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10 Simple Steps to “Recover” after an “Unhealthy” Weekend

Kayla Reynolds, MS

Have you ever had a particularly unhealthy weekend and thought to yourself, “I’m a failure” or “I’ll never be able to do this.” It’s happened to all of us. Holidays, we see you.

The truth is, if you’re truly looking to make this a lifestyle, there is no “on” or “off” track. Bumps in the road are simply a part of the journey — like twists and turns on a winding road.

That being said, a less-than-mindful weekend might have you feeling out of your element, so we’ve put together 10 simple steps to help you find your groove again!

1. Reflect.

Although we often look at it as the the end of the world, the occasional slip up is actually a blessing in disguise. It’s a great opportunity to learn about yourself and identify areas that you need to work on. So take a moment to reflect upon what tripped you up, how you reacted, and what you could do differently next time.

2. Let it go.

Now that you’ve learned your lesson, let it go. Seriously. It’s in the past. Inhale the good, exhale the bad, and chalk it up under E for experience.

3. Don’t wait.

The worst thing you can do is let an unhealthy day turn into an unhealthy weekend, or an unhealthy weekend to turn into an unhealthy week. Ditch the “I’ll start tomorrow!” mentality and use your next meal as an opportunity to make a healthier choice.

4. Set an intention.

Before you get to work, think about what is it you want to accomplish going forward. Is your goal simply to get back to basics and start tracking your food again? Or start bringing your meals to work to avoid constantly eating out? Set a goal and make a plan to follow through.

5. Move your body.

No, your goal isn’t to sweat off the wine you enjoyed or burn off the cheesecake you indulged in. Moving your body is simply a good strategy to help you reconnect with your body and help you make other positive choices for yourself and your health throughout the day.

6. Don’t restrict.

When it comes to eating, don’t try to compensate. Restricting your food intake will more likely eventually lead you to overdo it again. Instead, make it a point to eat regularly throughout the day, focusing on the choices you’re making, rather than the quantities you’re consuming.

7. Drink water.

… lots of it. Drinking water is important for so many reasons, including helping support your body’s natural detox abilities. Fill up a reusable bottle and keep it with you to encourage you to sip regularly throughout the day .

8. Reach for fresh food.

Chances are you didn’t overdo it on kale. This means your body has likely been deprived of some important vitamins and minerals. Make it a point to feed it with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables to give it a healthy dose of the nutrients it’s craving, and to make you feel good too!

9. Fill up on fiber.

Sometimes an unhealthy weekend can throw your digestion out of whack. Make sure to get enough fiber throughout the day by filling up on vegetables, fruit, and whole grains.

10. Celebrate.

Once you’ve done all of the above, take a moment to celebrate your success. Getting over the “I’m a failure” or “I’ll never be able to do this” mentality is no easy feat. Each time you get through it, the easier it will be. Think of it like working a muscle — a mental muscle. As you continue embrace the journey of lifestyle change, you’ll also notice that these times will become fewer and further in between.