You know how it feels to wake up on Monday morning after a weekend of less-than-healthy eating.
Your body is puffy and bloated. Your joints are achy. Your clothes feel tight.
Maybe you are feeling that way right now.
I’ve outlined the five steps below to get you back on the fitness fast track.
Step One: Get focused. Your crazy weekend happened. You ate things from your “never eat these” list, you drank more that you should have, but now it’s over. Draw a line in the sand. The bad eating stops now. If you’re serious about your fitness goals, then this weekend was the exception, and not the rule.
Maybe it was your birthday, or your friends and family were gathered for a celebration, and the peer pressure to partake in unhealthy food was too much for you to resist. Don’t beat yourself up for falling off the fitness wagon this once.
Simply get back up, dust yourself off and get re-focused. Leave the past, and your slip-ups, in the past.
Step Two: Get hydrated. While bad eating can take on many forms, the end result is most often dehydration and water retention. The only way to restore balance is to get hydrated. Your first priority in getting back on track is to drink plenty of water throughout your day. Start with a tall glass of water in the morning, and carry a water bottle with you. Don’t add artificial sweeteners or stimulants to your water – these will work against your hydration efforts. To add flavor, slice fresh fruit, herbs or vegetables to place in your water, just like at the spa.
Step three: Get picky. For the next few days I need you to be extra picky about what you eat. Stick with only whole, real foods like fruits, vegetables and some lean meat. Whole, real foods will quickly help to restore balance. Don’t eat packaged foods for the next few days. This means saying no to snack foods, processed meat slices, dairy, baked goods and alcohol.
Step four: Get juicing. Making your own juice can be beneficial when recovering from a weekend of bad eating. The key is to use ingredients that will hydrate and nourish your body and to avoid ingredients that are high in sugar. These ingredients are fantastic for your recovery juice: fresh ginger, spinach, cucumber, kale, green apple, lemon, and celery. These ingredients should be used sparingly, due to high sugar content: carrots, oranges, red apples, melons or pineapple. Step Five: Get Moving. So you’ve put an end to the eating madness, you’ve hydrated, you’ve eaten only whole foods and you’ve enjoyed a recovery juice…it’s now time to sweat it out. Lace up your athletic shoes and put on your favorite gym clothes. When you start your workout, ease in slowly.
Take the time to warm up and stretch your muscles before powering up to a solid 30-minute exercise routine.
Now go get started.
Jack Wheeler is a personal trainer and owner of 360 Fitness in Red Deer.