You know what we’re talking about. It’s been a few weeks, you’ve been sticking to your healthy diet plan and seen some progress, and then one day your roommate leaves the donut holes out and the next thing you know you’re wiping powdered sugar off of your jeans and feeling very, very guilty.
Don’t sweat it.
First of all, slip ups happen to us all; and second, one small binge isn’t enough to take you off track; we promise.
All that being said, there are ways to get back on the wagon after falling off. Here are just a few:
The first thing you need to do is let it go. There’s nothing you can do now that will make what you did go away, and that’s okay. Treats every now and then are totally fine. The key is what you do the rest of the time.
We’re creatures of habit. For the most part, we work in the same patterns time and time again. Are there cycles to your falls off the wagon? Or do they tend to be one-off things (like, once every few months)? If it’s the latter, don’t worry about it; if it’s the former, don’t worry about it, you can fix it. Figure out what the gaps are and make sure to fill them. If you tend to binge when you’re sad, try and find a more constructive way to deal with your emotions; if it’s when you haven’t slept enough, then prioritise rest; and if it’s always down to not having what you know you need on hand, start planning ahead.
If your diet or health plan is too restrictive, add a little built-in wiggle room. If you’re only “supposed” to eat three meals a day but in reality you need five or six, adjust them and make them slightly smaller; if it says you’re only allowed one cheat meal a week and that’s too unrealistic for you, up it to two or three; and if it says you’re not allowed any of one specific food and you can’t really commit to that, then allow yourself a little, but keep it moderate. The guidelines are supposed to help you, so if they aren’t, move them accordingly.
Sometimes it’s the sheer enormity of a task that has us giving up before we’ve started. Maybe, instead of cutting alcohol, cutting carbs, and cutting dairy all in one go, you start with just one for a month and see how you go. Don’t set yourself up for an impossible start.
We all know stress is bad for our mental and emotional health, but did you know it affects your diet too? Intense and long-term stress can lead to increased desire to eat and more sugar and fat cravings. Reducing the stress you face on a day-to-day basis will put you in a better place to make healthier choices, and help any unhealthy cravings to dissipate.
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