Falling off your diet can be discouraging. But don’t let a few setbacks make you give up completely. Here are 7 ways you can get back on track after falling off your diet
7 tips for getting back on track after falling off a diet
- Give yourself time to feel disappointment: We all fall off course from time to time, and we may feel discouraged or upset with ourselves. While many people tend to avoid thinking about these feelings, give yourself permission to feel them instead of pushing them away.
- Remember that lapses happen: Recognize that lapses happen. One of the most dangerous things to do is refusing to admit something instead of facing it. Keep in mind that it’s not the end of the world, and that you can pick yourself back up again.
- Don’t beat yourself up: While you may be disappointed in yourself, don’t beat yourself about it. Be positive with yourself and try not to wallow in negativity.
- Reflect on your goals: In order to get back on track with your health goals, it’s important to remember what those goals were. What motivated you to start healthier habits in the first place? You may have gotten distracted because you forgot your goal or other priorities took precedence. Decide whether your goals are worth the effort. If they are, be determined to get back on track again.
- Take action: Taking even the slightest step forward allows you to reaffirm your commitment to yourself and your goals. Instead of dwelling on what happened, try to focus on moving forward.
- Keep an open mind: Try approaching your diet goals again with an open and positive mind. Establishing new habits isn’t robotic, but part of a learning process that allows you to discover more about yourself. Each time you fail and pick yourself back up, you learn more about yourself and find new ways to stick to your goals.
- Remember the benefits: When you feel like giving up, remember rewards that come with weight loss and better fitness. Don’t lose sight of the fact that you’re working toward something great that will change the way you look and feel for the rest of your life.
How to keep from falling off your diet
For most people, a healthy diet and weight loss journey is a challenging endeavor that requires commitment, persistence, and perseverance. Here are a tips for sticking to your health goals:
- Don’t use the word diet: Calling your new healthy eating plan a diet is one way to set yourself up for failure. Diet has a negative connotation and implies a short-term commitment. Rather than “going on a diet,” commit to a healthy lifestyle that will become a permanent part of your life.
- Don’t have too many restrictions: Some fad diets forbid you from eating certain foods or restrict entire dietary groups, such as carbs or fats. Telling yourself that you can’t have something often increases your desire for it. Eventually, your will can give way to temptation, and you end up overindulging in the very food or food group you were attempting to avoid. Instead of completely eliminating dietary groups, concentrate on eating a variety of nutritious grains, lean protein, fruits, and vegetables.
- Don’t starve yourself: Following a healthy eating plan doesn’t mean you should go hungry. When you starve yourself, you increase your chances of overeating or binge-eating unhealthy foods later on. Eat balanced meals throughout the day, and supplement with healthy snacks.
- Don’t set unrealistic goals: Setting unreasonable goals increases your chances of failure. For example, setting a goal of losing 20 pounds in one month and then going on the scale and discovering that you only lost 5 pounds is disappointing, even though 5 pounds per month is a reasonable weight-loss goal. This type of disappointment can cause you to give up entirely. Set a reasonable weight-loss goal of 1-2 pounds a week.
- Don’t use scales as a measure of success: When you try to lose weight, watching the scale rise instead of fall can be discouraging, but don’t let this type of a setback set you back indefinitely. The scale may move unpredictably, especially if you’re working out and gaining muscle, which is denser than fat. Don’t let the scale’s less-than-ideal readings lead you astray.
- Ask for help: Just because you are trying to eat healthy does not mean that everyone else is. When your friends are eating pizza, it’s easier to succumb to temptation. Ask your family and friends to help by keeping temptations away from you.
- Avoid “cheat” days as a reward: Instead of rewarding yourself with a “cheat” day where you get to indulge in unhealthy food, treat yourself to a new pair of shoes or a massage at the end of each week.
- Be balanced: While you can allow yourself to stray from your healthy eating plan once in a while, avoid the trap of thinking that one unhealthy choice ruins the day and then using it as an excuse to continue eating poorly the rest of the day.
Medically Reviewed on 3/23/2022
Top 10 Ways to Get Back on Track: https://www.webmd.com/diet/obesity/features/top-10-ways-to-get-back-on-track
Weight Loss: 3 Tips for Getting Back on Track (and 3 Pitfalls to Avoid): https://health.clevelandclinic.org/weight-loss-3-tips-for-getting-back-on-track-and-3-pitfalls-to-avoid/
What to do if you fall off track: https://www.gundersenhealth.org/health-wellness/move/what-to-do-if-you-fall-off-track/