So you over-indulged… Now what? The last thing you should do is feel guilty, or punish yourself with brutal workouts and/or severely restricting food. I happened. Time to move the hell on.
It happens to everyone, even us fitness pros. You go on vacation, attend a wedding, celebrate your birthday, and you don’t stick to your nutritional plan (because you’re human, and life is meant to be enjoyed), and now you’re feeling bloated, lethargic, and gassy. Well, I have good news.
I can help.
I’ve got a few strategies to help you overcome the nutritional debauchery you engaged in. You can use just one, or intermix them, it’s really going to be based on how you feel while doing them.
I know, a few lines up I literally said not to punish yourself with severely restricting food, but intention is everything. That bloat you’re experiencing is due to digestive discomfort. You probably ate some foods that were irritating to your digestive tract and now you’re suffering the consequences. Fasting, in this sense, is not meant to be a punishment, but as a way to give your poor body a break from digesting altogether. You can safely fast for 12-36 hrs. If you’re new to fasting, start small. If you have a bit more experience, and already know you feel good while fasting, go for the longer time.
Fasting should make you feel more aware and lighter. It should be a pleasant experience. If you can’t keep your mind off food, are having headaches, and not feeling well; it’s time to break the fast and eat.
Stick to liquids.
This is not my attempt to plug some idiotic juice cleanse. I absolutely do not recommend doing them, (Adam Bornstein sums it up nicely here).
Again, digestive discomfort. Food in liquid form is MUCH easier for your body to digest. I recommend using a high quality protein as your shake base, and then add whole, nutritionally dense foods; fruits, veggies (avoid the cruciferous stuff; broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts), ground flax seed, coconut oil, and cacao nibs.
You’ll be eliminating the irritating foods and giving your digestive system a little help by giving it a liquid diet, rather than actually eating the whole foods.
And hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. The more water, the better.
Glutamine and probiotics can both be helpful with bloating. Glutamine has been seen to actually help heal an irritated digestive tract, and the probiotics bring the good bacteria back to your gut, which will help get things moving again.
Cut the crap.
Stick to foods you know make your belly feel good. Any foods you know cause distress, you should avoid as much as possible, but at the very least, for the next few days after you overindulged. Keep your sodium intake to a minimum as well.
I hope you find these strategies useful, as travel and wedding season are upon us. Go out there, eat clean, train hard, and enjoy your indulgences when they occur. Don’t let them set you back.