Read up on Connor’s take on the 4th of July.
July 4th weekend, like many other holidays, tends to bring copious amounts of not so “healthy” food and drink options into our lives. Maybe you had a burger and fries at a friend’s, a few drinks, and a pint of ice cream to wash down the firework show – all things totally out of your regular diet.
Maybe you had MORE than a few drinks and a handful of burgers and hot dogs. After all the progress you have been making leading up to this week, you feel like you just threw it all away and took two steps backward by giving in to these “bad” foods.
What should you do now to get back on track?
First off, NOTHING IS ON FIRE.
In other words, it is 100% okay, and do not beat yourself up. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and a healthy body isn’t made or ruined by one weekend.
This is not going to tank your progress. Your body weight and composition is made up by your total caloric intake, amongst many other things, averaged over a long period – not one weekend.
Just like missing one or two workouts in the gym won’t set you back, having one or two slip-ups in the kitchen will not move you two steps backward.
Should I fast the next day? Should I skip my next meal? Do I need to do a detox? Should I add an extra workout Monday?
In short, the answer is NO! The best way to get back on track after a weekend of overindulging is to pick right back up again where you left off, and continue with your nutrition as usual.
Of course, you don’t need to force yourself to eat a meal if you’re not hungry yet, but you shouldn’t feel like you have to skip out on your next regular mealtime.
Overeating at one meal or even across a few days does not warrant the need to restrict your food intake in the days that follow. Resist the urge to punish yourself or “make up” for what you’ve done by intentionally undereating, trying a “detox,” or doing extra exercise.
What you can do is focus on drinking plenty of water, and returning back to the habits and food choices that have gotten you all of your progress in the first place!
One of the most common mistakes I see in my clients is that they see foods as good or bad.
There is often guilt when they overeat, and this shame often can cause a poor relationship with food. The constant diet roller coaster, losing and regaining weight, getting on and off “the wagon.”
When you perceive food as “bad for you,” it can become a restriction, and restrictions can eventually give way to going overboard.
As a general statement, I encourage all of my clients to explore what they can add TO their diet, rather than what needs to be taken away.
When we restrict ourselves from foods we enjoy and label them as “bad,” the tendency is to overindulge when we are given the opportunity. Instead of having a dieting mindset, accept an all-foods mindset. This will make it much easier to break the cycle of overeating and to restrict. Instead of perceiving food as “bad,” focus on enjoying it, and the temptation to eat more than you really need will become much less intense.
Losing weight and getting to a healthier you is a marathon, not a sprint, so be patient and kind to yourself. Healthy eating for life is more about moderation, balance, and quality, and the 4th of July is just one small data point.
The more important question is, what did you have for breakfast on Monday morning?