Step #3: Refocus
As I shared earlier, what happened last week is the exception not the rule. The same it is with you. You know how to eat healthy. You just have to get back to it.
The next few days I will be very selective about what I eat. Snack foods, processed foods, and alcohol are out. The only baked goods I will allow is 100% whole wheat and even that I will eat sparingly. Instead, I’ll focus on foods that are typically found around the perimeter of the store – you know, whole, real foods like fruits, vegetables and lean meats (chicken, turkey and some cuts of pork and beef). This step is critical to restore balance and ditch those cravings.
Step #4: Rest
As relaxing as vacation days are, sometimes you need a vacation from your vacation! You’re so busy trying to “fit everything in” that it’s easy to return home exhausted. For this reason, catching up on sleep is also a top priority. There are a few reasons for this.
First, when your body is low on sleep, your defenses are down and it becomes easier to make poor eating choices. Second, when you’re tired, you’re less likely to do your workout and if you do, it will likely be at a much lower intensity which means you burn less calories. Third, a lack of sleep also interferes with your metabolism. I could go on and on with this, but I think you get my point. Sleep is the third leg of the stool – diet, exercise, and proper rest are all essential for you to be at your best.
I’ll be aiming for the recommended 7-8 full hours of sleep each night. I encourage you to do the same.
Step #5: Ramp It Up
While I did stick to my commitment to exercise while I was away, it’s time to step it up a bit and work off some of those vacation indulgences. For the next couple of days, I’ll focus on high intensity interval training because it produces the biggest calorie burn in the shortest period of time. On weight training days, I’ll incorporate cardio in between sets – again to maximize my burn.
If you didn’t work out while you were away, then I’d encourage you to ease in slowly. You can start with a 15-20 minute routine for a day or two and then ramp it up to a solid 30+-minute routine.
Well there you have it – the 5 R’s – Renew, Restore, Refocus, Rest and Ramp it Up. Is it simple? Yes. Is it easy? Not quite. But it can be done and YOU can do it!