Weight loss is an endless rollercoaster of ups and downs.
Can you relate? Up-keeping a squeaky, clean, healthy, & balanced routine is something we all dream to achieve and its a great goal to strive for. If you’re like the rest of us on planet Earth, its safe to say you might give-in to the occasional temptations of every day life. Maybe you’re in ‘vacation-mode’ and coincidentally MyFitnessPal is on ‘vacation-mode’ too resulting in virtually nonexistent food journaling. Or maybe you make healthy choices Monday through Friday only to heavily reward yourself for a job well-done on Saturday and Sunday with a smorgasbord of cookies, pizza, and wine? It’s only human to falter now and again, but the important thing is to get back on track with your diet.
Achieving wellness is a lifestyle change and not just an occasional crash-diet here and there to temporarily reach weight loss and wellness goals. This is one of the most important aspects of being well – we need to view wellness not as one extreme or the other but a consistent balance we maintain.
Before you give up on your weight loss goals…
It’s important to change your overall long-term relationship with your diet and keep these points in mind:
- Choosing health is not a chore: When you nourish your body with the right foods and exercise you’re going to feel amazing and improve your wellness overall where weight loss often times becomes the byproduct of your healthy efforts – eat and move for health and not necessarily for weight loss.
- You can always get back on track: Just because you went off track with your diet doesn’t mean you’ve ruined your progress completely and should keep binging. Remember, it didn’t take 1 day of unhealthy eating to gain the weight, and it won’t take 1 day of healthy eating to lose it – just get back on track with healthy choices.
- Make healthy choices routine: Achieving ultimate health and wellness is an ongoing lifestyle choice that can become easier with time if you learn to make habits out of the healthy choices. Like brushing your teeth on a daily basis, choose a healthy habit you want to make routine, choose how and when to achieve this goal and make it a part of your day. With time and consistency it’ll become a basic part of your routine that you wont even have to think about.
In the short-term of getting back on track with diet after a binge…
Here are 6 practical tips to get you back on track with weight loss goals:
1. Figure out / remember your motivation and set your intentions! After a weekend, week, or maybe even weeks of binging on unhealthy foods, its not uncommon to start feeling really down on ourselves for making bad decisions over and over again. It’s uber important to not lose motivation and slip away from wellness goals completely, so setting your intentions and/or your motivations as to WHY you started your wellness and weight loss journey in the first place is key to getting ‘back-on-the-horse’. When you’re really feeling low energy, sluggish, heavy, self-conscience, worried about health in general, whatever your reason WHY and your motivation may be… remember it, write it down, and make a short-term plan that you can achieve and feel good about reaching. Maybe you layout a healthy meal plan for the week and stick too it? Try it out.
2. Set short-term, achievable goals! While we tend to focus on our long-term, end goals, its more important to set and focus on short term goals… month-to-month, week-to-week, or even day-to-day. When we set short-term goals we put less stress on ourselves and get that satisfactory boost when we actually reach what we set out to achieve. Short-term goals allow less time to falter and help us reach goals faster. Multiple short-term goals will inevitably be the stepping stones to help you reach your long-term health goals and establish healthier habits.
Here are some examples of short-term goals you can get started with this week:
- Include veggies and fruits in each meal
- Make veggies the main ingredient of your meals 3-5 times a week
- Do 30 minutes of exercise 2-3 times a week
- Drink 8 oz of water when you wake-up
- Drink 8- 8oz of water before 5:00 PM each day
- Try 1 new veggie and/or fruit once a week
3. Try something NEW! Many of us run into boredom when we adhere to routines, so while establishing a healthy routine is ideal… it doesn’t necessarily have to be the same exact routine day in and day out. Try something new within your healthy routine to keep it exciting and something to look forward too so you can avoid slipping up.
