5 Tips to Get Back on Track After Thanksgiving
Truth be told, a handful of simple strategies can help you undo the damage and get back on track fast. Remember that yesterday's mistakes are today’s opportunities.
Tip 1: Get Back to the Norm
You may be tempted to just not eat, but skipping meals only forces your body to shift into conservation mode and burn fewer calories. Skipping can also make you more likely to hang onto any fat you've gained, rather than letting it go. Steady meals, on the other hand, maximize metabolism and help regulate blood sugar and insulin levels, as well as hunger hormones. Try to eat breakfast within an hour of waking up and eat your remaining meals three to five hours apart. Also, consider selecting a day's worth of clean go-to meals to repeat for a few days. Your body loves consistency, so after it's been thrown out of whack, repetition and regularity can go a long way in restoring balance.
Tip 2: Proportion Your Plate
Rather than drastically cutting calories, make non-starchy vegetables the focus of your meals, paired with lean protein, a bit of good-for-you fat, and small portions of healthy, slow-burning carbs. One of the reasons you feel heavy after overeating is because your body stockpiles carbs in a form called glycogen, along with water. Cutting back, but not cutting carbs out completely, can help you level your energy and hunger (so you won't pig out on Thanksgiving leftovers at night), while still allowing your body to let go of surplus starch. Aim for just a third to a half cup of whole food carbs in each meal, such as whole grains, and starchy vegetables.
Tip 3: Sip on Water Throughout the Day.
Make water your only beverage and up your intake. H2O supports optimal metabolism and helps naturally curb appetite. Drinking more water also flushes out excess sodium to help you quickly de-bloat, and it gets your digestive system moving to relieve constipation. Aim for 2-2.5 liters of water a day (about 8-10 cups).
Tip 4: Pay Attention
Eat slowly, pay attention to your body's signals, and stop when full, even if you haven't finished your meal. Eating at a slower pace can automatically help you curb your portions while feeling more satisfied. When you chew carefully, set your fork down between bites, and tune into your body's signals, you'll be able to detect your tipping point — that feeling of just right fullness.
Tip 5: Step Up your activity
One way to feel lighter quickly is to torch glycogen, the carbs your body stockpiles when you've eaten more starch than usual. To burn it up, get your muscles moving and your heart rate up, through anything from brisk walks to a Zumba class. And remember that small boosts in your activity level add up to help, including taking stairs, or dancing in your living room!