If you’re anything like me, then you’ll probably be sat wondering how on earth you managed to consume as much food as you did over the Easter weekend. Between the irregular eating patterns, family lunches, dinners out, and of course the copious amounts of chocolate, come Monday night, I was seriously looking forward to getting back into my normal routine. I can give or take an unhealthy meal because I rarely crave savoury junk food, but the chocolate? Once I set my sights on a bit of Easter egg I make a beeline for it, and well the rest is history.
As grateful as I am, this year I got seven Easter eggs, and I am ‘that person’ who cannot open an Easter egg without finishing it. Do you see my dilemma? So far two have been demolished, but on top of that I also ate countless little eggs that I’d bought for an egg hunt, and about six pieces of homemade Creme Egg Rocky Road. I am fully confident in saying that this was the sole culprit of my calorific weekend, and had more been available, I would have eaten that too. In summary, I ate too much, but do you know what? For the first year in a long time, I have no regrets. In previous years I would have beaten myself up and told myself over and over that I was a horrendous human being for overindulging. Not this year. I’ve been into my healthy routine for four years now, so let’s be honest, four days off isn’t going to undo all that progress. Truthfully yes, I’m now a bit ‘fluffier’ around the middle, but the good news is, it’s not permanent! You don’t get lean from eating one healthy meal, so there’s no way you can get fat from eating one unhealthy meal either. Everyone deserves a treat, what matters is that you get straight back on track. So, if you’re feeling as though you’re trapped in a little chocolate induced coma with zilch in the way of will power, read on.
GET UP AN HOUR EARLIER & WORKOUT
Can’t bear the thought of waking up early and getting a sweat on? Crawling out of a warm bed might feel like the worst thing in the world, particularly if the choc-bloat is still present, but trust me it’s what you need. Walk, run, swim, do a bit of HIIT, whatever it takes, do it. I’m lucky to really enjoy exercise so I was up and raring to go at 5.45am yesterday morning, ready to burn off a good amount of what I’d eaten the night before, but for those of you who aren’t so keen, you might just have to suck it up on this occasion. Harsh, but true, because I can guarantee that if you don’t, your sugary binge will continue into the morning and the gym will become a distant memory.
MAKE YOURSELF A GOOD BREAKFAST
You need something you’re going to look forward to, but it needs to stay healthy, so if you’re not a fan of a smoothie or something simple like fruit and yoghurt, make your favourite food but with a healthy twist. Protein pancakes, overnight oats and a big bowl of porridge aren’t breakfast options that scream ‘I’m on a diet’, but they’re fulfilling, nutritious choices that will make you feel ten times better than eating something pointlessly small, or worse yet nothing at all. I can’t function without a good breakfast, so refueling after the gym with a big bowl of fruit-topped porridge is really important to keep my energy levels up, and my sugar cravings down.
KEEP A WATER BOTTLE ON HAND
It’s a boring one, but drinking plenty of water will help to flush out any toxins from the day before. Drink two to three litres of water throughout the day and you’ll feel a lot more refreshed and awake. Plus, if you followed my advice and did that morning workout, then you’ll need it to rehydrate. If you don’t fancy taking a huge 1L bottle around with you, get yourself a 500ml one and aim to refill it every two hours.
PLAN FOR THE REST OF THE WEEK
Plan your meals, your workouts and your movements throughout the day. If you get caught off guard with nothing healthy to eat, you’ll stray from your good intentions, and if you allow yourself to sit and become bored at one stage or another, it’s likely you’ll turn to more food. Keep yourself active, set goals, plan ahead and you’ll be back on track before you know it. I definitely eat way more if I’m bored and inactive!
DO WHAT YOU’VE GOT TO DO WITH THE EVIDENCE
If like me you have a silly amount of chocolate left, do what you’ve got to do. Ditch it, donate it, melt it, burn it or eat it and set yourself back a smidge further, the choice is yours. It’s tough because as I’m writing this I’m thinking less about the almost-over-ripe mango that needs eating, and more about the five Easter eggs, countless Malteaster Bunnies and Creme Egg that I have no more than three metres behind me. The struggle is real.
It seems like a bit of a weird thing to do, but a bit of self-love is crucial at this point. Over the weekend you ate enough chocolate to support a small family for six months, and yet you’ve since managed to drag yourself away from the sweet treats and continue working to improve your health and your body. Give yourself more credit! I certainly am. I could have taken boot loads of left-overs with me to work today as emergency snacks, but instead I’ve filled up on complex carbs, fruits, lean protein and plenty of veg to keep cravings at bay. Do I still want chocolate? Of course I do, stupid question, but I know I’m not in danger of bulldozing an entire egg with my face thanks to my good food choices throughout the day. Perhaps just a miniature Malteaster Bunny, because “balance”.
Unconvinced? It’s only 63 days until summer, which is about 17% of the entire year. How about that for a mic drop. Just tell the chocolate where to stick it and take a step in the right direction, we’ll all thank ourselves for it one day, whether we believe that at this moment in time or not.