So, you’ve fallen off the wagon. Don’t fret. It happens to the best of us.
Maybe you haven’t exercised for a week?
Maybe you ate your weight in chocolate chip ice cream?
Maybe you’ve neglected to drink water?
Maybe instead you drank all the cocktails at your cousin’s wedding?
Whatever the reason for losing momentum (because that’s really what falling off the wagon is … a loss of momentum), the good news is that it’s easy to climb back on.
It’s human to get distracted. To lose focus. To come up with excuses for not doing the things you know are good for you, especially if you’re no longer feeling motivated.
Yes, I used to word “excuses”, as mostly, that’s what they are. Yes, there are also very good reasons for falling off the wagon, but often they’re actually excuses. Harsh but true.
You’ve stumbled. That doesn’t mean you’re a failure. You’re human. And you can get back on track. All you have to do is follow these tips …
- Don’t beat yourself up
So, dieting / eating / exercising mistakes were made. You’re not doomed to be overweight forever. You’re not a bad person for eating all the Oreos. You didn’t hurt anyone. You just lost your way for a bit. Be kind to yourself! You’re human – tell yourself it’s okay to falter. You’re not the first to fall off the wagon and you certainly won’t be the last. You can’t go back in time and change the past, but you can take control of your future. That’s super powerful.
- Learn your triggers
Most people can identify what triggers them to eat when they shouldn’t. Stress, for example, is a big one. When people eat in response to stress, it’s because they think something yummy will make them feel better. And it might—at least for a bit. But then the guilt sets it, which stresses you out, which causes you to eat more—and the cycle continues. Fatigue, loneliness, frustration, boredom—there’s a whole host of emotions that can trigger you to eat. Time to get real about yours so you can watch out for them.
- Get back on the bike
You know what they say about falling off a bike? The most important thing is getting straight back on. The same goes for your health and fitness. All you must do is take one step. But don’t do anything drastic – just resume the program that was working for you. Don’t overdo it, don’t set unrealistic goals, or you’ll just fall straight back off.
- Make a plan
If you don’t plan to succeed, you’re planning to fail. It’s annoyingly true. So, get out that pen and notebook, or the notes section in your phone, and get planning! Plan your meals and meal prep time, write that grocery list and get to the shops, and allocate time to exercise. Pop your schedule somewhere visible.
- Take it one day at a time
If the idea of getting back on track is daunting, just focus on smashing one day at a time. Just one day. If you have a good day, give yourself a pat on the back and focus on the next day. Don’t worry about how long it will take to lose the weight. Just focus on one day, one kilo at a time. It’s a little like the best way to eat the elephant … one bite at a time.
- Get enough sleep
A lack of sleep can negatively influence the body’s ability to lose weight. Rest is so important, not only for your physical health but your mental and emotional wellbeing. Our bodies need time to sleep and recharge so we have the energy we need to exercise.
- Find other coping mechanisms
If emotional eating is a problem, work on finding other ways to deal with your emotions that don’t involve food or drinks. We have all used eating to overcompensate for feelings. But many people also say that it’s really the fear of experiencing the emotion that makes them eat. When they simply let the emotion happen—and learn how to deal with it —it’s never as bad as they thought it would be. When your emotions are getting the best of you and food is calling to you, try writing your thoughts down, calling a friend or turning on some soothing music instead.
- Find an accountability partner
This is crucial to staying focused. Ask a friend, work colleague, family member or personal trainer! If you need helping to get back on track, don’t hesitate to reach out.
I’d love to help you achieve your weight loss goals through one of my many programs.