When I lost all my excuses, I found all my results.
After a long, strenuous week, it’s Friday! The work week is over, and it is time to relax and leave some of the stress behind. During the week, you remained focused and diligent, not just on work, but on yourself. Your nutrition was spot on, and you hit the gym 3 out of 5 days. You are feeling great and motivated, and there is nothing that can slow you down!
Saturday comes along, and your friends invite you to a party. No big deal; socializing is part of a healthy lifestyle. When you get there, you are feeling confident that you have found balance and can enjoy yourself while maintaining the moderation that has gotten you here.
Immediately, the smell hits you. All of your favorite snacks are there along with pizza, subs, and all types of alcohol, like the world ends tomorrow. You try your best, but you give in, and 3 glasses of wine, 2 slices of pizza, and 2 cookies later, you’re on the couch in an immovable heap of a food coma. Now, there are a few scenarios that follow this.
- You wake up the next morning, feeling guilty about your decisions the previous day, and decide to continue down that path. You figure, “I will just start again Monday,” and add pancakes to the mix the next morning.
- You overreact and eat little to nothing the next day. You think this will help but, on Monday, you feel even worse than before, and your workout goes terribly.
- You acknowledge that it was one meal and that it has little to no effect on all of the hard work you put in. You wake up the next morning, hydrate (you all know why), and you kick it back into gear.
Getting Back on Track with Diet & Exercise
When we hear the phrase “falling off track,” many of us see this as an insurmountable mistake. Not only have we fallen off track, but the train is cascading down a hill that creates a new uphill battle.
The reality of the situation is that one meal did not knock you off a cliff. One meal merely tilted you off one wheel for a small fraction of time. The only way for the train to fall completely off the tracks is for you, as the conductor, to allow this to happen.
Acknowledging that it was one meal, or a single night out, and not allowing yourself to use this as an excuse to continue down your current path makes a large difference. Tilt the balance back by waking up and eating a high quality, nutritious breakfast, and hit the gym for a satisfying workout!
Staying Motivated on a Diet & Exercise Program
Staying motivated and keeping on track can be difficult, but it is not remotely impossible. Much like anything in life, there will be bumps along the way that provide immense challenges. Having a plan going into these situations will turn this so-called disaster into an enjoyable and necessary social experience. Here are some tips to not only stay on track but to also keep moving forward!
Here are some tips to help you stay motivated & stay on track:
Workout Before Going Out and Socializing
- Most of the time when we go out, it is not until at the very least the early afternoon
- Take the time to wake up in the morning, eat well, hydrate a lot, and toss in a great workout
- Working out before these events will increase your metabolism, increasing muscular demand for those potentially bad calories, and even reduce your cravings for them
- Make good use of the calories to come, and start the day with activity and good decisions!
Eat and Hydrate Before You Go
- Most of the time when we go to social events, we typically plan to eat until it hurts
- This is a huge mistake, because going into a social event hungry will increase cravings and the possibility of binging
- On top of your morning workout, try to have as much high quality nutrition as you can before you go, including:
- Lean protein such as chicken, fish, eggs and egg whites
- Lots of vegetables
- Healthy fats like avocado and nuts
- Some fruit or low glycemic carbs such as quinoa or sweet potato
- Lots of water
- The more satisfied you feel going into the social event, the less likely you are to go all out
Workout Afterwards, or the Next Day
- Working out as soon as you can, after a cheat meal or event, can help you immediately make use of the calories and steer you in the right direction
- Instead of slamming down more bad food the next morning, get up and go to the gym
- Even a light workout will help you release endorphins that help you think positively of the food you had, and allow you to carry on with your nutrition and exercise regimen right away
Have a Motivation Buddy
- Having someone with the same mentality as you can be very helpful
- If you are going to a party or event with a spouse, friend, or family member, have each other’s back
- Try to support one another by making realistic goals going in and sticking to them as best you can
- Make plans together to go to the gym in the morning before or the morning after the event
- Keep each other accountable, and you will succeed!
Have Healthy Meals Planned out for After the Social Event
- Meal prepping is essential to eating well consistently
- Having healthy meals prepared for when you get back from these events will ensure that you have quick, easy access to the food you need to be eating again
- Life is about taking in these fun, slightly glutinous moments and appreciating them
- Living in the moment is key here
- By living in the moment, you can get what you need out of these less healthy decisions, and make them fit well into your lifestyle
All in all, enjoy life and maintain a balanced approach. No one can push you off the tracks. Staying on path is up to you, and these tools will make it much easier.
Finding Motivation – In Conclusion
We all live busy lives and aren’t always able to say no to socializing with friends and family, but “don’t’ get so busy making a life that you forget to live it”. Enjoy life, but remember to maintain a healthy balance.
If you are going out, be sure to plan ahead:
- Enjoy a morning workout and a healthy breakfast
- Keep hydrated
- Have healthy meals ready for after
- Always have a motivation partner
- Don’t guilt yourself the next day
Having a healthy mindset and being able to recognize that one night does not ruin all of your progress is the best way to keep yourself on track and motivated. Your Cenegenics Nutrition & Exercise Counselor is also a great source of motivation when you are feeling overwhelmed by your choices from a night out.
Our customized nutrition and exercise programs are designed to help optimize your health & wellness, taking into account your current lifestyle. Your Cenegenics team is here to help you every step of the way. To learn more, contact your nearest Cenegenics location.
Next Steps to Staying Motivated with Cenegenics
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About the Author
Joshua D’Alessandro - MS, CSCS, CISSN
Nutrition & Exercise Counselor at Cenegenics New York City
My name is Joshua D'Alessandro and I am an Exercise and Nutrition Counselor for Cenegenics in NY. My passion for fitness began at a very young age and has manifested into a career filled with possibilities. The countries largest epidemic, and quite possibly the root cause of most issues, is diminishing health. In my career, I hope to do everything and anything I can to improve the well being and lives of the people around me!
This guide was produced with contributions from the following key resources:
The Cenegenics Education and Research Foundation
The Textbook of Age Management Medicine Volume 1: Mastering Healthy Aging Nutrition, Exercise and Hormone Replacement Therapy
Jeffrey Park Leake, M.D., CPT
Dr. Jeffrey Park Leake is a Partner and Director of Education at Cenegenics Elite Health specializing in age management and wellness. Having trained hundreds of physicians worldwide, Dr. Leake is also the Director of Education for the Clinical Strategies for Healthy Aging course at AMM Educational Foundation.
Todd David Greenberg, M.D., CSCS
Dr. Todd Greenberg is a practicing physician with a broad range of expertise, including wellness, exercise, sports injuries, and MRI of sports injuries. He is a Radiology Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Washington.