So, we’ve finally kissed goodbye to the sweet, sweet summer. But, if you’re anything like us, you might have said hello to a few extra pounds of post-holiday blubber.
We’re all human – and holiday binges happen to the best of us. Sugary cocktails ALL DAY LONG (hey, who counts the calories in a morning Mimosa?!), carb-o-clock at 3pm (pizza and chips after the pool, anyone?) and whole bags of Lays mysteriously disappearing by themselves… Sound familiar?
It sucks, but it’s ok. Fortunately, it is possible to bounce back after a holiday binge – so you haven’t actually undone all that hard work in the gym. But how easy is it to really regain your pre-Marbs ’16 body?
Yes, holidays do allow us to be greedy, but it is only a week or so after all. The real problem is what happens when we return home. How do we get back into good habits?
Well, we’re glad you asked.
There’s a few things you gotta get back in check – but first, it’s your emotional state.
It’s easy to beat yourself up after a 7-day stuff-your-faceathon, but what’s the point? Thinking of yourself as lazy and gross and totally lacking in any sort of willpower won’t do you any good at all. So take a step outside yourself.
Address Your Emotional Sitch
Psychologists identify how emotional states like this can fester. It’s easy, if you’re feeling down about something, for negative feelings to multiply - which could lead to more self-destructive or self-punishing behaviour. This is especially hard when you’re suffering from post-holiday blues - yes, they are definitely a thing.
To beat these blues, try a little “self-distancing” and entering into “cognitive reappraisal." Ditching the psych-speak, this means to see yourself as someone else would. If a mate was in your shoes, would you tell her off for enjoying her hols and suggest you order a pizza? No.
You’ll probably tell her not to be so hard on herself/ it’s only a holiday binge/ hell, at least you’ve got a good tan. You might even suggest getting back into a regular work out…
It’s Time to Take Action!
Now you’ve given yourself a break (not a Kit-Kat), let’s handle the physical symptoms with some easy dos and don’ts.
Do: Drink some agua!
No doubt you’ve knocked back some units during your week away, so your body’s probably super dehydrated.
Good old H2O also helps with digestion, so when your belly is full to bursting, it’s a preemptive strike against any post-gluttony constipation. Gross, but true. And very important.
Sick of water? Herbal teas, cranberry, peppermint, or even buckets of squash/cordial (ok, pints are fine) will help banish that I’m-so-stuffed bloated feeling. In short, keep those liquids coming.
Do: Get back in the gym.
Or get your running shoes on/Wii Fit out the box/yoga matt unrolled. Whatever your activity of choice, the point is GET MOVING.
Light exercise is by far your best possible bet for bouncing back. Not only does a little gentle workout speed up your digestion again, it’ll also even out your blood sugar and clear any unwanted glucose out of your bloodstream. It’ll also lift your mood and get your feeling positive.
Top tip? Turn up your holiday playlist while you do it. Enjoy all those happy memories of friends and fun in the sun, and feel your spirits rise. Lift your ass off the sofa and your mood will follow swiftly after. Fact.
Do: Plan your next healthy meal.
It’s easy to want to ignore food after a hectic holiday binge, but actually planning your meals will help remind you that food is NOT the enemy here. Ground yourself, with a healthy, satisfying meal that pre-holiday-bender you would approve of.
Do: Get over it.
Your week-long holiday food-fest was NOT the end of the world. You’re still here (even if there’s a little more of you), but you know full well that you’re capable of dropping a few pounds with just a little hard work and determination. You’re healthy, happy and you’ve got your head screwed on – a holiday binge is only just a blip.
Don’t: Choose booze or coffee.
Alcohol will only slam the breaks on your body’s digestive process. Coffee may swing you back up from a full-up slump with a short, sharp jolt of caffeine, but it definitely doesn’t do any good for digestion.
Don’t: Give in to laying down and wallowing.
The horizontal position will trick your mind into thinking you’re on a sun-lounger… And soon, your brain will slip back into holiday mode. Next thing, you’ll find yourself rummaging through your mum’s kitchen cupboards like a crazed raccoon, wondering why the Cheetos are in a blue bag that says Wotsits.
No, not that kind of takeaway… This is just the stuff you should remember.
The trick to bouncing back after a huge holiday binge is to give yourself a break. Overdoing it on food and boozy drinks (and wallowing around like a seal pup for a week) is ok, once in a while.
We all have our moments. How could we not, in a world where cheesecake exists and Ben and Jerry were born brothers? To quote a wise, philosopher (or an Instagram quote photoshopped onto a sunset) "Our mistakes are meant to guide us, not define us."
Getting back on that healthy-eating horse is as easy as pie. Just step away from the pie.
Remember, if you need a helping hand then check out our Eating Plan, expertly designed to set you on the straight and narrow – a.k.a a beautifully balanced, nutritional diet and lifestyle. Good luck!