The holiday celebrations were fun while they lasted. The past few weeks have surely been blissful. However, we’ve all got to return to our jobs and school after the holiday rush has died down. And while everything is slowly going back to normal, the motivation to practice healthier lifestyle habits has magnified especially after what seems to be a month-long indulgence.
We’ve probably spent more and even ate and drank more than we would’ve wanted (or needed) to. There’s no point in beating ourselves about it. If you’ve worked hard on yourself, you probably earned it and there are several ways to help yourself get back on the right track, health-wise. Here are a few things you can do to kickstart the new year in great health after all that holiday binge.
Don’t Stress It
Your pants might feel a little bit snug. You’ve probably gained a few pounds, and if you haven’t, it’s likely that you’re feeling guilty about all the sinful, delicious food you’ve gorged on during the past couple weeks. The best thing you can do is to not overthink it. It’s not helpful to stress yourself about it. One thing that you CAN do is think about the next steps and how you can get back on track. To get some pointers on what to do next, stay calm and read on.
Clean Out Your Fridge
...and your pantry as well. There’s still probably lots of leftovers but no more guests. The most sensible thing to do is to get rid of all the food that doesn’t fit your healthy meal plan. Wrap them up and give them away. Share it to those who need it more. With all the food gone, you won’t be tempted to go on another binge.
Don’t Starve Yourself
It’s also equally tempting to go on an extremely low-calorie diet right after the holidays. It makes sense at first glance. After all, the best way to offset all that excess calories consumed over the holidays is to go on full deprivation mode the following days after, right? Well, it’s a viable solution, but probably not the healthiest.
Fasting for the sake of detoxifying is great but you have to do it strategically. You have to ease your body into it. When you spend weeks consuming large amounts of calories and high-sugar food, your blood glucose levels will soar high. To fix that, you can start eating less but not to the point of deprivation. Eating less and starving are two different things. When you switch from binging to starving right away, it causes your blood sugar levels to crash, which leads to another big problem altogether. This can set you up for failure as it sends your hormones haywire.
Plan Healthier Meals
Instead of shunning food, try to choose healthier options instead. If you’re used to eating all three meals in a day, don’t skip any of those. However, don’t stick to unhealthy holiday fares as well. Stabilize your blood sugar levels by feeding your body the right food. Satisfy your hunger with healthy sources of protein and fat. Set your gut for success by eating probiotic-rich food such as fermented vegetables, yogurt, kefir, and others.
Proper hydration will always be your key to success. At least, it rings true for all your health and fitness endeavors. At this point, you are probably bloated and it feels a bit silly to drink more water, but it helps promote better digestion. It can aid with constipation and can help get rid of your carb and sodium bloat.
Ease Back into a Healthy Exercise Routine
Now’s not the time to be lazy. But you’re not required to go hard on the gym on your first day back either. If you haven’t worked out in a while, start off by doing some light exercises first. It won’t burn as many calories as high intensity training would, but it’ll keep your knees and joints safe from any injury. Build up your stamina until you are able to take on more aggressive workout routines. For now, the goal is to just get back on the right track.
Keep Yourself Busy
Don’t obsess over this temporary slip-up. Keep your mind off food to help prevent unnecessary cravings. After all, you do have other goals to accomplish right? Keep yourself busy by attacking all the other tasks you need to do. Get yourself to finish that book once and for all, clean your house, take the time to send out those thank you notes, and reply to those emails that have piled up over the holidays.
Bouncing back after an indulgent month of celebrations is kinda hard. Although it’s essential for your mental health to let loose every once in a while, extending that lifestyle won’t do much favors for your health. Wallowing in guilt and self-pity won’t help matters either. Just accept it and move on. After all, your body is amazing and is built for survival. With the right choices, you can easily get yourself back on the right track.
Happy New Year!