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How To Rebound from an Indulgent Holiday

Yesterday my Instagram and Facebook feeds were full of sweet family photos, beautiful Easter dresses, babies with bunny ears, Easter dinner spreads, mimosas and the like. This morning my feeds are overflowing with posts about Easter indulgences, candy overload and needing to get back on track. I even received a text message from Earth Fare with a special offer on antacids!

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So I thought that today is a good time to share my tips for getting back on track after an indulgent holiday. While I missed having Easter dinner with my family (so sad I couldn’t get down to Florida), I did enjoy quite the indulgent rest day on Saturday and started my Easter off with a hefty dose of candy with breakfast and maintained a steady stream of Starburst Jelly Bean snacking throughout the day. (Why are they so good?)

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First, let’s talk about the holiday itself. If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time at all you know that my food philosophy is based around enjoying life and eating well. While I eat healthy and “clean” most of the time, when it comes to holidays and special occasions I would much rather indulge and celebrate the special time with my loved ones than worry about what I’m eating. You will never see me packing special foods, skipping dessert or passing on the mac and cheese when it comes to a family holiday meal! Life is too short!

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My number one tip about rebounding from an indulgent holiday is to FORGET ABOUT IT! It was worth it and today’s a new day! Also, 99.9% of the time a cheat meal or day isn’t going to cause you to put on 5 pounds. You might feel a little sluggish or hold onto some extra water weight after but you’ll get right back to normal once you jump back into your regular routine.

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My second tip is to kick off the day after with hot lemon water and a green smoothie. The hot lemon water helps with digestion and water retention in addition to other detoxifying benefits. The green smoothie (or juice) will give you a light start with something that is easily digestible but packed with vitamins and nutrients.

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Third, hydrate! If you have a hard time drinking plain water then jazz it up with some fresh fruit, sliced cucumbers or splurge for the sparkly stuff. Try to drink at least half of your bodyweight in ounces of water each day. (Example…if you weight 120 pounds, drink at least 60 ounces per day.) Also, drink several cups of tea throughout the day. My favorites for detox and digestion are dandelion, ginger and green tea.

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Fourth, stock up on healthy foods with a focus on lots of fruits and veggies. I did a mega restock trip at Trader Joe’s last night and brought home half of their produce department! When your fridge is stocked with these things, it’s much easier to get your veggies in and make healthy choices.

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And fifth, SWEAT IT OUT! There’s nothing like a good, sweaty workout to get you feeling like your normal self again. I would recommend something like a hot yoga class, a nice run or a bodyweight/light weight circuit training workout that keeps your heart rate up. Here are a few workout suggestions.

Cinco de Cardio Circuit 
Rainy Day Home Workout
Cardio Strength Interval Workout
20 Minute Bodyweight Tabata
The Running 500 Rep Workout
Burpee Box Jump Chipper Workout

What’s your strategy to rebound from holidays and get back on track with eating and exercise? 

{ 22 comments… add one }
  • 1
    C. April 21, 2014, 11:09 am

    Love this, I definitely need the reminder today. I haven’t tried the lemon water trick in the morning but I’m going to pick up extra lemons at the store tonight and give it a shot!

  • 2
    Brittany @ Proteinandpumps April 21, 2014, 11:13 am

    These are great tips and all things I follow, and will be following this week, as I definitely indulged all weekend!!! Something else that has been working really well for me is a quote from Baron Batptiste, “What will this cause in me?”. This morning at work there were pastries everywhere and i knew one would lead to 5. So asked myself that question and the answer made my decision to walk away so much easier. There’s definitely a time and place to indulge, and the Monday morning after Easter is NOT one of them lol

    • 3
      Jen April 21, 2014, 11:32 am

      i love that quote brittany and thank you for taking the time to share it. and i couldn’t agree more with your time and place comment regarding the monday after easter!

  • 4
    Jojo @ RunFastEatLots April 21, 2014, 11:22 am

    I bounce back from overindulging by eating more veggies! Green smoothies and salads for lunch and light on the meat for dinner.

  • 5
    Ella April 21, 2014, 11:24 am

    Happy Easter! I want to try that strawberry sparkling water! yum.
    Have you watched Forks Over Knives? Or Food Inc.? Or Earthlings? I don’t know, I don’t want to be that “militant” vegan but I don’t know if I could call all the meat and dairy you eat “clean eating.” Over the past couple years I’ve had to re-learn everything I believed was true, and boy have I woke up. I don’t want to seem forceful in my opinions, but if we really open up to what is truly happening with the meat industry we see terrible health outcomes, torture to the animals, and irreversible environmental destruction. I think you are so positively influential in so many ways, I think you could really bring more attention to this compassionate lifestyle choice. Just some food for thought 🙂

