Workout After St. Patricks Day
People often ask how do you get back to your workout after St. Patricks Day ? Let’s be honest, it’s a great question because people often overdo the drinking on this fun day. They say that “everyone’s Irish” on St. Patrick’s Day. Unfortunately, for many of us, getting into an Irish state of mind involves plenty of unhealthy indulgences like beer (green or otherwise), white potatoes, Irish soda bread, green bagels, corned beef and cabbage, and yes, even Shamrock Shakes.
If you tend to party a little too hearty on St. Patrick’s Day, don’t panic. Here’s a game plan for surviving the holiday and not losing sight of your fitness goals. Here, I’ll offer some tips for proactively planning for some St. Patrick’s day fun, and how to get back on track ASAP.
Before the holiday:
Work out before the festivities begin. Particularly if you know or suspect you’re going to indulge on St. Patrick’s Day, get in a workout earlier in the day. Not only will it make you feel better, but it will kick-start your metabolism so that you’ll be in better shape to burn the calories you consume later.
Don’t deprive yourself. Some people may be tempted to make a bold statement like “I’m not going to drink any beer or eat any carbs on St. Patrick’s Day.” Usually, statements like this are just setting yourself up for failure. Being committed to fitness doesn’t meant that you can’t have a good time; being honest with yourself will help you avoid feeling like a failure later.
Have a game plan ahead of time. Before you go into celebratory mode, have a game plan. For instance, you might decide to have 2 or 3 beers, or to treat yourself to a Shamrock Shake. By deciding what kind of “cheat” you want to really indulge in, you’ll be better able to stick to it and to curtail the “all or nothing” bingeing that can really add up to trouble.
Think: corned beef and cabbage. Be sure to include some of that corned beef and cabbage in your celebration: the cabbage is great for digestion, and the protein in the corned beef can provide satiety that will keep you from reaching for sweets or carb overloading.
After you indulge:
If possible, take a walk. Taking a short walk after indulging on St. Patrick’s Day will do you a lot of good. For one thing, it will rev your metabolism and promote good digestion so any toxins can move through your system.
Hydrate before bed. Be sure to hydrate! When we “cheat,” the foods and drinks tend to be high in salt, which can promote water retention, which will make you feel bloated. Be sure to drink plenty of water to help flush the system and prevent water weight.
Sleep adequately. Help yourself get back on track by getting enough sleep. If that means sleeping in a little bit, then allow yourself that luxury. You might feel a little gross in the morning, but trust me, inadequate sleep will only make it worse!
Don’t starve yourself. It can be tempting to “make up” for the calories in all that Irish soda bread by starving yourself the next day. Don’t do it! Not only will this wreak havoc on your metabolism, but it might lead you to binge. Don’t get caught in that unproductive cycle. Eat a sensible, high protein diet to get yourself back on track and to keep your metabolism working. Try my 5 minute chocolate banana nut butter smoothie recipe for a nutrient-dense meal replacement, or check out the offerings from our partner, Diet To Go, to help you stay on track.
Get in a light workout. The day after you indulge, do try to get in a light workout. Emphasis on the word light. There’s no need to go nuts or punish yourself, particularly if you’re feeling bloated or sluggish. But by moving your body you’ll be setting a good groundwork to hit it hard the next day!
Know that you’ll feel better tomorrow! Listen, the day after indulging or “cheating” usually doesn’t feel great. You’ll feel tired, sluggish, and bloated. This is actually a testament to your commitment to healthy living–if you’re generally treating your body well, you can see how bad it feels to fuel it poorly. However, after a day or so, particularly if you follow these tips, you’ll be back on track.
Everyone needs a break every now and again. Just because you’re committed to fitness doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t enjoy yourself. By giving yourself permission to indulge a little bit, it can have a beneficial psychological effect. Letting yourself “cheat” every now and again can actually be effective at helping you stay on track, so enjoy St. Patrick’s Day!
How do you bounce back after a day of holiday indulgence?