Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Hungover? Remember these 5 tips...

No one’s perfect.

Not even trainers, bodybuilders, athletes or celebrities. In fact, most are not even close, and rely on some tricks of the fitness trade to re-accelerate their health and fitness after nearly putting the brakes on it. Use these 5 points to overcome the 5 problems a typical cheat or party weekend exhibits and restart your regiment to get it up to full-speed once again.

Problem #1: low nutrient, high calorie items are consumed
  • Counter this!
    • Take a fiber supplement (I like sugar-free Metamucil). This helps eliminate foods and toxins sticking to your digestive tract while upping your normally-fast digestive system. Other options are to have a big bowl of oatmeal (un-sweetened) with fresh berries or almond butter in it. Both will achieve similar effects.
    • Increase your intake of high nutrient, low calorie foods: all fruit and vegetables are key players in providing your nutrient-starved body with the fuel, antioxidants and phytonutrients your body demands.
Problem #2: Metabolism drop
  • Counter this!
    • Eat breakfast as soon as you wake-up Monday morning. This will help give your body long-lasting, healthy fuel to continue providing energy throughout your day. Do NOT wait until you get to work.
    • Protein powder first and last meals of the day. Pretty self-explanatory: have a protein shake as your first and last meal. Limits your calories to high quality protein, but also limits your selections and temptations later on.  
Problem #3: Sluggish before or during your workout
  • Counter this!
    • Have a small meal 60-90 minutes prior to your workout, containing at least 20 grams of protein and 20 grams of carbs. A grilled chicken sandwich, with whole wheat or rye bread, will get you through the workout without feeling sluggish or weak.
    • Have a small coffee or green or black tea 60-90 minutes prior. Caffeine is one, if not the, of the most researched supplements in the world, and its thermogenic/metabolic effects are widely known. Using caffeine as a pre-workout supplement is a strategy used by many athletes, fitness enthusiasts and lifters with great success. Use to tolerance, and without any contraindications (high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high resting heart rate).
    • DRINK WATER. This goes without saying. You were most likely dehydrated post-party/splurge day, so get ahead and stay ahead with your hydration levels leaving your urine and you in the clear.
Problem: you had a lot to drink over the weekend.  A lot. 
  • Counter this!
    • Avoid alcohol for a few days, if not 5 or 6.  Giving your liver a rest from metabolising alcohol will allow your liver to focus on its usual task: fat metabolism.  In addition, try increasing intake of healthy fats (olive oil, nuts, certain types of fish, etc) to help keep you full throughout the day. The less time you are hungry after a long weekend, the better!
    • Try to have protein at every meal, allowing your blood sugar (which was like a yo-yo all weekend) to stabilize throughout the day
    • Prepare meals in bulk so that you can freeze or refrigerate leftovers and can eat with less thinking and with more convenience and confidence.
Problem: You can't stop pressing 'snooze' on your alarm clock
  • Counter this!
    • The hours before 12 midnight are much more restorative to the body than those after, so aim for the pillows earlier than normal, and turn off any outside disturbance after 9 or 10p. This means no TV, PDA, computer, etc. Curl up with a good book or magazine, and let your imagination put yourself to sleep.  For more information about better sleep habits, click here.

Now, if you're like me, you never get to this point.  But hey, perfection has its price!


-Coach Kev

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