Weekend binge? How to ditch the guilt and get your health goals back on track

Had a big junk food spree? Haven’t exercised in months? You don’t need to let a bump in the road derail your health and wellness goals for good.

Here are some simple tricks to gently get yourself back on track if you’ve committed a health “sin”.

You’ve had a big weekend junk food binge

Sydney-based dietitian and nutritionist Rachel Hawkins says it’s important to try not to feel guilty after a binge.

Instead, try to focus on nourishing your body.

“Never restrict food to ‘make up’ for a binge as this will only increase the likelihood of future binges,” says Rachel.

Being too strict when it comes to food can lead to an increased risk in binge episodes.

“Allow yourself permission to eat small amounts of your favourite junk food daily if that is what you want,” says Rachel.

“Remove the fear and guilt that can be associated with eating ‘junk food’ and see it for what it really is … food, which is fuel for your body.”

You can’t remember the last time you exercised

Whether it’s boredom, laziness or being time poor, it’s all too easy for exercise to become less of a priority.

The most effective way to get your fitness goals back on track is to take the time to ask yourself “why”, says Sydney fitness expert Gavin Aquilina.

“What is your end goal? Why do you want to achieve this? How are you going to achieve this not just physically but emotionally? Answering questions like these can help you to find your way,” says Gavin, PT operations manager at Vision Personal Training.

You’re drinking a lot of alcohol throughout the week

You don’t have to give up drinking completely but “any reduction in drinking will be beneficial for your health”, says Rachel.

She says it’s a good idea to implement a few non-drinking days throughout the week and if you’ve got into the habit of having a few glasses of wine after work, she suggests doing something else like going for a walk, having a bath or opting for a non-alcoholic drink instead.

You’re living on a diet of takeaway

If you want to give Uber Eats a rest then it might be time to adopt some good ol’ fashioned meal planning.

Rachel advises prepping your meals in advance by cooking in bulk and freezing meals so that you can pull them out and reheat when needed.

Also having your fridge and pantry stocked with a wide variety of healthy foods (including quick and easy meal ingredients) may also help to reduce the likelihood of ordering takeaway.

You spend more time watching Netflix than moving around

Finding time to watch TV but not being active might signal that what you’re doing isn’t enjoyable.

“Staying active should not feel like a chore, but rather, something that we enjoy doing,” says Gavin.

“Put simply, ‘exercise made fun, gets done’.”

He suggests training with others – find a gym buddy or work out with a group or trainer to help make exercise something to look forward to.

If you really can’t bear to be parted from your favourite show, then take Netflix with you! Gavin says you can easily watch an episode while walking on a treadmill or cycling on a stationary bike.

Written by Tania Gomez.