Maybe it was the egg nog, or the Christmas-themed cookies or too many slices of that super-rich chocolate cream pie, but somewhere along the way, you blew it--you overindulged on holiday goodies, and now you're feeling it. Even if you didn't go on an all-out binge, you may still feel like you've made a mess of your eating goals. Although it can be very tempting to succumb to feelings of guilt and discouragement, take heart--things aren't as bad as you might think. You didn't destroy your chances of ever getting fit; you just experienced a temporary setback. Below are some simple tips you can put into practice to help you get your diet back on track in the New Year.
1. Avoid any dieting extremes.
One common mistake that people make when recovering from holiday overindulgence is thinking that they need to take extreme dieting measures to get back on track. This could mean going on an all-liquid diet, or engaging in some type of detox or herbal cleanse that would drastically alter their eating habits.
While none of these ideas are necessarily bad in and of themselves, many times they are done out of desperation in an attempt to speed up the weight loss process, which can sometimes lead to nutritional imbalances and physical problems. It's much better to develop a plan of steady, consistent action versus going to drastic extremes, so that your body will be better able to adjust to the transition.
2. Increase your fruit and vegetable intake.
Not only are fruits and vegetables rich in vitamins and other vital nutrients, but they can help you feel full and keep your digestive system on point. Most nutrition experts recommend consuming at least five servings of fruits and vegetables every day.
If that seems like a bit much, ask yourself what foods you normally eat with your meals, and think about how you can replace them with fruits or vegetables to make up the difference. For example, if you normally have french fries with a meal, substitute a cooked vegetable such as sauteed broccoli or spinach in their place, or even try baby carrots with a healthy dip. Add berries and/or banana slices to your oatmeal, cereal or yogurt in the morning. You can also boost your fruit intake by consuming them in liquid form via juicing or making smoothies.
3. Ditch the sodas and drink more water.
Carbonated drinks are a prime source of empty calories, so if you want to make a positive change for the New Year, ditch the sodas (or at least greatly reduce your daily intake) and drink water instead. Not only will water make you feel full (which means fewer hunger signals from your belly), but it will also help you maintain vibrant skin and a healthy digestive system.
4. Get moving.
Exercise is a must-have element of your fitness plan, but it doesn't have to be overly complicated; as long as you're moving your body on a regular basis, you're off to a great start. By staying active, you will rev up your body's metabolism, which is the key to burning more calories. Keep in mind that losing weight is really just a matter of math and physics; if you burn more calories than you take in, weight loss is virtually inevitable.
5. Set realistic weight loss goals.
Again, it can be easy to go to extremes when you're trying to recover from a holiday binge, but resist the urge to set unrealistic weight loss goals. Most experts agree that losing one to two pounds per week is ideal; anything beyond that will more than likely be unsustainable, and may do more harm than good over the long haul.
6. Join a local health and fitness club.
While working out at home has its merits, being able to go to a place that is specifically designed for fitness activities can really get you in the mindset to focus on exercising while keeping distractions at bay. Five Seasons Family Sports Club offers a variety of top-notch exercise equipment, as well as swimming pools, tennis courts and fitness classes to give you plenty of exercise options to choose from. Not only that, but you also have access to a team of knowledgeable and experienced professional trainers who can help you develop a personalized plan of attack that will maximize the effectiveness of your workouts.
While your diet may have been blown to smithereens over the holidays, your confidence and determination doesn't have to follow suit. Keep above tips in mind to help you develop a sound and balanced health and fitness plan, and you'll be able to bounce right back and move further toward accomplishing your fitness goals for the New Year.