Your tan is fading, as are the memories of feeling the sun on your face. Now it’s September and all you are left with is an extra 7lbs and jeans that fitted you perfectly back in June, are now bursting at the seams. Back at your desk, you are questioning those daily ice creams, and all that sangria lounging on a deck chair.
You are not alone. Most of us are now panicking that we have totally fallen off the healthy bandwagon and are not sure how to get back on it.
Firstly, lets not beat yourself up about it, we all deserve a break. It is important to eat, drink and be merry and get loads of rest on holiday. We all need the mental and physical recovery to not constantly exercise and eat the same all year round.
But then how do you break the habits of a unhealthy (but thoroughly good fun) summer? Here is Applied Nutritions advice that should leave you feeling a bit more in control of your body and mind as September rolls on.
START WITH A ‘TRANSITION WEEK’
In order to find your healthy feet again it’s important to start a transition phase. Use this week or a short period of time where you start to reign it all in again and start the process to a healthier you. This way you aren’t suddenly throwing yourself into a new health and fitness regime which could be a real shock on both your body and mind and undo the relaxing effects of your summer break.
REINTRODUCE A GENTLE EXERCISE
Start an exercise programme of some sort. We are not talking five days a week or signing up for hardcore bootcamp but rather a couple of easier workouts for a week or two, whether that’s running, an exercise class or yoga/strength exercises. The aim is to switch your body back on, not to put yourself off for life.
STEP AWAY FROM THE SNACKS
If you are suddenly wearing tighter-than-normal jeans then try cutting out snacks between meals. Whilst your probably think you don't really eat many snacks, when you keep track of this you most likely do. Squares of dark chocolate all throughout the day, munching on fruit, nuts or scoops of peanut butter mid-afternoon and general grazing on kids' leftovers. Just a week of being a bit stricter and you should feel your jeans start to loosen again.
If you are a bit tighter with your regime and create a slight calorie deficit you will make significant progress. Lose the chocolate with a cup of tea and to eat three good meals a day. It’s tough and you might feel a bit hungry, but it works.
REIN IN THE ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION
A few glasses of wine or cocktails every night may be the norm on holiday and it can be a hard habit to break once home. Whilst you don’t need to go cold turkey, but if you’ve been having alcohol most nights of the week try going a few nights without. You will feel way more in control in body and mind. Not only will alcohol make you sluggish in the morning and less likely to want to work out but the high sugar content in many alcoholic drinks will end up on your waistline.
IT'S OK TO BE A LITTLE HUNGRY
You may have ignored your body for the last few months, but it’s time to start getting in tune with it once more. By this, we mean being afraid of feeling a little hungry. We are very accustomed to eating when we feel our stomach beginning to growl, but not feeling full all day is really not a bad thing.
In fact, cutting out all sugar, refined carbs and snacks between meals helps dramatically and knowing you will eat in an hour or so is completely doable.
DON’T WORK UP AN ENERGY DEFICIT
Finally, don't take things to the extreme by cutting everything out of your diet and going super hard in the gym. Many people go to extremes, don't eat enough and then exercise too hard, leaving their energy levels on the floor. This not only makes you feel atrocious, but it means you can’t perform a proper workout and therefore you won’t get the results you want. Plus you are more likely to hate every minute and give up everything by October. Just because you had a great summer, doesn’t mean you have to have an awful Winter.
The key is to be kind to yourself and you will be back on track in no time.