Here are some NEW things to consider when you’re establishing a healthier routine to get yourself back on track after vacations, holidays, an unhealthy weekend, whatever…
- Try new food items – Choose 1-2 NEW veggies and fruits to add into your routine or even opt into ‘Meatless Mondays’ and replace your typical meat protein with a veggie protein such as mushrooms, lentils, quinoa, or tempeh.
- Get colorful – As they say we eat with our eyes too, so choose fruits and veggies from the rainbow – red, purple, green, yellow, orange and make an epic, nutrient dense salad that your eyes and tastebuds will equally love.
- Cooking methods – Try preparing your meals with different cooking methods to add new flavor profiles. Here are a few of our favorites…
4. Get moving! We’ve all been there, when we’ve overindulged in unhealthy foods and feel theres no way of getting back to achieving our wellness and weight loss goals. Often times you’ll notice that if you just get moving a bit you start feeling better. This is because movement requires energy and energy comes from calories. When you combine healthy eating with activity you’re bound to see faster results due to your body needing and using up more calories and this, in turn, provides extra motivation to press on towards your ultimate health goals. So pair up your healthy food choices with extra activity after a wild weekend and you’ll be back on point in no time. Try HIIT(high-intensity interval training) – HIIT workouts are ideal and don’t require hours upon hours at the gym or in your home gym. With HIIT workouts you complete repeated bursts of exercise with short resting periods which helps boost metabolism and burn fat. Combining a healthy, balanced diet with some movement 2-3 times a week will not only help you reach your goals in less time, but the sense of accomplishment you’ll feel will build and boost your confidence and self esteem. Start with a short 30 minute HIIT workout – you can find thousands of options ranging in intensity right on the internet! Start with shorter lower-intensity HIIT workouts and keep it interesting by changing it up each week. You’ll never get bored.
5. Meal Prep! You wont find too many “get healthy” lists that don’t suggest preparing your healthy meals in advance and for good reason. The less stress and work we put on ourselves when trying to achieve goals helps to make the journey much more manageable. Meal prep doesn’t have to be an all day event. When you choose whole, nutrient dense foods you don’t need to do much. Essentially just start with a a protein, vegetable, and fruit, play around with the spice cabinet, and maybe utilize some of the suggested cooking methods listed above and voila! At the very least do this for work-lunch so you can be prepared and bypass any temptations of stepping out on your goals.
6. Hydration Hydration Hydration! Often times when we get off track with our diets our bodies become imbalanced in many ways. For example, our bodies tend to conserve water with improper nutrition which can result in bloating and a heavier weigh-in on the scale. While this jump in weight can cause jaw dropping reactions – its best not to do anything too drastic as far as your diet goes – all you need to do is focus on getting back into a balanced, healthy routine. While It may seem counterintuitive to load up on water when the body is already holding onto excess H2O… the more water you drink the more you bring hydration levels levels back to normal and allow your body to rid itself of any excess water causing bloat. In short – focus on hydration when getting back into a healthy routine after a binge weekend, vacation, etc. The scale is most likely showing you higher numbers because of water weight your body doesn’t want to let go due to imbalance and improper hydration.
A diet faux-pas or slip-up isn’t the end of the world and it does not mean you should quit your efforts towards a healthier, happier you. We’re all human and we make mistakes so if you do run into a health hiccup while on your weight loss journey, sit back, take a breath, and reassess your plan. Remember WHY you wanted to get healthier in the first place and set your intentions, incorporate achievable short-term goals to will help get you back on track towards your ultimate goal(s), get yourself excited to continue making healthier choices by changing up your meals with different foods and cooking methods, add in some movement throughout the week to help burn excess calories, be sure to do some meal-prep so you can think less when hunger strikes, and don’t forget that there are a number of factors that can cause temporary weight gain when you’re off your healthy routine; at the very least stay hydrated and keep water weight and bloat to a minimum.
When it comes to your health and happiness, you can most always come back from that ‘point of no return’ as long as you are open to positive changes and healthier outlook on life.