A simple slice of cake. Chocolate cake, with sprinkles on it. It’s Friday night, and you’re celebrating the birthday of a friend. After a few glasses of champagne, you enjoy a slice of cake to celebrate the moment. After enjoying the cake, you proceed to head over to the food table to eat more appetizers. And before you know it, that one, innocent slice of cake has turned into a weekend of overindulgence which then morphs into an entire week of overeating. Before long, you’re left feeling defeated and depressed.
You are not alone. I certainly have had my fair share of the horrible overeating and under-eating cycle (well, all of my 20s!) and I can tell you from experience that it is not fun. The temporary high of overindulging is quickly shadowed by the guilt of feeling bloated and yucky.
It’s not easy to break the cycle. In fact, breaking the cycle is the hardest part. You know what you should be doing (putting down the cake), but you don’t know how to begin. If you’re ready to get back on track, these simple steps are for you!
1. Forgive Yourself
The worst thing you can do is make yourself feel guilty for your past choices. Don’t muddle up your future by living in the past: make a decision to move forward. The past is the past and you now have the power to change the future! Forgive yourself and mentally start fresh.
2. Start Your Day With Warm Lemon Water
Starting your morning with a cup of warm lemon water is one of the best (and easiest) things you can do for your body. Lemon water flushes out toxins naturally by aiding the digestive system and making the process of eliminating waste products from the body easier. Heat water until warm (not boiling), pour into a glass, and squeeze half of a lemon into the water. Drink immediately.
3. Keep the H2O Flowing
Proper hydration is absolutely crucial for getting back on track. Consuming adequate water levels helps in a myriad of functions, including helping you feel fuller, boosting your energy, and keeping you regular. It will also help to flush out any excessive salt intake during your overeating. Most nutritionist recommend the 8-by-8 rule when it comes to water consumption: 8 glasses of 8 oz of water each day. Bored of plain water? Try infusing your water with fruit and herbs!
4. Bulk Up Your Plate With Fruits And Vegetables
Perhaps the biggest mistake that individuals make when trying to getting back on track is to severely cut back on portion sizes. In contrast, you should try to focus on bulking up on fruits and vegetables (aka the good stuff!). Fruits and veggies contain numerous phytochemicals and antioxidants to reduce inflammation in your body. In addition, the fiber content will help you feel full and be regular!
5. Don’t Overdo It
This goes back to step #1: Forgive Yourself. Don’t try and do something crazy like cutting down to only eating cabbage for a week! The only way to move forward from overindulging and to truly stop the cycle is to make the conscious decision that you are making this a lifestyle change. Being healthy doesn’t mean starving yourself to “make up for” the prior week, it means taking a balanced approach to healthy eating in general.