Student Spotlight: Rachel Duncan, University of Pittsburgh 2016
Everyone has experienced the “day after” a day of indulgence when we may have enjoyed a few too many treats. Whether it’s a birthday party, vacation, or holiday weekend, there is nothing wrong with an occasional day where we don’t track our food intake, but it can be tempting to compensate the next day or to punish yourself for losing track of your health and fitness goals. When this happens, the most important thing to do is get right back into our healthy lifestyle routine. In order to help you do that, here are some tips about what to do the day after a binge:First of all, when the binge is happening, try not to lose control. People often find themselves in the mindset that once they’ve eaten one thing that they shouldn’t have, the rest of their day is a free for all because they’ve already gotten off track for the day. Having one treat should not ruin your day, and the sooner you stop the binge the less damage you do. Treat yourself with what you want the most, and then use self discipline to stop continued binging. Be resilient!If and when a binge does happen, don’t punish yourself the next day. Move on! You can reflect on why or how your eating go out of hand to learn from it, but other than that don’t be hung up on the day before. Be kind to yourself, and stay motivated to get back on track.Don’t skip breakfast. You may wake up the next morning feeling bloated and guilty, but skipping meals the next day will not do anything to help combat a day of over eating. Cutting calories or skipping meals entirely is not an effective strategy to compensate for the excess calories you consumed the day before. Get right back into your routine of simple, nutritious meals and you will be feeling back to normal in no time.Stick to small meals the next day full of a variety of nutrients and fiber. Your body is going to respond best to a balanced diet made up of fruits, leafy greens, lean protein, oils and nuts, and whole grains. It’s also very important to make sure you are drinking lots of water. Aim for a minimum of 90 fluid ounces for the day.Focus on resilience, and don’t beat yourself up about a day of indulgence! Days like these are part of normal eating and part of life. They are nothing to feel guilty about. Take the necessary steps to get back into your healthy and balanced lifestyle, and eat according to your health and fitness goals. Your body will thank you!
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