• Louise Appel

How to indulge guilt-free!


I recently arrived back from holiday and several times I have been asked the same question - 'what did you eat?' Well yes, I did indulge in foods I wouldn't usually eat, and I as a result I did gain a few pounds - as expected!

Indulging without guilt or regret

However, I feel no regret whatsoever for these holiday indulgences. The reason being I decided beforehand I'd enjoy foods I wouldn't usually eat, and I fully accepted as a result of this I'd gain some body fat. I understood this would be a short-term gain, and to make sure of this, before the holiday started I had already made plans on how I'd return to my usual routine on my return.

Don't get me wrong, I didn't go 'all out' on holiday as I didn't wait to gain toooo much, so I made sure I made some choices to add balance and maintain a level of my 'home routine'.

Here are some of my indulgent moments during the holiday, for example eating high calorie, carb rich foods like pizza and curry, drinking alcohol, and being sedentary by spending time laying in the sun.

I made sure I balanced out the indulgences with some heathy choices for example occasionally opting for a light breakfast or a healthier meal in the evening, and using energy through hiking/walking and working out in the hotel gym. I also opted for lower calorie options on days when travelling as I think indulgences should be saved for moments that count, and sitting on a plane or train certainly isn't one of them!

How this is all part of a lifestyle approach which helps me maintain control of my diet and also preventing unwanted weight-gain.

I find that when strategically planning indulgences around my routine, I don't feel guilt or regret afterwards. Any weight-gain is usually minimal and temporary and this generally only occurs during events like holidays or at Christmas.

To expand on this, here are the 5 key points surrounding my guilt-free approach which I not only apply during holidays but in everyday life:

1. I have created and live by a routine that suits me and supports my specific heath and fitness goals. By having created strong everyday habits, I can return to these with ease following a break to the routine.

2. I plan EVERYTHING including any indulgences. I then balance things out by having lighter meals around these chosen moments.

3. I'm always thinking ahead and I also consider any potential changes to my routine. I prepare and plan around this so that I never get caught short.

4. If I ever break my weekly routine it is a one off/short-term and more often than not I will have made a conscious choice to do this as opposed to 'giving in to temptation'. If I was to indulge unexpectedly I wouldn't beat myself up about it and instead would logically adjust my diet going forward, to rebalance.

5. I understand and am always aware of the consequences of my actions (if I eat too much I will gain weight) so I try to make what I believe to be good choices using common sense. If I think I will regret a choice I make afterwards then I don't do it.

This all may seem lacking in spontaneity, and of course may not be for everyone. For me, having the ability to apply self-discipline when needed, and to be able to balance and adapt my diet to allow for my favourite indulgences is rewarding and makes for stress-free, guilt-free eating. To add, I enjoy and feel good about everything I eat :)

Louise Appel Personal Trainer, St John's Wood & Personal Trainer Maida Vale offers customised, individual Personal Training and Pilates at Lords Cricket Ground, St John's Wood. Personal Trainer Harpenden & Personal Trainer St Albans is located at EsTR Fitness.

Ask Louise is a free service offering advice on all things health and fitness. Contact me and ask me a question.

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