Okay, it’s July 5th and you’re probably full of hot dogs, hamburgers, potato chips and beer (if you’re vegan, then I’m sure you’re full of beanburgers, kale chips and fermented wheatgrass). And there is a big chance that you’re feeling regretful about all the awful, horrible eating you did over the last few days.
Eh. whatever. You’ll be fine.
I’m telling you the truth when I say that temporary indulging is not going to set you back unless you allow it to. A few hundred or even a few thousand extra calories consumed over 72 hours is not going to make you into a fat mess (that’s what you’re thinking, not my words) unless you make a choice to avoid physical activity and continue eating more than your body can consume.
Post-holidays is not the time to start some goofy crash diet or to spend 3 hours in the gym as penance for everything you ate. Neither is it the time to get depressed and give up on exercising because you fell “off the wagon” and sabotaged your progress thus far. Both of these extremes are counterproductive and the result of emotion dominating over mathematics, thermodynamics and logic. Overexerting yourself at the gym is just going to make you sore and more prone to avoid subsequent workouts. Avoiding the gym is just going to spin you deeper into self-sorrow and guilt.
All you have to do is just go back to you normal system of eating within your body budget and being moderately active every day. In case you don’t believe me, take the following example:
A person eats 2000 calories per day. During the holiday weekend, they eat an extra 750 calories per day for 3 days. This results in an extra 2250 calories over the weekend. If the person normally is at metabolic equilibrium at 2000 calories/day, we can calculate that the extra calories can be balanced out by an extra 200 to 400 calories per day. This means that in 5 to 11 days you’ll be back to where you were before the holiday binge. No crazy diets, no insane workout schedule.
(For those who may be wondering how much 200 to 400 calories equates to, its roughly 30 minutes of fast walking or swimming depending on your weight and body composition.)
Don’t feel bad, don’t repent, just go back to your normal workout and move around a little more. Be patient, be persistent, and you’ll be back to your old self (or better) way before the next holiday rolls around.