Again, this tip goes with the whole “listen to your body” speech that I gave earlier. It you’re on the verge of passing out, but its 8:15 p.m. then screw the rule and eat something! Never starve yourself.)
- To help with not eating after 7 p.m., brush your teeth and floss immediately after your dinner or last meal of the day, then put on mint flavored chap stick like Burt’s Bees. I find this helps with temptation.
- Stay out of the kitchen! Every time I find myself starting to slip it’s usually because I’m staring blankly into the fridge and fighting a mental battle with myself. “It’s cold out, I can have all that left over pasta” or “I already worked out today, I can have some of that ice cream in the freezer… I’ll only have a couple scoops…” NO. Get what you need to get, eat it and then walk away.
What are some other tips that you guys have for getting back into the swing of your diet? Have you found or heard of something that worked for your body or someone you know?