Hey Angels and Alphas,
Getting back on track to weight loss, healthy eating, or training hard – whatever those things mean to you – can sometimes be tricky after you’ve taken time off. But whether you’ve taken a break from developing certain habits over the holiday season or you’re simply going to be refreshing your nutritional habits as you’re moving into the New Year, you have to get your head in the game.
After all, the “back on the wagon” mentality can actually bring its own mental challenges. Luckily, there will be countless ways you can adjust your mindset and make it much easier to wrap your head around all the positive changes you’re implementing. Here, dietitians are going to be sharing their own tips.
#1 THINK ABOUT ADDING, NOT SUBSTRACTING
Consider all the different things you want to be eating rather than what you’re going to be aiming to remove from your diet. That way, working your way toward much healthier habits is likely going to feel less overwhelming. Instead of cutting out all the chips and pizza from your diet, try adding a new serving of veggie to your meals every day. Pizza with salad will be a much more balanced meal and may help you eat less in the long run.
#2 KEEP IT IN PERSPECTIVE
It won’t really matter what you do between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, it only matters what you do between New Year’s Day and Christmas Day. The holiday season is the busiest time of the year – make sure to enjoy foods that are worth splurging on and just move on into your routine after the holidays. You aren’t going to serve yourself if you just dwell on the past. Set some realistic goals and get moving!
#3 REMEMBER SETBACKS ARE A PART OF THE PROCESS
Getting back on track can easily feel intimidating if you’re someone who is afraid of messing up their diet. So it can really help to acknowledge that you’re definitely going to slip up from time to time – and that’s totally OK. Plan for all your setbacks by just identifying which areas you’re going to be struggling with.
Maybe it’s exercise or consistency, maybe it’s the drinks on the weekends. Do your best to plan ahead for the occasions. Realize they’re just a part of the process and aim to minimize their impact. Recognize that progress is going to get you to the goal – not perfection.
#4 REMEMBER NOTHING LASTS FOREVER
Another obstacle standing in the way between you and changing how you eat is worrying that you just won’t be able to eat your favorite foods again. But keep in mind that the changes you’re making now might involve making some sacrifices. But once in a while, you should treat yourself to all the foods you love.
Plus, as you’re getting closer and closer to your goals, there may even be more room for the foods you actually enjoy.
#5 FOCUS ON THE QUALITY
It might seem counterintuitive at first, but you should never start a diet by simply cutting calories out. If you’re not eating the correct balance of micronutrients to actually satisfy your body, simply trying to restrict to a smaller amount of food is a recipe for disaster.
Instead, focus on the quality of your food – choose more nutrient-dense options and fewer processed foods. Learn more about your own hunger and satiety cues. Do your best to set yourself up for success by giving you body quality, then leave the quantity as your second priority.
#6 UNDERSTAND THAT NOTHING IS OFF LIMITS!
There are no foods that should be strictly forbidden from your diet. Everything and anything can find in a well-balanced, healthy diet. The only thing you have to do is choose how much food you’re going to eat. Maybe you’re someone who just loves ice cream.
Why would you completely take it out of your life? It’s just a matter of controlling your portion size and making sure you’re not overindulging.
Remember that the foods you love to eat are easily available, and they’re not going anywhere but aim to exercise self-discipline and treat yourself with those foods as you’re still making progress.