We’ve all been there. You’ve had an indulgent weekend and consumed your weight in junk food, alcohol, or both. Come Monday morning, you wake up feeling sluggish and guilt ridden, promising yourself you’ll subsist on steamed greens for the week ahead. Sound familiar? Well stop! Starving yourself is never the answer. Avoid post-indulgence guilt with the following tips.
Avoid strict deprivation
First and foremost, food should be enjoyed. When we engage in extremes with our eating we feed a cycle of indulgence followed by strict deprivation. It is important not to commence a period of strict dieting after an indulgent weekend. Overly restricting your diet will only increase the likelihood of the cycle of deprivation, and binging continuing.
We should instead strive for a healthy, balanced and largely plant-based diet, with smaller portions of treats incorporated to prevent overindulgence in one sitting.
Stop beating yourself up
Try not to obsess or beat yourself up post-feast. We are all human and even the most dedicated healthy eaters have moments of over-indulgence. Instead, focus on the new day as an opportunity to get back to feeling good and enjoying your healthy lifestyle. Remember, a healthy diet is not defined by a weekend of over-indulgence.
Let it go and start again
Get up and let any negative thoughts about the food you ate on the weekend go. Start your Monday off with a healthy protein and fibre-rich breakfast like eggs on wholegrain toast and drink lots of water throughout the day to rehydrate. Focus on eating a nutrient-rich diet for the week with lots of whole foods like vegetables, fruits, lean protein, nuts, seeds, wholegrains and healthy fats incorporated.
Maintain your regular exercise
It’s also important not to engage in patterns of extreme exercise after an indulgent weekend. Rather than punishing yourself with an overly gruelling workout, continue to maintain your regular exercise routine and try to avoid the mindset of needing to burn off the extra kilojoules.
This pattern of thinking can also fuel an unhealthy cycle of binge eating and over-exercising. Be kind to yourself, keep moving forward and be proud of all the positive lifestyle habits you maintain in your life.
Avoid the cycle by enjoying a small portion of your favourite treat foods. Focus on the 80/20 rule, where 80% of the time you make really nutritious choices, and 20% of the time you allow yourself to enjoy your favourite treat foods, sans guilt. Life is too short not to enjoy your favourite foods on occasion!