This guest post is from Anna and it is timely for the upcoming holiday season where most of us will be taking vacation and eating until we come close to exploding. You might as well get to know how to get back in shape after a vacation now so that you are setting yourself up for success when you actually do get back from vacation. So keep on reading, there is great info in this post.
Recovering From a Week-Long Binge
Back in the 18th century, doctors would recommend wealthy patients suffering from “neurasthenia,” a condition associated with anxiety, fatigue and headaches, take a break from work and leave town for a few days or weeks. Today, we call this problem “stress” rather than neurasthenia, but we still try to overcome these symptoms by heading off on a vacation for a week or so each year. But even though a vacation may alleviate symptoms associated with high stress levels, in the end they can actually add to psychological problems by decreasing our activity levels and increasing our weight in the process.
Returning from vacation often sees us disappointed mentally, as a result. The key, then, is to try to stay healthy while on vacation. But since that’s often not possible (or desirable), the alternative is to engage in a disciplined diet and fitness regimen upon returning from our time away. No more meals out the first thing one needs to do when returning from vacation is cut out the restaurant meals. Most restaurants want to make you happy, not healthy, and that means piling in the fat and calories. They’re not using low-fat Becel back in the kitchen; instead, everything is butter. Did you know most well-reviewed steakhouses actually rub butter into a piece of meat right before serving it? You know now. So, start making your own meals. Consider it a detox process, one that will help your body to overcome its overexposure to fat and calories during that vacation. Focus on filling your plate with greens, cutting down on carbs, and reducing the size of meat portions to roughly a deck of cards.
Institute a disciplined meal schedule. Also, be disciplined with your meal schedule. Ideally, you will spread out your meals while cutting down on how much food you consume each time. The most important trick is to eat a relatively early dinner (before 7pm if you go to bed at 10pm-12am). Going to bed hungry can be hard, but it will help you burn off excess weight once you return from vacation. Then, once you wake up, have a well-rounded breakfast that incorporates carbs, protein, fruits and vegetables.
Get back to exercisingBeyond revising your diet, it’s also important to get back to exercising. Most of us eschew the gym or outdoor runs while on sunny vacations, and getting back to a regular exercise routine can be difficult. In fact, the more indulgent the vacation, the more challenging workouts will be once you get back into them. The key is to be patient — if you really did slack off during your time away, you may experience a reduction in energy levels. You might find yourself getting tired early or cramping up during a routine run.
Don’t give up; take a brief, five-minute break and then resume. Don’t beat yourself up over the reduced intensity of the regimen, but instead stay focused on slowly but steadily returning to pre-vacation fitness levels. Although it varies depending on the time away, usually this can be accomplished within a week or two.