How to recover after indulging on vacation
We ALL do it.
Binging and indulging on vacation is a way to let loose, enjoy our time, and sometimes learn about the country's culture through experiencing its cuisine. Its fun and liberating not to be on a strict diet while away..but what's not as fun to be hit by guilt (and sometimes low self-esteem) after going back to reality.
Therefore, here are a few tips on how to help you get on track FAST after your vacation through a few easy and simple fixes.
Make a plan
My favorite advice, and what helps me personally get back faster on track, is to create a plan. This plan should have what should be your 3 meals for the coming 5-7 days as well as your your grocery list. Hang your plan on your fridge, kitchen or somewhere very visible to you. The idea of creating a plan helps you feel you are taking back control of your diet and this by itself puts your mind at ease and diminishes the guilt.
Make sure you have 3 main components in each meal: Complex carbohydrates (Brown rice, brown pasta, brown bread, quinoa..etc). A source of protein (Chicken, meat, fish, yogurt, lentils, beans...etc) and vegetables especially leafy greens (Spinach, kale, lettuce...etc) as a great source of fibre (More on that further down).
Overdose on water
First and easiest action to take is to start aiding your body to cleanse out all the toxins from binge eating through drinking a minimum of 2-3 liters of water a day. Drink a large glass of water as soon as you wake up to help quench your hunger and aid digestion.
Fibre is your best friend
One of the top eating tips to get you back on track is incorporating as much fibre as possible in your daily meals. It keeps you full for longer periods and aids digestion big time. Fibres such as: Vegetables, fruits and complex carbs such as: Sweet potatoes, quinoa and brown rice make a great fibre source as well.
Forget about Skipping Meals
The number 1 most popular and WORST mistake people do after indulging is to start skipping meals with the hope that it will help them get back on their tracks faster. This not only messes with your metabolism and slows it down, but it also signal your body to go on starvation mode, meaning that it starts turning all the food you eat into fat and stores it in fear of starvation.
Instead, aim for 3 main meals, spread apart well. Try to eat at the same time frame everyday. For example: Breakfast at 8, Lunch at 1, and dinner at 6. You can have two small snacks in between as well. And don't forget your water!
...or going on "Juice Diets"
Another trends I see a lot are the "Detox" or "Juice Diets", which are usually marketed as a "Quick fix". However, they bear the same risks as skipping meals, in terms of slowing down your metabolism. On the other hand, our bodies were created in a way that ensures it detoxes itself by itself. Your liver does an excellent job in cleansing your body and so there is very little you can do with external resources to help this process. Juices are great to add your daily meals as a good source of nutrition but remember to use nutritious ingredients such as leafy greens and veggies.
The fastest way to get your fitness back on track is to start walking. Add a 30-minute walk to your daily calendar, either on a treadmill, around the block or on your way to work. This will kick start your fitness cycle again and in a week, you will be able to increase it to a jog, and soon enough an hour in the gym/aerobics 3 times a week!