The Fourth of July holiday has come and gone, but the pounds you packed on over the weekend probably haven’t. Did your plan to eat light turn into the perfect time to indulge – with barbecue, potato salad, baked beans, and cake? Did your promise to drink just two glasses of wine turned into a wine tasting? To keep your body from gaining extra weight, you’ve got to have a plan in place to burn off some of those holiday calories and steer yourself back to health.
This five-step post-holiday health “reset” strategy is just what you need to recover after a day (or more) of Fourth of July feasting!
Reset Step 1: Empty that fridge!
The Fourth of July holiday is over, but your fridge is probably still full. If you hosted a party for your friends and family, your refrigerator may be over-flowing with unhealthy high-fat, high-calorie leftovers.
ACTION: Start with a clean slate. Instead of letting leftovers linger, pack them up and take them to work for co-workers to enjoy.
Reset Step 2: Stock up on healthy food options.
Once your fridge has been cleared of tempting goodies, it’s time to bring in the healthy stuff. Replace holiday leftovers with healthier, low-fat items. Be sure to include a good mix of the following foods:
- Fruits & vegetables
- Lean meats & low-fat dairy products
- Whole grain breads
- Legumes, nuts, and seeds
ACTION: Turn to these items instead of processed foods when making meals. The sooner you make the switch, the easier it will be to lose any weight you have gained.
Reset Step 3: Be your own Chef!
To get back to healthier habits, you need to cut back on calories and fast meals. Restaurant food tends to be high in salt, fat, and calories—the very things you need to avoid. It’s much easier to eat healthy when you cook meals at home.
ACTION: Make a plan to limit dining out in the coming months. If you must eat out, skip appetizers and dessert.
Reset Step 4: Combine friendship and fitness.
If you failed to exercise your willpower over the Fourth of July holiday, chances are some of your friends and co-workers did too. Instead of complaining about it, why not workout together? Knowing that you have a girlfriend for support can help with accountability, ensuring you won’t skip your workouts. Plus, your workout partner will likely be encouraged by the same goal that you are: to get back on track to better health and fitness as soon as possible.
ACTION: Challenge your girlfriends to eat healthy and workout with you.
Reset Step 5: Be kind to yourself.
Don’t beat yourself up for over-indulging. Give yourself credit for putting a post-holiday health reset plan in place.
ACTION: Don’t wait for 2016 to make changes to your health habits. Starting now can lead to success for the remainder of the 2015 holiday season, and will make your new year’s resolutions easier to keep. You may have slipped up by over-indulging this Fourth of July, but that’s not the worst you could’ve done. The worst thing you can do to sabotage yourself is give up or do nothing at all. Pull yourself up by your sling-backs and get to work! Lean on your girlfriends for support and let the mutual motivation and shared inspiration ensure you really have something to celebrate in 2016.
Kai Stansberry is Co-founder of Fit for Soul, a community organization empowering women to achieve their health goals with unstoppable faith and determination. Fit for Soul envisions a future in which we, as a community, build a culture of health-conscious women who understand how to live well balanced lives. Join the Fit for Soul movement at fitforsoul.org.