Did you indulge a little too much this Easter? Here are our 3 surefire ways to get your weight loss progress back on track again and make up for those little (or big) extras.
1: Have a few “light” days this week
Light days are where you include some lighter options such as soups, salads, fruit, vegetable juices etc. for some meals instead of heavier more calorie dense options. This acts as a “fast day” of sorts, without actually skipping meals or extreme calorie restriction.
What this means is that your total calorie load will be reduced for the week, which can help to balance out the extras from the week before. Aim for 2-3 light days, not all at once, choosing water dense foods like fruit and vegetables, and ensure you get in plenty of fluids, and you will help shed that water weight you may have accumulated with a higher sugar intake (where carbohydrate is stored, water follows).
2: Be a little more active
Rather than getting in a panic, or spiralling into guilt over going overboard, and then taking an all or nothing approach to exercise (going hard, for long periods), just increase you incidental exercise a little.
Can you park your car 5 minutes away from work, or the shops, or your kids school? Walk in from there? Can you take the stairs instead of the elevator? Go for a walk on your lunch break? A bike ride on the weekend?
Remember that your risk of injury or overtraining effect is higher when you push yourself to extremes, so take a gentler approach and remember, a little bit of extra physical activity a few times a day every day for a week adds up to a whole lot more energy burned than one high intensity workout.
3: Let go of catastrophic thinking
It can be easy to fall into the habit of making a mountain out of a molehill when it comes to losing weight. How many times have you have one little thing outside of your diet plan, felt terrible about yourself and lost control, and gone overboard on your portion thinking- I’ve already blown my diet, I might as well make the most of it.
Next level to this is thinking- I’ve already fallen off the wagon this week, I’ll just eat whatever I want and start my diet again on Monday.
This kind of thinking is a form of catastrophic thinking. Lets look at this logically. Does eating a couple of Easter eggs really mean you are a failure with no self control and that all your hard work to lose weight has now gone out the window? Really?
Does one day of splurging mean you now write off the last month of healthy eating and exercise? Really?
Does one week of not following your diet plan mean the last 6 months of weight loss no longer exist? Doubtful.
Instead of getting caught up in guilt over one moment, day, or week, look at things in the scheme of 6 months, or a year. As long as the overall balance of healthy choices outweighs the unhealthy choices, you will make progress. The more healthy choices you make, the better your results. This doesn’t mean you need to be perfect, never indulge or treat yourself, or take a break from being so strict with yourself.
You are a human being, sometimes you need to enjoy life a little even if it’s not part of your ideal plan. Cut yourself some slack, relax a little, and work on looking for that balance that works for you, where you let yourself enjoy treats sometimes so you don’t feel deprived, and then you are happier to make healthy choices the rest of the time.