How to Turn Around A Bad Day of Eating
by Chelsea Garcia, MEd, ACSM Certified Exercise Physiologist
We have all had those days where we have eaten terribly, over did it, or ate nothing at all. This could be due to a multitude of reasons. You woke up late and have no time to make a healthy and fulfilling breakfast. You might grab something quick and unhealthy from a cafe on your way into work. Then, you're busy and stressed at work, drinking too much coffee, and most likely haven't had a moment to even think about some actual nourishment. Maybe you skip lunch because of a meeting and next thing you know it's almost quitting time and you're running on fumes and about to hit the inevitable caffeine crash.
What do you do!? Don't think just because you've been eating terrible all day that it gives you the excuse to continue the cycle. BREAK THAT THOUGHT HABIT. Start as soon as you can! You may have had a horrible breakfast and maybe skipped lunch, but make the rest of the day count. Your body will thank you! First off, all that caffeine has probably dehydrated you. Give your body the water it needs. I personally like to aim for 2 liters of water a day. Drinking water helps make you feel fuller so when you do go to eat you won't devour everything in sight, healthy or not.
I know you're probably craving junk food or want to get the greasiest burger and fries after a hard day. If you're too tired to cook, order in or go pick up something healthy and nutrient dense. Try a lean source of protein, some steamed non-starchy veggies like asparagus, green beans, or brussel sprouts and some healthy fats. Or maybe a salad with dark leafy greens, olive oil vinaigrette and some skinless chicken breast. Go easy on the sauces or dressings because they'll be full of added sugar and most of the time more carbs than they're worth! Plus it will be easier on your stomach and intestines to digest these types of food.
You've finally made it home after a long and stressful day. Now you need to make sure you give your body the rest and relaxation it deserves. Unfortunately, this doesn't mean you should unwind with a glass of wine or your favorite cocktail. Alcohol is the last thing your body needs and it has a lot more calories than we all realize. Instead try some calming hot tea like mint or ginger to help relax before bedtime. Make sure you go to bed early to ensure you get plenty of rest and can kick the day off right in the morning. Aim for getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night.
Fast forward to tomorrow and despite the restful sleep you still don't have time for breakfast. Make up for this by packing plenty of healthy snacks. Almonds are great to munch on throughout the day and are full of healthy fats. You could also grab a healthy protein bar to eat for breakfast and skip the buttery croissant from the cafe.
Now that you've started eating better, keep up with the positive habits in your life. Don't be down on yourself because you ate horribly the day before. Forgive yourself because we are all human and we can't be perfect all the time. Always focus on the value you are adding to your life instead of what you're taking away.
If you need some nutritional guidance, or information and support reaching your health goals, please reach out to me for a free consultation. Chelsea@phase-iv.net or call 310-582-8212.