Has your healthy eating gone off the rails a bit? 😫
Are there more days ahead of you when this might occur again?
Well, this in itself wouldn’t be an issue. The trick is not to leave any time before going back to eating better.
Because if you let things slide for too long, two things may occur:
You get used to eating unhelpful foods [again?] and somehow you can’t get yourself to stop.
Some of those high flavoured foods can be quite addictive to one’s taste buds.
Then instead of gaining only a couple of pounds of fluid after a celebration meal, you’ll gain more.
And it won’t be just fluid.
So here are some tips to avoid the above problems.
1) Do NOT wait for ‘tomorrow’ to get back on track. It can easily turn into ‘NEVER’.
Have your relaxed boundary meal and enjoy it.
But at the next meal get back to helpful eating. Even if in 2 days there’s another feast, in between there are many opportunities to eat right. Jumping straight back into healthy eating is the best way to overcome falling off the wagon big time.
2) In between those celebration meals have the right foods on hand.
Be prepared. Use soups and stews that have been pre-batched, have salads waiting in the fridge (even though it is cold outside). Eat fresh fruit instead of leftover cakes. And this way life just goes back to normal.
3) Avoid sitting down to a celebration meal when you are totally famished.
I usually drink a protein shake beforehand, but you can choose any other helpful low-calorie option. It will help you to make better choices during the meal. Plus you’ll be fuller faster. And who knows…you may then not even get off track. You may have got away with simply enjoying a slightly off-plan meal in sensible portions.
4) Don’t beat yourself up for eating too much or eating off-plan.
Avoid attaching negative feelings to eating. Say to yourself that this was a nice meal [unless it wasn’t] and move right back into eating in a more healthful way.
5) Don’t punish yourself.
Don’t start a grueling diet or exercise routine to make up for eating slip-ups. It can start anxiety and cause you to have a bad relationship with food. Get back to eating healthy and in the right serving sizes because of self-care and self-love. You deserve it.
Healthy eating and exercise aren’t punishment. It is self-respect.
6) Look at the big picture.
To lose weight you need to create a calorie deficit without missing out on nutrition. But the calorie deficit doesn’t have to be every 24 hours to make it work for weight management! Research tells us that those who stock with their plan for 85% to 90% of the time do very well! They don’t feel hemmed in, and they don’t feel under pressure. Create a calorie deficit as you go along over a week or a month. Not necessarily each day or at each meal.
7) Remember the reasons you got started.
They will help you stay or to get back on track. Write out the reasons and stick them on the fridge or kitchen pantry. Look at those words often, because they can rekindle your desire to reach your goals.
8) Find an accountability buddy.
It can be way more fun this way and you can support each other through some of the hurdles that may come up.
9) No need to deprive yourself of all treats.
That’s a sure way to feel you’re in a “diet prison”. It can often lead to binging because you can’t stand the restrictions anymore.
Also: why not find some alternatives for your cravings? Instead of sugary processed biscuits, make your own oat and banana cookies.
Do you miss ice cream? Why not freeze some sliced banana and orange or berries. Place them into a high-speed blender with a splash of plant milk and cashew cream
Decorate with toasted nuts and goji berries. I bet this idea can stop the ice cream cravings dead in their tracks. Plus it is a great way to eat more antioxidant-rich fruit.
This I can vouch for personally! 😉
So I hope you got some good tips above.
But here’s a bonus tip …
Change the way you think about ‘getting off track or back on track’
What if you were to decide there is no specific track? Or a wagon to fall off from?
Those are all rules and restrictions people put around eating that often feel too uncomfortable and not natural.
Each time perfection isn’t maintained the person feels stressed and guilty.
And as I mentioned in Tip #6, perfection doesn’t have to be maintained so rigidly.
Rather look at healthy eating as a journey with experiences and lessons on the way.
I read somewhere that ‘food is not a moral compass’
It should not be ‘good or bad’ and we also should not label ourselves as good or bad when eating a certain way.