It’s inevitable – It happens every year, to everyone; and no, we’re not talking about taxes.
You’re exercising regularly, adhering to your diet, and steadily losing weight. Then the holidays come, and everything goes off the rails. You told yourself you’d only have “a bite” of dessert, and next thing you know, you’re three cookies and a piece of cake deep. The feelings of guilt, shame, and remorse consume you, and you’re ultimately left feeling angry, frustrated, and downtrodden.
But, here’s the truth — EVERYONE BINGES!
It’s human nature. We love to celebrate the joyous occasions in life with family, friends, and food. It’s ingrained in our beings since the days of the cavemen (and women). The simple truth of the matter is that binges will occur from time to time.
Does that mean the previous weeks, months, and years of dieting are all for naught?
Not even close.
A minor blip here and there on your diet and exercise plan is nothing to worry about, it’s only concerning if that minor slip up turns into multiple days of binging on calorie-laden foods while completely brushing aside exercise. That’s when it’s time to have a reality check and get back on track with your diet and fitness goals!
If you’ve fallen off track recently, fear not. We’ve got the steps you need to take to get back on track and kick-start your diet and workout plan after the holiday hits!
Your 5-Step Guide to Getting Back on Track
1. Forgive Yourself
With binging comes inevitable guilt, shame, and disgust with yourself. Far too often, people are consumed by this overwhelming sense of grief, leaving them feeling helpless and hopeless. But you don’t have to feel this way…at least not for too long.
Yes, you screwed up and botched your diet. But you know what?!
Accept your mistakes, learn from them, and move on. Most importantly, FORGIVE yourself. Everyone is human and bound to mess up from time to time. We’re not perfect, though we always strive for it.
The path to getting back on track begins with acceptance and forgiveness. Once you can accept the fact you messed up and forgiven yourself for it, use that mistake to catapult you into action and get going again with your diet and exercise plan!
2. Plan Out Your Diet
So, you crushed a large pepperoni pizza and a few chicken wings…and a cinnamon roll. What are you to do now? Well, after you get past the carb coma, it’s time to get back to your diet.
Sit down with a pad and pen (or smartphone) and write down exactly what you’re going to do to get your diet back on track. Calculate your macros, plan your meals for the week, make a grocery list, and then head to the store to buy the food you need for those daily meals.
By having healthy options around the house, you’ll force yourself to select those foods instead of being tempted to order takeout and hit the drive-thru. Focus on nutrient dense foods that are high in fiber. This helps fill you up without filling your waistline out. Ideal options are fruits, non-starchy vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats.
Most important of all when coming off a binge, DO NOT go on some ridiculous crash diet that has you only eating grapefruits or cabbage soup three times per day. Crash dieting does nothing other than leave you feeling hungry and on the path to another binge.
3. Start Exercising
This might seem too simple to actually work, but the way to get back on track with your diet and exercise plan is to actually DO IT!
Not a week from now, not even three days from now. The very next day after your binge, you’re back in the gym slinging the iron, sprinting on the bike, and sipping your post workout shake.
This tip is non-negotiable. If you’re truly serious about recommitting to your health and fitness goals, it’s paramount that you get back in the gym and start exercising ASAP. Doing so will help burn off the goo from your binge and clear your mind of all the guilt from falling off track.
4. Pace Yourself
When coming off a binge and getting back into the swing of things, you might be tempted to go full throttle with your workout. But remember to pace yourself, especially if your binge wasn’t just one day. You’ll certainly be tempted to go all out during your workouts those first few times getting back into the groove, but that sets you up for some major soreness, which inevitably leads you to skip the next day’s work out.
Getting back on track with exercise is about taking it slowly at first. If it’s been a particularly long layoff from training, start off by maybe going 50% of your max capacity, just until you get used to regular training again. Then after a couple of days, you can ramp up the intensity and start working your way back to maxing out regularly when hitting the gym.
5. Have a Plan for Next Time
Though we’d all aspire to never binge again, it’s going to happen. It might not happen for a while, but it will most certainly happen to you (and more than once) down the road. The best way to prepare for the eventual binge is to have a plan of action.
If you know that you’re going to be with family and friends for a holiday get together, make a plan to allow yourself to indulge a bit (i.e. one dessert). But also make sure that you still exercise that day, ideally before going to the party, so that way your workout is taken care of and you’re doing a bit of damage control.
Also, if you know that you’re going to be eating where there’s not a ton of healthy options, offer to bring a side dish of veggies or save most of your calories for the day for that special occasion. Both of these helps prevent you from completely blowing your diet, thereby lessening the feelings of guilt you typically have post-binge.
Down but NEVER Out!
Remember, fitness is a lifelong journey, it’s not a quick road trip. The “trick” to getting healthier and losing weight is to do more of the “right” things a majority of the time. Those “right things” include adhering to your diet and exercising regularly. Slip-ups and indulgences are OK every now and then, so long as they are not making up the majority of your diet.
Pace yourself, stay the course, and you’ll get the body you’ve always wanted! If you have experienced a Holiday Binge, or plan on one (the 4th of July is tomorrow!), SteelFit® has products to help you get back on track!