So you splurged … now what? Should you just throw in the towel and continue on with your day of indulgence: tall stack of pancakes for breakfast, all-you-can-eat buffet for lunch, and dessert after dinner? Not so fast.
Before you beat yourself up for blowing it, or find yourself stuck in a day of gluttony, check out these steps to get back on track when you’ve blown your calorie budget.
MAKE YOUR NEXT MEAL HEALTHY
One meal or day of overeating won’t have a big impact on progress, but a week or month of splurging can definitely set you back. Instead of tossing in the towel and starting over tomorrow, begin eating right at your next meal. The whole day or week isn’t a wash with a little indulgence—just get right back on track, and you will feel good that you did.
If you slip up and fall off the wagon, regain focus on the reason you’ve set these goals in the first place. Are you training for an upcoming marathon? Is it to look stunning as you walk down the aisle at your wedding? Do you want to be fit and healthy to chase your grandkids around? Keep a positive outlook! Remember that this is a journey, after all, and it will be full of peaks and valleys.
ASSESS BARRIERS AND STRATEGIZE
OK, so you blew it; it’s now time to find out why. Were those chocolate chip cookies in your pantry calling your name? Did you forget how to say no to the bottle of wine your friend wanted to split at dinner?
When you blow your calorie budget, assess if external pressures are to blame. If the cookies in your pantry are too tempting, don’t bring them inside the house. If you find yourself eating (or drinking) for social reasons, maybe it’s time to practice standing up for yourself and embracing the power of “no.”
INCREASE YOUR BUDGET
So you know you’re going to have cheesecake at dinner? Don’t skip that workout! Make sure to get in some extra steps and go harder during your workout if you know that you may need a bigger calorie budget that day. Plus, a little extra sweat sesh isn’t a bad thing either.
DON’T AMEND THE BUDGET
Even if you might have blown your calorie budget by lunch or ate too much all day long, don’t skip your next meal or severely restrict calories the following day to make up for the splurge. Restriction will likely backfire and can set you up for a cycle of blowing the budget. Skipping meals creates ravenous hunger and, at that point, everything in sight might look good!
Instead of amending the budget by cutting calories from another meal or day, just chalk it up as a small splurge and continue on with your healthy eating plan.
Lifestyle changes are not easy, so make sure that you have enough support to create lasting change. Maybe you need to consult with a professional like a dietitian to address your nutrition habits or a counselor to discuss emotional eating and barriers to change. Confide in a friend that you trust and let her know your goals, so hopefully next time she won’t even ask to split a bottle of wine, or tempt you with dessert. Engage in the community on MyFitnessPal to get virtual support from like-minded people who can motivate you to stay on track.
Splurges are a normal part of a healthy living routine; just keep them in moderation so that they don’t hinder your progress!