On your Summer holiday this year, did you do any of the following:
- Drink a little too much
- Eat a little too 'indulgently'
- Move less than you normally would
I know I'm guilty of all of the above.
But now that I'm back, does that mean I'm going to be restricting food and increasing the amount of exercise I'm doing to 'undo' the damage?
If you were in a good nutrition and exercise pattern before your holidays, my number one tip for you would be to go back to those very same habits and routines. If you are just trying make better choices, start small and build it up over time.
However, it's not always easy to get back into your good habits after a holiday (believe me, I know), so here are some simple tips on how to do it:
A) Cook more wholesome meals with plenty of vegetables, grains, 'starchy' carbs, lean proteins and fruits.
B) Drink plenty of water to help reduce any bloating caused by water retention.
C) Start to slowly reduce the amount of alcohol you were consuming until you are consuming it in healthier amounts and frequencies (2-3 days per week).
D) Don't restrict the little treats you do want, just moderate them more closely than you did on holiday.
E) Start getting back into exercise, even if it's just getting your steps in every day for the first few days. Then, build this up by getting back in the gym, going to exercise classes or running (or anything else you were doing prior to your break).
" Okay, all this is well and good, but I enjoyed my rosé with lunch; I enjoyed lounging around reading my book, eating an ice cream in the middle of the afternoon. The thought of getting back into my 'routine' sounds very hard. "
Well unfortunately, it probably is going to be hard. Getting back into a routine is challenging, and sometimes it can take a bit of time. That is why it is so important to take your time, and ease yourself back into it. It is not a race to drop holiday weight and habits within 7 days of coming home. (However don’t take months to try and get back into better habits). Build the habits up slowly (but consistently) by slowly eating better and moving more, day by day.
So here's a few ideas on how to make that transition easier...
1) My number one tip is to come back from holidays and start fresh!
Get up that first morning back, have a well-balanced breakfast and try and make healthier meal/snack choices throughout the day. Once you've ticked off day one, the following days seem a little less daunting.
2) Get moving!
Go out for a walk. If you are like me, I couldn't quite face the gym the first week. I just got up and went walking as often as I could. Eventually, my body was used to moving so much, that getting back into the gym was a more straightforward step.
3) Plan ahead!
If you are someone that gets derailed easily and give into temptation frequently, then prepare ahead of time.Plan everything, from your food shop, to your meals for the week. Use this time coming back from holidays to “tidy” up your kitchen and make snacks/foods that you want to eat more of easier to eat, and foods that you want to eat less of harder to eat.
4) Be accountable!
Make sure you have something (or someone) to keep you accountable from day one. It could be your family, friends or even an activity tracker/app. Having someone to talk to about your progress or an app tracking and showing you your progress will help keep you on track.
5) Set goals!
They can be performance, aesthetic or habit-based goals, but having one or all three will give you something to work towards. We also suggest having short-term, medium-term and long-term goals: that way, when you hit the short term goals, you still have medium- and long-term goals to keep you motivated and working hard.
6) Eating healthier doesn’t have to be bland or boring!
Spend a little more time researching quick, tasty and nutritious meals that taste so delicious you’re convinced the recipe must have some secret unhealthy ingredient that makes your meal taste so damn good! Enjoying what you're eating makes it much easier to keep eating it (obviously).
Being active and healthy doesn’t need to be difficult, nor take away from your life; instead, it should add to it. So, find ways to move that you enjoy. Find meals, foods and a way of eating that fuel and nourish your body, but that you also enjoy. Take your time to find your groove and get back on track. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will your habits. Focus on the long-term and consistency, rather than short term quick fixes.