Erasing Weekend Diet Damage

One rule of modern life: overeating happens. Doesn’t matter if it’s the day after a holiday, or the Monday after a weekend of partying: many people wake up the next morning after a major splurge cursing themselves for ruining their diet.

But before you decide to drown your frustration in a plate of cookies and resign yourself to a lifetime of drawstring pants, use the below tips to undo some of the damage and resume your healthy-eating path.

7AM
Like many people, you may have woken up feeling fat, bloated, and mad at yourself for overdoing it.

What to do: Stop beating yourself up.

“The first thing I would tell people is not to be your own worst enemy, not to be super critical,” says clinical psychologist Nancy Molitor, PhD, public education coordinator for the American Psychological Association. “When you turn on yourself, it’s not the food, it’s you that you’re battling. Admit you overdid it and be honest, but recognize that you’re human.”

8AM
Don’t skip breakfast because that could set you up for overeating later in the day, says Andrea Spivack, RD, LDN, medical nutrition therapist at the Stunkard Weight Management Program at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

What to do: Make a healthy morning meal.

A filling, well-balanced breakfast like this one has only 407 calories:

1. Pour 1 c Kashi Go-Lean cereal into a bowl
2. Top with 1 c blueberries (frozen is just as good as fresh
3. Sprinkle with 2 Tbsp walnuts
4. Add 1 c low-fat or fat-free milk

9:30AM
Your at work, telling yourself that you need to drop a few pounds by watching what you eat this week. But a general wish isn’t likely to give you the results you desire. Molitor recommends setting a reasonable, concrete goal and creating a plan that will help you reach it. Be sure to write down your goals–it’ll make you more likely to commit to them.

What to do: Aim to lose 1 pound in the next week.

To do that you’ll have to reduce your daily calorie intake by 200 to 300 calories and burn off 200 to 300 calories a day for an average weekly deficit of 3,500 calories, says David B. Sarwer, PhD, clinical psychologist and director of the Stunkard Weight Management Program at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

If you usually exercise 3 days a week, add an extra day. If you’re not a regular exerciser, then try to walk for at least 5 minutes, 3 times a day to start. It’s okay to start small; any little movement adds up to calories burned.

Noon
Eat a lunch packed with feel-full veggies and satisfying protein.

Mediterranean Wrap (Total Calories: 323)

1. 1 lg whole wheat tortilla
2. 2 Tbsp garlic-flavored hummus
3. 1/4 c roasted red pepper strips
4. 4 slices roast turkey breast (or low-sodium deli turkey)
5. 2 Tbsp chopped fresh mint leaves
6. 1/4 c lettuce

• Lay tortilla flat on large cutting board. Spoon hummus evenly over tortilla to within 1/2″ of edge. Lay peppers evenly over hummus. Layer on turkey slices. Sprinkle with mint. Layer on lettuce leaves. Fold in sides and then roll to form wrap. Cut diagonally in half.

• Serve immediately or wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate.

1:30PM
Start logging your food calories in a journal or online diary.

What to do: Write down what you’re eating.

Starting a food diary is a research-proven weight loss technique. If you’ve never kept a food journal before,…