Let’s face it: we all follow about a million Instagram accounts dedicated to fitness and healthy food, filled with flatlays of expensive workout clothes and pitaya smoothie bowls. We hope that they’ll inspire us to lead a similarly healthy lifestyle, and while they can definitely be motivating, they can also make you feel really inadequate. Not because there’s anything wrong with pitaya smoothies, but because they often fail to showcase the days where you don’t workout because you feel like crap, or even just because you got sucked into Netflix at 8AM on a Saturday (enjoy it, that ends when you have kids). These accounts also often don’t show the sheer indulgent food that is eaten on special occasions, during get-togethers, or just because. I kind of understand why – if you’re running an account aimed at inspiring people to eat well and get their arses to the gym, posting pictures of a 12-pack of doughnuts is counterintuitive. But what we have to remember is this: no one lives like that. Everyone indulges sometimes, and everyone overindulges. There’s nothing wrong with that. Tone It Up recently state that they never talk about ‘cheat days’, because enjoying a treat isn’t cheating. I wholeheartedly agree with that. Enjoy your pizza, your chocolate chip cookies, or your coconut cake with vegan swiss meringue buttercream (see picture – I was practising, I don’t usually go that mad on the fancy baking). But once you’ve enjoyed it, bounce back. Don’t feel guilty or try to ‘compensate’ for your treat, but just go straight back onto your plan, whatever that may be. I’ve put together 5 tips on bouncing back for when you’re struggling.
1. The Future is Now
This is a well-known one, but it’s absolutely vital. Don’t wait until tomorrow or next week or whatever. Eat a healthy, light dinner to set you up for tomorrow, unless obviously your treat was a dinner-time one! Start right now, with any steps that still work for today, and it’ll be that much easier to stay on track tomorrow morning. Starting now sets the base for every other step in this post.
2. Get Moving
We all know HIIT and weights are some of the most effective workouts to tone & torch, so if you can hack it, go for it! But if you’re feeling sluggish, a bit immobile and just overall not up for a high-energy sweat session, go for some Yoga (on youtube, you don’t even need to leave your front room) or, if the weather is too glorious to stay indoors, for a walk! Just get your body back in motion so it doesn’t forget the habit.
3. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
This is a well-known one, but it’s absolutely vital. Don’t wait until tomorrow or next week or whatever. Start now. Drinking plenty of water will help your body cope with extra sodium as well as supporting your digestion. If you hydrate well before bed and first thing in the morning, you’ll feel much more energised. Promise!
4. Choose for Success
Recently, Jake and I have been talking about how much harder it is to stay away from sugary treats if you’ve had them the day before. Talk about a vicious cycle! Everyone is different, and some people may do better going cold turkey while others might need some healthy treat options available to help them avoid the really indulgent stuff. I’m definitely in the latter group! Find out what works for you, and then choose your meals accordingly. For instance, I like making these Pumpkin Spice Doughnut Holes or these Chocolate Chunk Cookies to satisfy my sweet tooth while still getting back on track.
5. Get Focussed
Don’t just vaguely decide to ‘get back on track with eating healthily and working out’. Spend a few minutes focussing yourself. Plan out your meals and snacks for the next two or three days, and choose your workouts while you’re at it. Make a plan and get ready to succeed!
But don’t forget to have fun. Enjoy life. Eating pizza for a week won’t cause life-long damage. Gaining 5lbs won’t kill you. Don’t stress!
How do you get yourself back on track after a period of indulgence? Let me know in the comments!