    • 6
      Jen April 21, 2014, 11:30 am

      hi ella,

      thanks so much for the comment. i have tried a variety of ways of eating over the 5-7 years (including several years spent eating 90% vegetarian) and i feel that i’ve found a balance that works well for me at this point in my life. this is such a deeply personal topic and i never ask anyone to eat a certain way or advise them to eat just like me. what works is very unique for every person and their bodies and beliefs. i don’t think you can place an exact definition on “clean eating.” while you may feel that my diet is not clean, others believe it’s “too clean.” the line is so blurry! i do believe that education is important, as is trial and error. again, i appreciate the comment and i’m always up for thoughtful discussion!

      have a great week,
      jen

  • 7
    Rachel April 21, 2014, 11:46 am

    Hi, thanks for this post, couldn’t have come at a better time!! As a Catholic, this weekend has been very indulgent, and I’ve also been practicing making my daughter’s birthday cake! Lots of temptation in our house, but tomorrow brings a new day. Plus, life is too short to notreat yourselves and give ourselves a break x

  • 8
    Amanda Bee April 21, 2014, 11:48 am

    These are great tips and very sane/balanced. I find that maintaining healthy habits on a regular basis means I actually crave healthier foods after an indulgent period, to get back to the balance I’m used to. This weekend was pretty indulgent for me, and I’m really craving fruits and veggies today. So far I’ve hit three of your suggestions – just need to get my workout in tonight! 🙂

  • 9
    alicia April 21, 2014, 12:43 pm

    great ideas! I agree, I usually try to enjoy the holiday and then today back to regular eating + exercise. Having some lemon water now!!

  • 10
    She Rocks Fitness April 21, 2014, 12:52 pm

    100% agree with ALL of the above…especially the first one! You indulge, enjoy it, and then forget about it and MOVE ON. 🙂 PS: I missed my family too. Definitely was a little lonely, but surrounded myself with my new friends here. XOXO

  • 11
    Kayley April 21, 2014, 12:54 pm

    I LOVE this post! It’s so refreshing to hear this! I really don’t understand the people who are so strict with their diet! I’ve never found it to be realistic for me or anyone else for that matter. It’s much easier for me to maintain a healthy lifestyle when I allow myself to indulge every once in a while. Especially with family, it can give off this impression that you think you’re better than them when you pack your own healthy foods and won’t participate in family meals just because they aren’t “clean”. I’m a recent Exercise Science grad and working on getting my ACSM Exercise Specialist cert and I always try to explain to people asking me for help that it’s okay to indulge (in moderation) and that it can actually make it much easier to stay on track that way. I personally think the way you eat is a great model. Thanks for always having great tips! Tonight’s workout is your Burpee Box Jump Chipper workout that you posted last week! 🙂

  • 12
    Samantha @ The Faithful Runner April 21, 2014, 1:30 pm

    I love this too! I agree with everything as well. 🙂 I think the warm weather is really motivating to get back in gear and on the right track.

  • 13
    Katie @ Live Half Full April 21, 2014, 2:03 pm

    #1 is something I struggled with for so long- then I realized it was doing me more harm than good. I would feel guilty and let the over-indulging continue for a few days as emotional eating from my guilt. These days I don’t even think twice and just move on with my life- today I stocked up on produce, drank a Kombucha and lots of water and am about to workout! Thanks for the tips!

  • 14
    Claudia April 21, 2014, 2:08 pm

    Thanks for the encouragement, love your blog.

  • 15
    Sara @ LovingOnTheRun April 21, 2014, 4:17 pm

    I just try to forget about the weekend and just start fresh and load up on fruits and veggies!

  • 16
    Claire @ Keeping Up With Claire April 21, 2014, 4:28 pm

    This is a great post! I typically just move on from holiday eating the next day and don’t get wrapped up in what I ate or didn’t eat the day before. I like to think that my healthy day-to-day lifestyle is more than enough to balance out an indulgent meal or a day of indulgent meals. It makes me sad to hear of people “fasting” around holidays in order to prepare for them. That takes all the fun away! I also try to workout in the morning before holiday festivities and then enjoy myself! That’s why I looooove turkey trots. They always make Thanksgiving indulgences easy. 😉

  • 17
    Hilary April 21, 2014, 7:46 pm

    To rebound from holidays I just simply get back to my normal schedule! I eat the same as I usually do just add more greens and less processed things! I agree holidays are not a time to worry about your diet but indulge !

  • 18
    Rebekah {aCricketSang} April 22, 2014, 8:21 am

    It can be hard with everyone bringing their left over Easter candy and desserts to the office, but bringing healthy snacks all week can help fight the urge!

  • 19
    Tara | Treble in the Kitchen April 22, 2014, 11:32 am

    YES!! Love these tips, sleep, working out, eating veggies, and drinking water ALWAYS help me out 🙂

  • 20
    Lauren April 22, 2014, 4:21 pm

    love love love this post. “Forget about it!” – how simple and refreshing and true!

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