Maybe you’ve been on vacation or had an off weekend, maybe it’s been a long summer, or maybe you’ve just taken an extended break from your fat loss goals.
However long it’s been, how the heck do you get back on track with your diet?
I know how tempting it is to want to go to the extreme. To immediately think of all the things you’re going to cut out or restrict. The hours of cardio you’re going to add. You’re ready to get back into the swing of things and go HARD.
But here’s the thing…this mindset isn’t setting you up for success. Trying to go from 0-100 or being super restrictive might be why you took an extended break in the first place. Taking that route is going to feel overwhelming, and it’s possible you’ll be right back in this same position again in a few weeks.
So if you aren’t going to be restricting your food, creating the perfect meal plan or starting a fancy new really intense workout program what are you going to do to get back to your fitness & nutrition goals?
I’m going to walk you through 4 ways to get back on track with your diet…and actually stay on track this time around.
1. Start Small
Now trust me I know the draw of jumping right into 6 workouts a week, making a million new complicated recipes or doing a complete fitness lifestyle overhaul whenever motivation strikes. But I know from first hand experience(ex yo yo dieter here!) and from the 100s of clients I’ve helped over the years that this approach does not work.
Eventually(sooner than you think) the motivation will wear off. When it does, the 6 workouts/week will start to feel like a lot. You’ll start missing workouts, you’ll feel guilty about missing workouts, you’ll think that if you can’t do all 6 you might as well not do any at all, and you’re back to square 1.
Maybe this sounds familiar…
So what should you do to get back on track with your diet? Start small. Be realistic with what can fit into your current lifestyle. It might look something like 2-3 workouts/week or a daily walk.
Maybe it’s limiting fast food to 4 lunches/week rather than all of them.
Or maybe it’s swapping your daily coke for a diet coke or coke zero.
These small changes are going to feel more manageable. And when something feels more manageable you’re more likely to stick to it for longer.
The longer you stick to it, the easier it will feel to continue doing it, and the more confident you’ll be in your ability to make more lifestyle changes like this.
If you feel like you’ve got a good handle on a small action to start taking, another way to get back on track with your diet is to:
2. Set Action based goals
How many times on Sunday have you said “I’m going to eat more vegetables this week”. Only for Saturday to roll around and you to realize you have not in fact eaten any more vegetables that week. (Guilty!)
You’re not lazy or uncommitted: Your goals just aren’t specific enough. In order for you to follow through on your goals they need to be actionable.
Going back to that vegetable example, this would look more like “I’m going to have vegetables with my lunch 5 days this week.” You’re not just saying you’re going to eat “more” vegetables, you’re getting specific about what meals you’re eating them at and how many times.
With actionable goals you’re a heck of a lot more likely to follow through. It feels easier to take action when you know exactly how to do it.
Open your notepad on your phone right now and write down 1 action based goal you’re committing to this week.
Got it written down?
Cool now let’s move into the next way to get back on track with your diet.
3. Don’t delay it
Look…I don’t care how long it’s been since you were “on track” with your diet. Don’t delay it any longer. We are not waiting until Monday or next month. We are getting back to it right now right this second because the longer you wait to take action, the harder it’s going to be. And the quicker you get back on track, the more progress you’re going to make.
Let’s take a real life example:
If you feel like you messed up after 1 meal on a Friday night don’t say you’re going to get back on track on Monday. Get back to your routine at the next meal. The very next meal. The longer you put it off, the harder it’s going to be to get back to it. If you get back to it on Saturday that’s about 6 “on track” meals you could have as opposed to 0…that’s a big difference!
No matter if it’s been a few days, weeks or months I promise you that you didn’t ruin anything you didn’t mess anything up. All you need to do is get back to it. The only way to mess up is if you give up completely. Which clearly you haven’t because you’re here reading this article!
So get back on track right now. Go back to that action based goal you just set and think about how you can implement it today. Start with that ONE thing. Remember you don’t have to be perfect to get started and I’d rather you get going than keep waiting around until you can do this thing perfectly again.
Spoiler alert: The perfect time is never coming and won’t happen. Life is imperfect :)
At this point you should be feeling like you’ve got a pretty good plan in place to help you get back on track with your diet. So now that you’re back on track, how do you stay on track?
4. Track consistency
It’s a heck of a lot easier to throw in the towel when you have no accountability or way of really measuring how consistent you’ve been with your diet. So…start tracking consistency.
Everyday you hit the goals you set for yourself, mark an X on the calendar, everyday you don’t leave it blank. Be honest and really hold yourself accountable. At the end of the month you’ll have an extremely clear picture of how consistent you really were in staying on track with your diet.
Accountability is a key part of staying on track with your diet. Don’t just start something and hope for the best. Track and measure how often you’re following through on daily actions. When you know how satisfying it is to mark off a big ol’ X at the end of the day you’re more likely to complete that action.
Remember that there really is no “track” to be on or off of. When you’re looking for sustainable fat loss and not a quick fix that means there is no timeline. Which means there is no track…there’s just life. There will be weeks, months or even seasons where you are extremely consistent and then there will be others where you are…a little less consistent. As long as you keep going and never give up you’re not off track. So keep going and remember that you got this <3.
I hope you’re feeling good and ready to take action to get back “on track” with your diet. If you’re realizing you might need some extra accountability or are struggling to take action I’d love to help you with 1:1 weight loss coaching. You can apply here.