You spent the 4th of July weekend at the cabin with the family, grilling out, drinking beer, and snacking on chips. You didn’t work out like you planned each morning, and you didn’t get net nearly enough micronutrients. But your macros? You definitely got more than enough carbohydrates and fats. Now it’s Sunday evening after a weekend of festivities and you feel bloated. You may even feel disappointed in yourself.
Step 1: Reframe the situation. YOU DID NOT MESS UP. Even if you didn’t plan to overindulge, these things happen. We are human. And when we are drinking alcohol and are surrounded by delicious foods we don’t usually have access to, of course the temptation will be high. As long as overindulging doesn’t happen routinely, there is no need to feel defeated. I would argue that letting loose every now and then is actually a good thing for our overall health. So, don’t you dare feel guilty for enjoying yourself to the fullest.
Step 2: Walk it off. You feel huge because you’re bloated, not because you magically gained 5 pounds of body fat. Consuming foods that you’re not used to, mixed with being more sedentary than usual will mess up your digestion, let alone overeating. Nothing gets your digestion going quite like moving your body. Personally, I never feel “good” after weekends like these, so I keep the intensity low and simply walk. That’s all. When you get home, go for an evening walk and/or start the next day with a morning stroll. It should get things moving for you and you’ll be on your way to feeling back to normal in no time!
Step 3: Resume your NORMAL routine (normal being the key word here). DO NOT kill yourself with cardio. DO NOT tack on additional time to your workouts because you feel like you need to “undo” some of the “damage” from the weekend. DO NOT skip your rest days. DO NOT drastically cut your calories. DO continue on with your workout routine. DO add in extra walks to promote healthy digestion. DO keep tracking your macros or intuitively eating, as you normally would. Getting back to your routine is key. Oh, and HYDRATE! Drink lots and lots of water. This will help refresh your body.
Step 4: Realize you will feel back to normal soon. This is one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned in my health quest. I used to beat myself up, feel disgusted and so disappointed in myself, punished myself with cardio after the fact and restrict myself from eating. This led to a terrible relationship with food and exercise, something that took many years to overcome. If you follow these 4 steps, in just 3 days, I bet you’ll be feeling back to normal. So why waste time stressing about it? What is done is done and we can only move forward.
Take Away? As long as days/weekends of overindulging are far and few between, there is no reason to worry. You didn’t blow it and you do not need to punish yourself. I do encourage you to really be mindful and honestly evaluate your efforts though – because it’s easy to think that “this doesn’t happen too often”, when in reality, if it’s happening every single month this is enough to hinder your progress.