Did you let those sweets and chips get the best of you while you were supposed to be on a diet? Are you trying to make nutritional changes that just don’t seem to stick? You’re in the right place. In this article, we’ll cover tips and insights on how to get back on track with your diet.
Figure Out Why You Fell Off Track In The First Place
The very first thing you can do is to identify what happened. Backtrack and consider what pulled you away from your plan. Try asking the question “why?” three or four times to really get to the bottom of it. Let’s say you went to the store and came home with a box of cookies that were not on your list of healthy foods.
Why did you pick up those cookies at the store? What created the urge? Were there emotions involved, or was it just poor planning because you went to the store when you were absolutely starved? Identify what led up to abandoning the diet.
Make a Plan
Now that you know why you lost track of the diet, make a plan. You won’t magically get back on track with a diet without a solid plan of action. Let’s say you keep buying unhealthy foods at the grocery store. Think of creative ways to avoid that. Could you order groceries for pick-up online when you’re less tempted?
Is there a way you can get help with meal plans? What can you do to confront emotions in healthy ways that don’t involve munching? Write down your specific plan of action to conquer your nutritional choices.
Doing anything alone can be tough, let alone making lifestyle changes like starting a diet. Spice up your dietary goals by joining a health group or getting accountability buddies! Make it fun. Track your progress together and lean on each other for motivation. Make healthy food choices with your support network.
Easing back into your diet could set you up for greater success. Starting with smaller dietary changes than you did last time could get you out of the yo-yo diet pattern. Plus, if you make manageable changes, you’ll be able to celebrate the small successes. Along the way, you can add on more dietary changes, step by step.
Starting slow gives you more wiggle room. During this phase, you can practice being patient with yourself. And, of course, if you mess up, just come back to these tips. There’s always time to try again.
Find a Diet Plan That Fits Your Lifestyle and Personality
Have you been trying to stick to a diet that simply doesn’t align with your lifestyle? One example of this is trying to commit to eating fresh, whole foods and meal planning every day or week when your job does not align with the shopping or cooking schedule required for that.
Perhaps you want to eat all vegan foods, but your family’s house is full of non-vegan foods. Consider your present circumstance, time demands, and environment before selecting a diet.
Try to avoid crash diets. While they may work for an immediate event, they aren’t sustainable in the long run.
Things to Consider When Choosing a Diet
- How often are you able to eat? Do you have break restrictions due to your work or family schedule?
- How much time can you spend per week or day prepping meals? Do you have the ability to store prepped meals properly to eat throughout the week?
- Do you enjoy cooking and have the facilities at home to cook?
- What level of variety do you want in your meals? Are you the type of person to quickly get sick of one meal or food type? If so, avoid restrictive diets that require repetitive food groups.
- Do you have fitness goals that would require higher-calorie foods or higher-protein foods? Do you need to fuel for endurance activities every day or week?
Use all of these considerations as you pick a nutritional plan. You don’t want to try to stick to something that simply doesn’t make sense in your life. Adapt your diet to your health and fitness needs and your lifestyle.
Set Realistic Goals and Stick to Them
Realistic goals are key. One goal framework is the “SMART” approach. This stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. Keep these principles in mind when setting health and fitness goals.
Set your goals just outside your comfort zone. You want to push yourself, but you don’t want to set a goal that’s literally impossible for you.
One fun way to measure your goal is to create benchmarks. Each benchmark goal is a chance to celebrate your success. If your goal is to lose weight, set mini-goals for every two or five pounds. It’ll help you stay motivated to reach the next benchmark and focuses your attention on the daily work.
Compare that to simply saying “I want to lose some weight.” Concrete, attainable goals push you forward and keep you on track.
With these realistic goals written down, you’re already on the road to success. Revisit your overarching goal every day to remind yourself what you’re doing all this work for. Remind yourself that it’ll be worth it.
Make Sure You Have Plenty of Healthy Snacks On Hand
If your shelves and fridge are totally bare, you’re more likely to run to the nearest fast food joint to satisfy your hunger. But healthy snacks can change that. Keep some low-calorie options in your kitchen to munch on. They’ll help hold you over until you can cook whatever’s on your diet’s menu that day.
Drink Plenty of Water Throughout the Day
Staying hydrated is an essential need for us humans. We need water so that our organs function properly. And when you’re on a diet, drinking water continuously helps prevent you from confusing thirst and hunger. Plus, if you’re dehydrated, your body will hang onto water weight as a preservation tactic.
Cut Out the Junk Food
Chances are, your healthy diet says a thing or two about junk food. You know, the sugary treats and salty, processed snacks. We all know they’re simply not good for us. That said, they’re tough to cut out.
Slowly switch these foods out for healthy alternatives. Your taste buds may protest at first, but soon, you’ll learn to enjoy fresher, healthier options. They’ll likely help you feel more energized and satisfied.
Make Time for Breakfast
There’s something rewarding about treating yourself to a healthy breakfast in the morning. It’s a way to prove to yourself that you’re all in. Eating a nutritious breakfast with protein will help you feel energized and full throughout your morning. This strategy can help you avoid overeating during later meals. There are many delicious high protein cereals and other foods to help kick off your day.
Plan Your Meals
Cue the groans. Meal planning might not be everyone’s favorite chore, but it helps immensely when you’re on a diet. Try to make meal planning a fun ritual every week. Over time, you’ll see results as you stay on track with your diet. You may even learn to love it! And you can always opt for a meal planning service that delivers meals to your home.
Moving your body feels good. When you exercise, you feel more energized. It adds fuel to the fire of your diet initiative. Starting a daily exercise habit can keep you focused on your health goals, leading to higher success with your food plan.
Struggling to get back on track with your diet might cause you to feel helpless, but taking decisive action by jumping into exercise could be just what you need to snap your mind into diet mode.
Avoid Eating Late at Night
When the clock strikes midnight, does the water glass in your hand turn into a pint of ice cream? Late-night snacking seems comforting at the moment, but it can be detrimental to your diet. Think about the last late-night snack you had. It likely wasn’t the healthiest food.
Go back to step one on our list and ask yourself why you fell into the late-night snack trap.
If your midnight snack habit is emotional, think of healthy rituals you can engage your mind and body in during those late-night hours. What about treating yourself to a sensory bath, full of lit candles and bath bombs and essential oils?
Or a steamy cup of herbal tea? Brainstorm a few other self-care ideas you can test out instead of reaching for whatever carb-loaded snack is laying around.
Get Plenty of Sleep
Quality sleep helps you stay on track in many ways. It leaves you energized and ready for the day to come. It helps your body heal from workouts or fatigue from work. Sleep will help you prevent cravings and help you focus on your health goals during the day.
Create a Routine
Routines add a level of predictability to your diet plan. It might be difficult for you to follow routines due to familial or work-related commitments, but try to stick to routines that fit your schedule. Adapt your schedule to accommodate your health and fitness goals as much as you can. Morning and bedtime routines will help you stay centered and focused on your diet goals.
Still having trouble getting back on track with your diet? Reassess your diet. Ask yourself what’s not working and make adjustments from there. Do not try to starve yourself or take extreme measures. Always be kind to yourself when you attempt to change your nutrition plan. These changes are not easy, and you deserve props for trying!
When in doubt, consider professional expertise. Nutritionists and doctors can help you rule out underlying health problems that could be working against you. They can even recommend specific food groups that would work best for you based on factors like your current health condition, age, or blood type. Always keep trying in your quest to boost your health!