I’m just back from a pretty wild girly weekend in Galway and it’s safe to say I feel like a broken blob. On Saturday before getting the train to G town I had the best of intentions; beginning my day with a light breakfast followed by a nice weights and cardio session. I packed some protein, tracked my food on the train and picked healthy choices. And then I arrived at the hotel.
It began with picking at the complimentary dessert plate and Prosecco, followed by a three course meal with cocktails and ended with room service at 3am. By Monday I had reviewed most eateries in Galway without being asked, forgot what My Fitness Pal was for and tasted every cocktail on the menu (slight exaggeration, but you get the idea).
I’m the type person who’s all or nothing; I’m either completely on or off track and I find it really hard to get an in between balance. It’s taken a couple of years of training to realise I can have a blow out weekend like this and return to my regime immediately without doing too much damage. So here are my Top 5 tips to get back on track easily without doing anything drastic.
- Plan your food for the rest of the week and track it before you eat. This means doing a healthy food shop ASAP, removing any tempting produce from your house and downloading My Fitness Pal. Tracking your food before you eat it means you know your meal plan for the day and tend to stick to it. It also makes the next step easier.
- Hit your daily cals, with a focus on protein. After a holiday, weekend away or binge your carbs and fats will be high and it’s unlikely you’ve eaten enough protein to grow lean muscle when you return to the gym. Track and eat food with overall calories in mind, then ensure you hit your protein and worry about fats and carbs last.
- Up your water intake. Chances are you’ve consumed more Hendricks than H2O over the past few days so really focus on upping your hydration. Water makes you feel more full, aids weight loss by revving the metabolism and helps to reduce water retention after a dehydrated phase meaning you’ll start to feel and look less bloated.
- Hit your daily step target and move more. Although you may have had an active weekend in terms of dancing I doubt you reached 10,000 steps unless you were sight seeing. Invest in an Apple or Fitbit watch, get into the habit of hitting your daily step target by moving more. This is called NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis, the energy expended for everything we do that’s not sleeping, eating or sports like exercise) and really helps with weight loss.
- Lift heavy. If you’ve never tried body building or weight training it’s a good time to start. The more lean muscle you build over time, the less fat you tend to carry and the better you appear overall in terms of body composition. If you weight train over a few years your body tends to snap back into shape a lot easier once that holiday fat layer is reduced.
*This is advice based on experience and an educated background in the fitness area. Joanne is not a qualified nutritionist or personal trainer.