The nu-train “Survival Series” has you gotten you through a day of rest stops, concession stands, and airports - this issue is dedicated to guiding back from a day of diet-disasters. Of course, when it comes to excess, the first step in the line of defense is prevention, but even the most nutritionally savvy will tell you a “bad-eating-day” is an avoidable delay in a long-term healthful program. After prevention, the most important next-step is acceptance, and finally, repair. The key to tackling the day gone overboard is not to allow the stress and disappointments of the excess to continue to sabotage your healthful intentions.
Every one of my clients has his or her own version of a day gone overboard; therefore, I have suggested a few ways to pull back the reigns, regardless of what has ensued.
In addition to the nutrition options below, remember these suggestions
- At the moment you’ve recognized you’ve gone too far, STOP. Don’t dwell on the guilt or the repercussions, just CLOSE YOUR MOUTH.
- If you are able, try moving your body for thirty minutes. Even if it’s a slow walk, at least it will be a half an hour that are not eating
- Understanding that exercise after “a little too much” is impossible at times, try to make it the first thing you do the next morning.
- As soon as you are able, get some rest. More often than not, days of bad choices are induced by lack of sleep.
- Avoid letting one day overboard turn into 48 hours, a week, a month. A few bad choices should not give you license to abandon ship all together.
- Don’t bother weighing yourself “the-day-after” it’s not worth the stress. Wait until you feel better, you’ve exercised, and any noticeable water retention has passed.
I have mapped out a few meal choices to help put the bad day to rest. These “meals” can be your set-your-clock “reliables”, whether it’s dinner that night or breakfast or lunch the day after. Over the few hours following the “wreck”, try to avoid consuming any one ingredient in excess, including salt, sugar, nutra-sweet, and caffeine.
If you just want something savory:
- Three egg whites scrambled with one ounce of low-fat cheese, tomatoes and basil.
- Three ounces fresh sliced turkey wrapped around one ounce of low-fat cheddar cheese, Dijon mustard and lettuce
- One cup of reduced-sodium tomato soup with one ounce of melted cheese (and spinach, if available)
- Four “Health-is-Wealth” chicken nuggets dipped in ketchup, celery and carrot sticks
- Grilled chicken breast or fish over simple salad with reduced-fat and sodium Caesar dressing
If it’s sweet and salty you’re after:
- Three egg whites scrambled with one piece of Laughing Cow Light cheese and one-tablespoon low-sugar strawberry jam
- One to two ounces low-fat hard cheddar cheese with 2 teaspoons of fig paste or three fresh dates
- Half of a heated La Tortilla spread with one-tablespoon peanut butter
- Half-cup cottage cheese, 6 crushed almonds, Splenda and cinnamon
- Apple with one-tablespoon peanut butter
When only sweet will do:
- Half-cup cottage cheese, one-third cup All-Bran, one-tablespoon light maple syrup and fruit
- One Balance Bar or Luna Bar of your choice
- One Dannon Light yogurt (any flavor) with 4 crushed almonds and one third-cup All-Bran and berries
- Hot chocolate made with skim or 1% milk, or Silk Soy milk (I recommend Skim Plus or 1% Plus milk), unsweetened cocoa, Splenda.
- One Kashi waffle with one-third cup cottage cheese and one-tablespoon light maple syrup
: Don’t try to tackle all your nutritional basics in one meal. I have designed these as fresh-start options to steer you back on track. After you have balanced out a bit, try to focus on eating lean meats, fresh fruits and vegetables, and low-fat dairy options. You WILL feel better soon enough; your nightmarish day will be forgotten; and your body will feel like your own again.
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