The Post-Holiday Punishment

The holidays have recently passed. The leftovers are almost gone.  Many people have turned their attention to their nutrition and fitness training. I have heard and had many conversations these past few weeks with people in regards to their holiday eating and how they are going to “make up for it” now that the holidays are over. Wait. What?

There is no need to get caught up thinking that what you ate and enjoyed was wrong and that you must be punished, or that you completely ruined your progress and gained tons of weight.  Do not fall into that trap. So you ate foods you don’t typically eat on a daily basis. You ate more sweets and desserts than you usually do in 3 months combined.  And I am willing to be it was all very delicious!  Good.   There is no need to do “extra” cardio sessions, stop eating all carbs, or take any other drastic measure to “make up for it”.  Those meals are over and done with.

How do you move forward now that you have enjoyed the holiday meals?  You simply get back on track and back to your usual routine.  This may happen quickly or it may be something that improves each day.  Perhaps you still have some holiday desserts left and while you ate well all day, you enjoyed some dessert after dinner.  That’s ok.  Perhaps you took an extra day or two off from the gym just to get caught up with life’s many tasks after the holidays.  That’s ok too.  You should aim to start cutting out sugar and start choosing quality carb sources. Get back to eating whole, unprocessed foods rather than the overly processed choices you may have enjoyed over the holidays.  Drink more water. Over the next several days or week your body will begin to rid itself of that bloated and stuffed feeling as you begin to fuel it with quality food sources. The point is that you can and will get back into your regular routine of healthy eating and fitness training.  There is no need for the guilt, the wild attempts to punish yourself, or rectify a few holiday meals or missed workouts.  This journey is a continuum and the holidays are part of that.  Even if you got wildly off track and abandoned all your healthy habits, the only thing to do is to start fresh and incorporate those habits back into your daily life.

Now, in looking ahead to the next round of holiday parties or special occasion, plan to stick to your workout and nutrition plans as much as possible around the event, watch your portion sizes while eating during the event or party, and then get back to your routines as soon as you can.  This will help keep you on track and avoid the trap of feeling guilty or perseverating on what you ate or didn’t eat and you can spend more time enjoying the event, the people, and the occasion without beating yourself up over every agonizing food choice.

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