Today’s a tough day for Calgarians – it’s the first day following the Calgary Stampede. After 10 days filled with rodeos, mini-donuts, and a few too many beers, a lot of folks are feeling the after effects of straying from their normal routines, myself included! Though the drinks were plentiful and the fried food was delicious, lots of us are definitely anxious to get back on track.
Now you don’t have to be a Stampede regular to be able to relate to this feeling; summer is always filled with BBQs, weekends at the lake, vacations in the sun, and plenty of other opportunities to do some serious damage. Though the odd routine vacation is certainly more than OK, the trick is making sure your weekend off doesn’t stretch too far beyond the weekend! Feeling the effects of that last bucket of mini donuts? Here are some tips to help you get back on track.
Take it One Step at a Time
Following a vacation/ time off from your routine/ Stampede, it’s super tempting to want to overhaul your routine and take on a bunch of drastic changes all at once. Though this might sound super tempting (who doesn’t love a 7 day juice cleanse?), this will more likely than not just set you up for failure. The key to success is to make small, manageable changes, and take them on one at a time. Start by switching out your daily soda with some water. Got that nailed down? Try opting for some fruit and nuts at snack time instead of that cookie from Starbucks next. This plan may not sound as exciting up front, but you’re far more likely to succeed if you take it all one thing at a time.
Keep It Simple
You don’t need me to point out the number of diet crazes that are out there, or how there’s beyond an abundance of nutrition information available. Quite frankly, it’s overwhelming! When in doubt, just keep it as simple as possible. Focus on trying to take in lots of fruits and vegetables (as fresh as possible!), lean meats, and a small amount of whole grains. Fresh, whole foods will help flush out all the irritating unsaturated fats and sugars that have got you feeling so bogged down.
If you know me or my blog, you know that I’m a little obsessed with meal planning and meal prep. Now planning ahead doesn’t mean you have to have every meal planned out to a T, cooked, and ready to go in matching tupperwares before the week begins. You should, however, at least have a good idea of where each of your meals is coming from, and make sure you have what you need to prepare them. Making lunches or dinners in bulk ahead of time is a great time saver (check out some ideas here), and having a rough idea of what else you’ll need for the week food-wise cuts down on trips to the grocery store. What’s the saying? “By failing to prepare, you prepare to fail.” Definitely applies here. Bonus tip: keep the grocery store trips to once or twice a week, and don’t go hungry! It’s much easier to flex your will power for an hour while grocery shopping, than all week long after a hunger-driven junk food haul.
Snacks happen, man, and that’s totally OK! The key is to make sure you aren’t ruining all your good progress by snacking on Pringles several times a day. Building on the note of ‘planning ahead’, making sure you have quality foods for in-between meals will just help set you up to succeed. Fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds all make great, easy snacks. There are also a ton of great grab and go options out there, but be sure to read the label of these before diving in. A personal fave of mine are these Energy Balls by Kewaza; great for satisfying a chocolate craving, without giving you the crazy sugar high.
Elle Woods nailed it with the line, “exercise releases endorphins, endorphins make you happy, happy people just don’t shoot their husbands.” Time off from our routines can leave us feeling bogged down and generally not so happy, so get up and move! If you’ve got a regular exercise regime, then working back into your previous routine is definitely the way to go. There isn’t really a wrong way to go about this though; go for a walk, try out a new yoga or Crossfit class, heck, even walking around and playing Pokemon Go will do you some good! So long as you’re moving and getting that heart rate up, you’re taking a step (or several) in the right direction.
Reach for the Water
Most people aren’t drinking enough water on a good day, never mind after a couple late nights at the Stampede grounds. The key here is consistency. Most folks require 2-3 litres of water a day, every day. Keep that water intake up for a consistent period of time, and you’ll start to feel that bloated feeling dissipate.
Be Kind to Yourself
It’s really easy to beat up on yourself after a couple days of a little too much fun, but at the end of the day it’s just not worth wasting that energy on negative thoughts. Life is meant to be lived! Cut yourself some slack, focus on slowly pushing yourself back on track, and don’t forget to try to smile along the way.
Got a good getting back on track tip? Share it in the comments below!