This one is a really popular topic – especially over the summer in Ibiza! A little bit of sun, a dash of uplifting music, some drinks, and that one small beer turns into a mighty session… have you undone all your good work?
Although the next morning it will probably feel like it – not at all – and this is where people go wrong. A big day or night out is not going to help your health progress – no doubt on that (although if you have a good time and end up with a smile on your face – hey!) BUT falling off the wagon doesn’t mean you’ve lost the wagon train and you should lay down and wait for the vultures.
We see this all the time – people work hard for their body goals – watching their diet, moderating their drinking, training hard, then boom! That big blow out and they give up. Don’t!
First up, we’ve been prone to the odd big night out. BUT…what we learnt about ourselves early on is that the all or nothing approach does us no favours.
If you restrict yourself over too long a period of time – strict eating, early nights, herbal teas instead of Gs & Ts, sure, you start to feel physically great, BUT…
Emotionally you’re probably bored, overthinking and stressing about every little thing.
We’ve learned having the odd drink when we want, going out when we feel like it – all helps with overall balance and our goals aren’t as impacted as when we’re trying to be at the extreme end of something. Think of it like an elastic band, we want to be flexible in the middle, not pulled tight at one end, or else, when the band pings…
So….live a balanced life, acknowledge your goals, stay on track, understand your need to have fun (within reason) and you’ll be far less inclined to “go hard or go home”.
But what if you did slip?
Here are some practical ways forward…..
You wake up feeling like death warmed up – all those negative voices in your head will start telling you “See, told you so…” Thank them, acknowledge them, and pick yourself up and move on.
If you’ve had the mother of all days/nights/48 hours, don’t try to do anything. Respect your body and your mind. Rehydrate with lots of water, eat nourishing food, rest.
If you’ve only gone moderately hard, and you feel you can, then moving can really help a) shake off a hangover b) help swing your mood back up as the endorphins from exercising kick in.
Only go at a pace and intensity that feels okay to you, and is safe for whatever you’ve done the night before. Aim for either a short burst of activity to get you sweating a little bit, or go for a long steady walk in the fresh air. Both work, sometimes short and sharp is better, like ripping a plaster off.
Remember that your insulin and blood sugars will be all over the shop from over-indulgence, but rather than going for the fatty, starchy food your hunger hormones will be screaming for, smash in lean protein like fish, chicken (easy to digest) and lots of veggies.
Be realistic, it’s not the end of the world. Rest, realign and once you’re recuperated, carry on as before and you’ll be back on track before you know it.