Saturday, January 1, 2011

Falling off the Eating Clean Wagon!

It's happened.... you promised yourself that you would only have one cocktail and you'd avoid the snack table and here you are the day after New Year's with a carbohydrate hangover that is leaving you feeling guilty and unhappy!  You wanted to start the year off right and here you are!  What now??  But don’t worry! Everyone has a lapse every now and then!  That's why it's a lifestyle not a diet!  Here are five tips to get you back on track fast!

1) Don’t Starve: Resist the temptation to fast the day following your New Year's Eve binge. You run the risk of sending your metabolism on a roller coaster ride and you also set yourself up for another gorge fest. Instead, opt for reducing the amount of calories and portions of food while increasing the frequency of when you eat. Aim for five small meals a day at about 200 – 300 calories each.

2) Load up on fiber and protein: Think leafy salads with lean protein, egg white omelets mixed with bell pepper and grilled salmon paired with steamed broccoli. The fiber will help boost digestion and both protein and fiber may make your body work just a bit harder to digest, therefore giving your metabolism an extra nudge.

3) Sweat: Not only will exercise make you feel so much better physically and mentally but the burst of activity will reduce bloat and kick your metabolism into high gear. But rather than one long 40-minute run at the same pace, consider interval training. A study in the Journal of Applied Physiology showed that exercising at a high intensity improved the body’s ability to burn fat. A rule of thumb is to exercise hard enough for one to four minutes so that you’re out of breath, recover for 3-5 minutes and repeat again.  TABATA!  Hello!  Hit the gym and do some Tabata training!

4) Get back to the Eat Clean basics: This probably won’t be too hard after consuming a few plates of processed dishes, but committing yourself to eating the whole foods again will help you clear out your system and give your body the nutrients it needs. You will have to detox out some of those yucky processed treats. You might even have a headache or stomachache because of it!  Just reminds you why you can't do that every day!  Try oatmeal and berries for breakfast, salads, steamed greens and lean and plain proteins for the rest of day.

5) Flush Out Bloat: Sip green tea throughout the day in order to keep hunger at bay and give your metabolism and health a jump. A study in the International Journal of Obesity showed that green tea extract increased calorie and fat burning needed to lose weight. Green tea also contains powerful antioxidants which may help to reduce risk of heart disease and some cancers.

Keep in mind that it takes 3,500 calories to gain one pound. While consuming that much is quite easy to do on food-filled holidays like Christmas and New Year's Eve, cutting back on calories and portion size and revving up your exercise routine for a few days will put your right back in line with your diet goals.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!