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Feeling guilty about that giant ice cream sundae you enjoyed at your niece’s birthday party? Don’t beat yourself up! It takes a lot of calories—3,500—to gain a pound of body fat. So, don’t dwell on that little splurge. It’s about what you do the next day and the day after that’s really important—so don’t stay off-track. So be sure to whittle away at those extra calories over the next day or two, preferably by boosting exercise rather than eating too little. Starvation is not the healthy answer!
The best way to turn your cheat day around is to not dwell on it. It’s one day, and it doesn’t define you. What you do the next day is what counts. So, get back on track by eating healthy meals and snacks and by getting in some exercise. And, remember, it will take a few days to work off those extra calories, so don’t try to do it all at once. A slow and steady approach is best.
Here are some tips for getting back on track:
1. Get Moving
The best way to work off those extra calories is to get moving and boost your metabolism. Exercise is key to weight loss, so aim for a workout that gets your heart rate up and makes you sweat. A 45-minute HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) session can help you burn off those cheat day calories quickly and effectively.
Get in some exercise every day—even if it’s just a brisk walk around the neighborhood or some jumping jacks while watching TV. Exercise will help boost your metabolism even more and help you work off those extra calories from your cheat day.
2. Eat three meals and two snacks spaced evenly throughout the day.
This will help boost your metabolism and keep your energy levels up. And be sure to include lean protein, healthy fats, and complex carbs at every meal and snack.
3. Cut Back Elsewhere
If you’re not up for a sweaty workout, then cut back elsewhere in your diet. For the next day or two, focus on eating lean proteins and lots of veggies at meals, and cut out unnecessary snacks. This will help balance out the extra calories you consumed and put you back on track.
4. Drink Lots of Water
Cheat days can leave you feeling bloated and sluggish, so be sure to drink plenty of water to help flush your system. Drinking water will also help control hunger levels, so you’re less likely to overeat. Aim for eight 8-ounce glasses per day. Add lemon slices or mint leaves to your water for an even bigger metabolism boost.
One cheat day won’t ruin all your hard work—so don’t let it derail your healthy eating and exercise habits. Just get back on track the next day by eating healthy meals and snacks spaced evenly throughout the day and by getting in some exercise every day. Soon enough, those extra calories will be gone!
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