Has your diet taken a bit of a detour and you’re not sure how to get back on track? Don’t worry, it happens to all of us. Falling off track of your healthy diet is normal. Sometimes crazy schedules, holidays, or stress can knock us off track. While you might feel a bit discouraged at first, getting back on track to a healthy diet can be easier than it sounds if you know where to start.
Below are 10 tips to help you get back on track and take control of your diet:
Ask yourself: “How did I get off track?” It’s important to recognize how and why you fell off track in the first place. Maybe it was because you were working overtime for a few weeks, or maybe it was because you went on a vacation and decided to treat yourself, or maybe you just lost steam. Whatever the reason is, it’s important to identify it so that you can prevent it in the future. Learn to understand the reasons you’re not sticking with your diet goals, and find other solutions or coping habits that don’t involve food.
While reflecting, you should also use this time to recognize your weaknesses and excuses when it comes to maintaining a healthy diet. Learn to understand your cravings and take some time to write down a few solutions to help yourself stay on track.
Define your goals.
Remind yourself of what you want and why you want it. Everyone has a different reason for wanting to improve their diet. Maybe you want to lose weight, maybe you’ve been diagnosed with hypertension, or maybe you just simply want to feel your best. Use your purpose to define your goals.
If you’re not sure where to start, consider using SMART goals. Smart goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. After determining your goal, write it down somewhere where you will see it often. Try writing it down on sticky notes and placing them on your fridge or at your desk. A daily visual reminder of your goals will help keep you on track!
Take it one meal at a time.
We won’t lie to you – it’s not always easy to get back on track once you’ve fallen off the diet wagon. That’s why it’s important to ease back into things by starting small. Take it one meal at a time. Identify a meal that you have the most trouble sticking to healthy options, and focus on improving that meal for about a week. For example, if you tend to go a bit overboard with your dinner, start by redesigning your dinner plan. This will help keep things more manageable rather than doing a complete 180. Once you’ve gotten the hang of things, slowly start improving the rest of your diet.
Keep a food journal.
One of the best ways to get back on track and stay on track is by keeping a food journal. Writing things down holds you accountable and gives you a visual of your progress, as well as any setbacks. Track down everything you eat in your journal and be sure to stay honest with yourself! A food journal will help you identify areas of strengths and weaknesses, which can help improve your overall relationship with food.
Restock your kitchen.
Are your fridge and pantry piled high with tempting treats and junk food? It might be down to restock your kitchen! Donate any unhealthy snacks and foods that could potentially throw your diet off track. (But of course, always keep a couple of your favorite goodies on deck so that you can treat yourself in moderation!) Create a grocery list of healthy food staples and buy enough for a week’s worth of healthy meals and snacks.
Schedule in a food-prep day.
Meal prepping is life changing when it comes to adopting a healthier diet. While it can be a bit time consuming, it’s completely worth it. Meal prepping takes the hassle out of cooking a healthy dinner every single night or not knowing what to pack for a healthy lunch. The trick with meal prepping is to schedule in time for it. Choose a day of the week that works best for you to grocery shop and prep a week’s worth of food. Try to stick with a regular meal prep schedule to establish a routine.
Find some new recipes.
There’s a common misconception that healthy foods are boring. That’s only true if you let it be! There are countless amounts of delicious, healthy meals and snack ideas that are anything but boring! Getting back on track to a healthy diet can be difficult if you’re not excited about it. Boost your excitement by doing some research and finding new healthy recipes to try out. Challenge yourself to try at least one new healthy recipe each week.
When it comes to getting back on track to a healthy lifestyle, you might need some support! Partner up with a buddy who wants to start eating better, team up with a nutritionist or personal trainer, or join a support group. There’s no shame in getting the support you need. In fact, finding a support system will keep you motivated because you’ll have the help of others holding you accountable.
Many diet slip-ups happen when people aren’t prepared. A growling stomach in the middle of the workday can make it tempting to grab an unhealthy snack from the vending machine. Always keep healthy choices readily available – no matter where you are! Keep a can of almonds in your car, stash some whole-grain crackers in your desk drawer, and keep some healthy trail mix in your purse.
Be kind to yourself.
We can’t stress this one enough: be kind to yourself! Changing your eating habits is an ongoing process. Learning to be patient with yourself while establishing new habits is half the battle. Everyone slips up on their diet from time to time. It’s completely normal and it’s okay! Punishing yourself every time you mess up will leave you feeling burnt out and miserable. When you stay kind and patient with yourself, you’ll feel more motivated, and be less likely to ditch a healthy diet out of frustration.
Just because you got off track of a healthy diet doesn’t mean it has to stay that way. While it does take some time and effort, slowly adopting healthy eating habits will help you get back on track and stay on track for the long haul. Remember to start slow and reward yourself for your hard work. You’ll start feeling the rewards of a healthy, balanced diet in no time!
What helps you get back on track to a healthy diet? Feel free to comment below! We’d love to hear from you!
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