The sun is playing hide and seek, the champagne has been vacuum-sealed, and the food coma has come to a halt. Yes, that’s right, Easter has come and gone and we’re all back to some sort of (stay at home) reality.
The time has come when many of us wish we could change the number of Easter eggs that we’ve indulged in over the past 24 hours. While there’s nothing wrong with some indulgence, we know that many of you have fitness goals you’d like to meet this side of summer.
No matter how many times you shut your eyes, click your heels together three times and recite ‘I wish I had saved that last chocolate bunny’, there is no magic fix to turn back the time.
Fear not, we’re here to provide some wisdom on how to feel healthier in just five simple steps so that you can get back on track, whether that be with controlling your macros, re-energising to complete your home workout sessions or getting you through a spring clean.
1. Don’t go cold turkey
This first step might surprise you, but we don’t advise cutting out the chocolate completely. Removing all chocolate from your diet is likely to make you crave sugary foods more than you did pre-Easter.
Of course, if you really feel it’s best to eliminate it from your diet, then feel free to activate your will power. We’re just saying that you don’t need to stop eating chocolate completely.
Why not try saving your chocolate fix until the evening when you could eat a serving of mini eggs?
2. Focus on wholegrains
The term ‘wholegrain’ refers to the grain being used in its entire form, including the outer layer, inner layer and starchy layer. These grains are generally high in fibre and low in GI, meaning they’ll keep you feeling satiated for longer because the energy is released into your blood slowly.
How does this help you to feel healthier? Feeling full for longer should make you stop and think whether you truly need that leftover chocolate egg or whether you’re only looking for emotional comfort through food.
Remember the days when you used to be in bed by 11pm and up at 6am for a pre-work workout?
It may seem like a distant memory as life hasn’t been the same for many of us recently, but there’s no reason why we can’t adapt our sleeping pattern, just as we’ve adapted our working pattern. Figure out a sleeping routine that fits around your new schedule and stick to it, then make sure you timetable in downtime to wind down before bed.
It won’t take long before you’re feeling healthier and more energised to tackle that solo half marathon.
If you’re already well-acquainted with cardio sessions, then you know you’re not exactly hungry straight after a tough session. It’s probably not the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the benefits of exercising (we dream of the protein pancakes that we’ll be refuelling with), but exercise can act as an appetite suppressant.1
It’s not just the quelling of your appetite that makes exercise such a great way to feel healthier. There’s the physical evidence of your workout, be it sweating, stiff muscles, feeling out of breath and the feel-good endorphins.
Exercise isn’t an activity that should be seen as a punishment, it’s an achievement. Your health will thank you after you move your body in whatever way makes you happy. So, stop worrying about what you did at the weekend and start enjoying what you’re doing right now.
Six to eight glasses of liquid a day keeps the hydration doctor away! It might not be an official slogan and we may have made it up (we’re budding poets, we know) but the NHS do advise a minimum of six to eight glasses of fluid per day in the UK.
Not only will keeping up your fluid intake make you feel less hungry — mild dehydration can come across as hunger – but you will also feel healthier as water is one of life’s necessities to keep our bodies healthy and functioning correctly.
Take home message
These tips can easily be slotted into anyone’s lifestyle, whether you choose to gradually start one tip at a time or start them all.
There’s no need to look back and beat yourself up for eating your way through your chocolate stash, but if you need a helping hand to get back on track, then try one tip at a time to feel back to your usual self.
Before you know it, you’ll be feeling right as rain and ready to tackle whatever workout we throw at you next.