The holidays, Christmas time, a special birthday or perhaps even a big life event like moving house or having a baby. What do they have in common? The ability to completely and utterly derail your usual healthy habits!
I’m a firm believer that life is meant to be lived, and sometimes that means you have a period of eating more cake and drinking more wine than usual. Sometimes that might mean that cooking up a pot of quinoa just isn’t as important as that other big thing you have happening in your life.
It can be so easy to be filled with guilt when you go off track, but it’s natural not to eat perfectly healthy all of the time. Hell, it’s perfectly natural not to eat 80/20 all the time! Sometimes life happens, and no matter how ingrained those good habits had become, and even how easy it can be to eat well when you’re time challenged, things go a bit tits up.
I do believe this is just a natural part of the ebb and flow of life, and over time is what forms real balance in our lives. However, what does make the difference to your health, and ultimately your weight, is how quickly you can get yourself back into those healthy habits.
Personally this is where I am right now. For the past two months my focus has been on getting our new house sorted, and exercise and my usual level of healthy eating has really suffered. Usually this wouldn’t have gone on quite so long, but literally every aspect of my life was different to how it was before, and as a super routine dependent person I struggled with that. Luckily it doesn’t matter whether it’s been two days, two months or two years, there’s ways to help yourself get back on the wagon quickly and easily. Here are my tips!
Start where you are
This tip might work for some of you better than others, but personally I find it easier to start where I am and have a period of transition instead of going straight back to my usual level of healthy eating. That might mean allowing yourself an extra treat smart treat (or 3!) that week, it might be allowing yourself to eat however much food your body needs as long as it’s non-processed and doesn’t contain refined sugar, whatever you need to do to ease it back in.
Don’t try and do it all at once
If you suddenly try and juice, meditate, go to the gym, cook from scratch and make nut milk fresh every single day you’ll just be overwhelmed and will fail and then feel like crap and thus the cycle will start all over again. Try just focusing on 1-3 simple things at a time such as drinking more water, eating more veg and doing a Sunday cook up. That should feel more manageable and you’ll feel inspired and motivated to keep going when you’ve got these things figured out.
Ditch the guilt
Guilt is a totally pointless emotion that sucks energy away from where it should be going – towards building those healthy habits back up! Consciously decide to let any guilt about the situation go.
Don’t try and be perfect
The temptation when getting back on track is to try and eat a perfect clean eating/refined sugar free/paleo/vegan/whatever diet. Whilst there’s definitely something to be said for having a ‘nutritional reset’ the difficulty with perfection is what happens when you do have a slip up. If you’re the kind of person who can manage slip ups without them turning into f**k it binges, then awesome. If not, beware of trying to eat perfectly!
Use a tracking tool
I’m a big fan of simple tracking tools like keeping a food diary or just tracking some key healthy habits.
Get some accountability
Whether it’s a friend, your partner or an online community (like my Wholeheartedly Healthy Facebook Group – get access when you sign up for my free e book here) having some accountability in place is always a good idea. Tell them what specific things you’ll be doing that week to get back on track and ask them to check back in with you at the end of the week to make sure you’ve done them.
If you feel like you need a nutritional reset
Sometimes our bodies can become affected by sugar, caffeine and processed foods and a nutritional reset is needed to help curb cravings, support energy levels, balance hormones and generally boost your mindset in the right direction. This is tricky territory as I discussed above, and I would definitely suggest getting some kind of support or accessing a programme to help you do it effectively and with kindness to yourself.
Dial it up, know your non-negotiables and how to have a healthy full stop
One of the issues with getting back on track is the panic that many of us feel when we know we’ve gained some weight and desperately want to lose it again. It can send you down an all or nothing spiral or might even tempt you to join a traditional diet. That’s where dialling it up comes in for me, alongside knowing what my non-negotiables are and how to have a healthy full stop when I need one.
What helps you get back on track? Let me know in the comments!