Summer party after party, one celebration followed by another, does the fun ever stop? Many people think they gain the most weight over the winter holidays, but the summer is a more likely place to consume more calories than you are burning. With one BBQ followed by another, throw in a few weddings and vacation and before you know it the only thing that will fit you is your winter stretch pants. So how can we recover from all this weekend fun? Here are five easy ways to have fun and still fit in your shorts.
Drink water! Most of us are running around all weekend long, in the sun, doing errands, yard work and spending time with family and friends but… how diligent are you about drinking your water? Dehydration on top of eating BBQ party foods can make you feel less than human. As soon as you wake up Monday, start pumping that water! Aim for 8-16 ounces before you eat breakfast or hit the showers. Try to drink water before you reach for your snacks and meals as well. Many of us know thirst can be masked as hunger and result in over-eating. If you are sweating a lot or out in the sun, drink even more! Add citrus fruits, cucumber, berries, mint and other fun things to make water more irresistible.
Lighten up! If you are eating with free will all weekend, make a point to lighten up during the week. Your waistline and your digestive system will thank you. Pile up your plates with veggies and snack on fruits to keep you feeling full and getting in all those nutrients you skipped on the weekend. Try adding some local fresh veggies to eggs for a fun scramble in the morning; salads with your favorite protein or homemade hummus make for a great lunch. Grill up your veggies at dinner or try making your veggie fajitas, roll ups, etc. Vegetables are your friend and they are full of fiber which can help move all those heavy calorie dense foods from the weekend along.
Skip the caffeine! If you are tired from a crazy weekend, rest, eat well and exercise. It sounds crazy but a 10 minute walk on your break will give you a huge energy burst that will last a lot longer than that sugary caffeine drink. Not to mention, if you are tired, why deny it! Rest! Go to bed earlier all week so you are well rested to enjoy your weekends or days off. Don’t forget to eat well! No one feels like a million bucks when they eat a diet of chips and dip. But when you eat great you tend to feel great. Don’t let caffeine supplement the healthier lifestyle choices you should be making.
Get moving! If you take more than 2-3 days off from fitness it can really hold you back from the results you want. Not to mention we start to lose our drive. Those that work out consistently know how important exercise is to our lifestyle to maintain our energy and stress level. Waking up grouchy after denying your workouts all weekend? Do a quick 10 minute workout before work! Jumping jacks, lunges, pushups – whatever you want! Get that blood flowing and those endorphins you missed all weekend. Get that first workout out of the way and you will be back to your old self. Working out is also great for sweating and detoxifying the body. Remember to keep that water pumping as well!
Check yourself before you wreck yourself! This is one of my favorite rules from “Naturally Thin” by Bethenny Frankel. Just because you went whole hog all weekend doesn’t mean you just throw in the towel and give up. Check in! Yes, maybe you ate ice cream three times this weekend or drank more than you should. Okay, you know this, now, MOVE ON! Don’t let a bump in the road turn into a full on train wreck. Overeating now and then is one thing, but turning that into a lifestyle is not only unhealthy, but dangerous. Grab the wheel and get back on track.
That being said, the weekend is upon us. Try going into the weekend with a “plan.” Find time to keep moving and eat well when you can. At parties have fun and relish foods you really enjoy, but also look for foods you know are better options. Pick a few things that really look good to you and enjoy them. If you want a s’more, skip the beer. If you want two burgers, skip the buns. It’s all about balance. And, remember! Each Monday is a fresh new start with no mistakes in it yet. Take these tips and find ways to make them work for you. Summer goes by too fast to not soak it in. On Monday, use these tips for your weekend recovery.
Mary Hoadley, Manager Of The Wellness Center