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5 ways to get back to healthy eating after the Easter weekend

Indulging once in awhile is completely healthy and normal, especially around times such as Easter and Christmas.

Generally, one day or even a few days of overindulgence will most likely not set us too far off track. But too many times, overindulging can also cause feelings of guilt, failure or frustration. This can make returning to our regular routine more difficult. Slowly restarting with parts of our normal, regular routine (over a few days or weeks) can make the transition easier and less stressful for us all. Here are five ways to get us back on track:

1. Avoid the "give-up" attitude. Many times, it's easy to throw in the towel after a few unhealthy meals or days of eating. You may feel that you have "ruined" your day by an unhealthy meal, but that doesn't mean you can't make positive choices the rest of the day. Everyone makes mistakes or gives into temptations, that's a normal part of being a human being. But if you're trying to eat healthy or lose weight, a few slips are okay. Don't give-up just because you indulged more than usual. If you have slipped-up, try to immediately think of the next healthy choice or lifestyle behaviour that you can make.

2. Forgive yourself. Overeating or overindulging, especially over a few days, can make you feel really guilty or like you have failed your healthy eating plan. But that's not true. You haven't failed anything and there is nothing to feel guilty about. Remember, overeating and indulging in some unhealthier foods is part of normal eating. The difference between a "cheat meal" and completely falling off the wagon is how fast you can get back into the routine. Remember that all is not lost if you get off track, simply get right back on to the healthy routine.

3. Start noting your goals. The original goals you may have had or were working toward, might seem much further off after overindulging. But you can get right back on track by rewriting your goals and how you plan to meet them. This little refresher can help get you motivated. Review your old goals and think about how you might want to change them long-term. Also, consider if you should change how you are going to meet those goals. You can also use your journal to note and keep track of your food and drinks as well. Keeping a record will make you accountable.

4. Plan in your meals and exercise. Sometimes the amount of changes you need to make to get back to your normal routine can feel overwhelming. However, making a schedule or plan can make it seem more manageable. Try scheduling in your physical activity during the week. Write out which days you're going to workout, at what time, and for how long.Write up a meal plan for your healthy meals and snacks. This will give you the framework for the weekly shop and healthy eating. (Use the food plans and recipes to help guide you and give you ideas.)

5. Cook and prepare meals at home. Eating and preparing all your meals and snacks at home will help you control the ingredients in each of the dishes. This will allow you the freedom to add in lots of lean protein, fruits, vegetables and whole grains without added salt or fat that can be found in restaurant meals. In addition to cooking meals at home, use cooking techniques and methods that are lower calorie or lower fat. Avoid cooking in a lot of oil or butter or using higher fat. To make home cooking easier, go to the supermarket and stock up on your favourite healthy foods. Try to purchase: lean protein, low-fat dairy, whole grains, fruits, and of course vegetables.

Just remember, giving-up us easy. However, getting back to the routine and refocusing your goals will deliver results. You just have keep going!

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