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Mardi Gras Won’t Ruin Your Fitness Goals! Here’s How to Relax and Enjoy

A group of women eating beignets.
Kzenon/Shutterstock

Mardi Gras and all its exciting, food-focused festivities are just around the corner. If you’re anxious about balancing your fitness goals with your party goals, we’re here to help!

Not everyone stresses about this sort of thing, but if you do, here’s how you can take a step back and reframe your thoughts

What Are Your Afraid Of?

First, if it scares you to relax your fitness routine during a holiday, it’s important to figure out why. Is it the overeating or the risk of drinking a bit too much? A fear that you won’t have the energy or willpower to go to the gym the next day?

Or, if you’ve been maintaining a diet, are you worried a day or weekend off will set you back?

Well, here’s a reality check on that line of self-sabotaging thinking. One day (or even a few) of overeating won’t make you gain weight any more than one day (or a few) of a strict diet will make you lose 10 pounds.

Before you finalize your Mardi Gras plans, let go of any fear. It increases stress levels, makes you anxious, and can cause more harm to your body than any fattening, sugary food ever will.

You’re in Control

No one controls your choices but you. There’s also a lot more to Mardi Gras than the incredible food, so enjoy the parades, dress up, and dance in the streets. You don’t have to drink or eat anything you don’t want to.

Even if you decide to indulge a bit, you can stop at any time. And keep in mind no one is paying attention to how much you’re eating or drinking.

There’s Always Tomorrow

Bourbon Street in New Orleans.
f11photo/Shutterstock

After Mardi Gras, you can get right back on track with your fitness routine and health goals. Sure, you might be a bit bloated for a few days, but your body will self-regulate and get back to normal.

If you include more fiber and healthy fats in your meals, you can speed up the process. Add some more fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and lean protein to your after-holiday diet. And, of course, don’t forget to drink plenty of water and exercise.

Whether you go for a run, head to the gym, sweat it out in hot yoga, or just enjoy a long walk, listen to your body and give it what it needs.

Also, don’t use the exercise to punish yourself for “cheating” during Mardi Gras. The goal is to lower the stress and inflammation caused by overindulging, not elevate them even further.

Some Tips to Remember

If you want to have fun this Mardi Gras, here are some simple, easy tips that will help you out:

  • A bit of bloating is normal: It’s normal to retain a bit of water the day after you overindulge a bit. Your body will go back to normal in no time.
  • Don’t step on a scale: Due to water retention and the carb-heavy treats Mardi Gras is known for, your weight will go up a bit. If this will ruin your fun, avoid weighing yourself until Mardi Gras is over.
  • Stay hydrated: Beforehand and during the day of celebrations drink plenty of water. It will prevent dehydration and make it easier for your body to flush out all the toxins afterward.
  • Move around: Dance and keep everything flowing. You’ll feel much better, and it will help your digestion.
  • Do something active the following day: Even a walk will do. Your body might just need a bit of help to get rid of all the stuff it can’t use.
  • Relax and have fun: What’s the point of a celebration if you can’t enjoy yourself?

Whether you celebrate Mardi Gras or not, freaking out about mini-breaks from your diet or fitness goals does more harm than good. Everyone deserves to dress up, let loose, and have some fun every once in a while!

Karla Tafra Karla Tafra
Karla is a certified yoga teacher, nutritionist, content creator and an overall wellness coach with over 10 years of international experience in teaching, writing, coaching, and helping others transform their lives. From Croatia to Spain and now, the US, she calls Seattle her new home where she lives and works with her husband. Read Full Bio »

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