Happy July 4th! How are you doing on your diet and exercise? Are you sticking to your plan, or are you splurging a little? A lot?

No worries, holidays are the right time to give into a few celebratory foods and take it easy on your workout. But if you go overboard, forgive yourself: you’re human! If you treat one lapse as an ultimate failure, it will be tough to get back on track.

Here are some tips to deal with your indulgences and move on.

Put it into perspective.

One holiday binge, even if it goes on for several days, is not going to undo the work you put in prior. Chances are, your bender did less damage than you think. It’s not a setback; it’s a bump in the road.

Drink a ton of water.

It’s easy to do, and it will help you eat less and drink less. And after a big meal (or several), it will help with bloat and digestion.

Get back to healthy eating ASAP.

Don’t try to fast or starve yourself as a punishment  -- you can’t “undo” a weekend binge. If  you tend to do this, you can fall into a dangerous binge/starve pattern that may sabotage your goals. Instead, get right back into your healthy diet. Your body will readjust.

Get help.

Is it time to start fresh? Don’t go it alone. Work with a pro to help figure out the best diet and exercise plan for your specific needs and goals.

Eat clean.

Avoid refined flour products, sugar, dairy products, and processed food altogether for a few days. Focus on fresh vegetables and fruits, raw nuts and beans, and lean protein. This will help your body get back to good quickly and healthfully.

High protein and fiber breakfasts are key.

Not only the day after, but in the long term, fiber and protein are your dynamic duo for fullness, optimal digestion, and muscle recovery. Egg whites and avocado may be the perfect Rx breakfast to jump start you back to your goals.

Go to bed earlier.

Aid your body and mind – good quality shut-eye will help recover not only your body but your mind as well. You’ll be better able to resist future indulgences, and feel focused so you can make good, solid healthy choices.

Resume your workouts right away.

Don’t try to get in two workouts or go nuts at the gym to “make up for” your weekend of feasting and loafing. Get back on track; if you missed one leg day, it’s ok. The body will readjust just fine.

Hide the scale.

Weigh yourself a few days after you get back on track. Holiday weight gain is real, but much of it is water weight, not just body fat, so there’s no reason to freak out.

by Dina Aronson, MS, RDN

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