So, you ate your body weight in Easter Eggs this long weekend? Yup me too. Chocolate is the one thing I find super hard to resist and once I start, I'm kinda like Augustus Gloop from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. So if you're anything like me and feeling a little more like a Hot Cross Bun than just plain hot, here's our top 5 tips for getting back on track.
Step 1. Move On
Sounds a bit harsh I know, but my first tip is actually about being kind to yourself. If you spend the next week wailing about how bad you feel and punishing yourself, you're sabotaging your chances of getting back on track. It's done, you enjoyed it and now it's time to forgive yourself and move on. If you keep beating yourself up about it, your self confidence and your mood take a nosedive and guess what? If you're feeling crappy there's a far greater chance you're gonna stay in sloth mode and reach for the left over chocolate bunnies. Which brings me to point number 2.....
Step 2. Stop. Just stop.
It only takes 3 days to form a habit and sugar is crazy additive, so if you got stuck into those Easter treats before the East Bunny arrived, you've already begun to form a habit. The quickest way to derail your health and fitness goals is to say to yourself 'Oh well, I've buggered it up this weekend, I may as well give myself the rest of the week off.' By the time this week is over and the weekend has rolled around again, you've basically hard wired into your brain that you need that sweet treat with your afternoon tea/after dinner/right after breakfast or whatever. This is going to make getting back on track even harder still.
When a person consumes sugar, just like any food, it activates the tongue's taste receptors. Then, signals are sent to the brain, lighting up reward pathways and causing a surge of feel-good hormones, like dopamine, to be released. Sugar "hijacks the brain’s reward pathway," neuroscientist Jordan Gaines Lewis explained. And while stimulating the brain's reward system with a piece of chocolate now and then is pleasurable and probably harmless, when the reward system is activated too much and too frequently, we start to run into problems."Over-activating this reward system kickstarts a series of unfortunate events -- loss of control, craving, and increased tolerance to sugar," neuroscientist Nicole Avena explained. You can see more of her TED ed video here.*
Don't let one weekend of overindulgence completely throw you off course. The sooner you can get back into your usual routine the better, and that means no more chocolate in abundance.
Step 3. Get Rid Of It
Unless you have some sort of superhuman level of willpower, if it's in the house, you're gonna eat it. You'll probably notice that over the next few days you're really craving a sweet treat by the afternoon (remember the last point about sugar being highly addictive?) so by removing temptation altogether, you're much more likely to be successful. If you can't possibly bring yourself to throw it away, donate it, give it to family and friends or break it up, freeze it and use next time you're baking.
Step 4. Get Moving
We all know the incredible benefits of exercise. Apart from the obvious benefits of burning off all those Easter eggs,
a quick jog around the block or even just a half hour of resistance training is going to increase your circulation, giving your bodies detoxifying abilities a boost. Plus it will do wonders for your mood. If you really hit it hard, i'd suggest a few high intensity cardio classes a H.I.I.T circuit or a heavy resistance workout. Our Teen Fitness Challenge has downloadable cardio & resistance workouts that are fun and require no equipment. Plus, we have an exercise index that shows a viideo of every exercise to help you really nail your technique. Want to know how much exercise you'll need to do to burn off those Easter treats? Check out this article
For a FREE 35min toning and sculpting workout click here
Step 5. Get Back On Track
Like I've already said; don't let one weekend of overindulgence completely derail your efforts. The sooner you can get back to your usual routine the better. I am absolutely not a fan of 'detoxes' or 'cleanses' but if you swear by your green smoothie, go for it. Just make sure you're drinking plenty of water, staying away from sugary or overly caffeinated drinks (don't get me wrong, i'm a serious coffee lover -just steer clear of the Venti Caramel Latte with extra whip) eat plenty of fresh leafy vegetables, wholegrains and lean protein.
*Extract from Huffington Post article This Is What Sugar Does To Your Brain