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Six Tips to Get Back on the Healthy Track


What’s your excuse?

Psst! Just in case you haven’t realised, Easter is OVER! So why, oh why have your bought five half-priced Lindt chocolate bunnies from Woolies?

It all started on Good Friday with the mandatory visit to the fish markets where you bought a bounty of prawns, oysters and salmon. This was followed by a boozy barbecue with your mates on Saturday. Then came the biggie – Easter Sunday spent with the family, hunting for Easter eggs, eating way too much chocolate and cheese. Finally, a lazy long lunch on Easter Monday. A long weekend of over-indulgence. And zero exercise.

The mere thought of stepping on those bathroom scales is making you curl into the foetal position. So when your alarm went off this morning, you rolled over and consoled yourself, ‘It’s already Wednesday. I’ll get back on the treadmill next Monday.’ Lunch was a greasy takeaway. And there were all those Easter lunch leftovers for dinner.

Before you know it, one weekend of over-eating will snowball into weeks and months of inactivity and over-eating. So how do you get back on (the jogging) track and into your skinny jeans? Here’s how:

junk food

Stop! It’s not Fry-day.

Stop stressing, start relaxing: Unfortunately, the stress of knowing you have been overindulging can sometimes lead to more binge-eating/drinking. Don’t berate yourself by wallowing in guilt. Leave the past behind you and get off the couch now.

Eat right: Don’t starve yourself to make up for the extra calories consumed over the past week. Instead, stick to healthy meals at fixed times. Stock up on fresh food – lean protein, leafy greens, zesty fruit – so that you can cook up your favourite dinner and have healthy snacks handy instead of dialling for pizza.

Drink more: Water, that is. It will hydrate you, flush out the extra sodium in your system and get rid of that bloated feeling. Aim for 1.5-2 litres of H2O a day.

Review your health goals: Set aside time to think about what you want to achieve in the coming months. Perhaps write it down and reaffirm it by saying it out loud. Make sure you follow the SMART rule for goal setting. i.e. your goals need to be Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely.

Plan ahead: If you know you’ve got a special occasion ahead – date night, mums’ dinner, your friend’s 40th birthday, work drinks – put it down it your diary/phone and figure out your modus operandi. Can you exercise for ten minutes’ extra in the lead up to the event? Can you choose a healthy option from the menu? Can you limit your number of drinks? As they say, forewarned is forearmed (for your forearms!).

Treat yourself: Allow yourself the occasional treat or ‘cheat day’. For instance, if you love your chocolate (and who doesn’t?), stick to 15-20g of good quality dark chocolate for a boost of antioxidants. So treat yourself to a bikkie/lolly/ice-cream off and on – and enjoy it when you do.