by Laura Seldon
Come February 15th, dieters everywhere are condemning the half-naked man-child we call Cupid for causing them to fall off the weight-loss wagon. Yes, you were doing so well with your New Year’s resolution to get fit and eat better -- and then your sweetie brought home that big box of undeniable chocolates and you ate the entire thing. Or maybe you spent the evening out with your girls and drank one too many sugary margaritas, only to come home and finish it all off with a late-night pizza delivery. We know, we know -- it was in the shape of a heart, and how could you deny that?!
If you overdid it on Valentine’s Day, don’t waste another second feeling guilty about it.
Frankie Signorelli, a certified personal trainer and nutrition consultant in Los Angeles, says having one crazy sugar-filled day won’t kill your diet, but overdoing it for the rest of the week will!
“Your body is able to handle a little indulgence every once in a while,” says Signorelli. “But it's when we continue to overload our bodies with junk that bogs down our system.” If you’re ready to get back on track with your weight loss goals, then put down the candy hearts, take a deep breath, and follow these three steps:
1. Don’t Dwell
Punishing yourself for what you ate is not going to make anything better.
“Don't beat yourself up about it,” says Signorelli. “You did it, now accept it.”
Realize that no one is perfect with their eating habits. You may have blown your calorie budget, but you can use this to motivate yourself. Stop dwelling on the past and get back to making healthy choices.
“You are in control,” assures Signorelli. “Make a choice and be happy with it. If you are not happy with it accept it, learn from it and move on.”
2. Don’t Try to Make Up for It
While you may have overindulged by only eating things that come in the shape of a heart on Valentine’s Day, that doesn’t mean you should only eat raw vegetables for the next three days.
“What’s done is done,” says Signorelli. “Don't try to overcompensate by not eating and then overtraining.”
In fact, skipping meals is an excellent way to sabotage your weight loss plan, he says. Do this and you'll likely just get hungry later, go raiding your fridge to feed your growling stomach, and then wind up eating junk food without even realizing what you’re doing. Simply get back to eating small, nutritious meals, and don’t forget to include a few healthy snacks between those meals.
3. Keep Moving Forward
We’re all just human and even the fittest women overindulge from time to time. Remember, celebs like Jennifer Hudson, Jessica Simpson and Janet Jackson have been in your position, too!
The secret to getting back on track is to make sure your binge sessions don’t become your new habit.
“Get right back on your workout and eating plan,” advises Signorelli. “It is consistency that will get you results -- whether those results are good or bad is up to you.”
Signorelli says the mental repercussions of overdoing it on Valentine’s Day are actually much greater than the physical consequences.
“Feeling like we have failed creates more stress and guilt,” says Signorelli. “The all-or-nothing mentality is just not a good balance.”
To avoid setbacks in the future, put a plan in place for holidays like Valentine’s Day. As we gear up for St. Patrick’s Day in March, make a decision about whether or not you want to indulge in the festivities with a few shamrock-shaped cookies and then stick to your plan. If you do, you’re certain to find a pot of gold – or at the very least, a rainbow that ends with a healthier, happier you!
Did you overdo it for VDay?
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Laura Seldon is a writer and journalist living in Los Angeles. She has written for GUESS Inc., JDate.com and Rock the Vote, as well as reported for TV news affiliates in Minnesota and South Dakota. As someone who loves peanut butter-filled chocolate hearts, she’ll likely be right there with you trying to get back on track for the rest of February.