Fell off the diet wagon? Here are tips to get back on track and stay there. First, let’s talk about what happened and some of the pitfalls you may encounter on your fitness journey. Then we’ll talk about ways to handle them.
- You had a really busy day and missed a workout.
- There was no time to cook so you ordered pizza.
- You felt under the weather so you skipped a workout.
- You didn’t get to the grocery store so you ordered takeout.
- Your friends wanted to get together and you had one or two more drinks than you planned.
- You went on vacation and didn’t stick with your goals.
- You went to a family gathering and ate too much.
Next thing you know, it’s been a week or two since you last set foot in the gym or since you’ve succumbed to binge eating and now your pants are a smidge tighter. You fell off the wagon. It happens. The thing to do is pick yourself up and get right back on. Don’t panic or wallow in guilt. And definitely don’t quit. You don’t want to let all your hard work and effort go down the drain. Instead, look forward to the opportunity you have ahead of you to get back on the wagon. You can’t undo what you did, so do what’s right today.
There have been plenty of times this has happened to me. One day falls, one week falls, one month falls, long spells where I have absolutely no idea where that wagon went off to. And yes, I go to bed thinking “Why did I do that? I know better.” I have to work hard to not beat myself up over missing a workout or eating a ton of chocolate (my downfall). You know what I mean? Has this happened to you, too?
Well listen up. It’s not worth the worry and anxiety to let it bring you down. Push it out of your mind and instead focus on today. Don’t punish yourself for the past. Focus on enjoying the good you’re going to do today.
To help you get back on the wagon AND stay on it, I’ve put together a list of tips . They’ll work with any of your fitness goals, whether you’re on a workout wagon, a clean eating wagon, or doing a challenge (Whole 30, 30 Day Paleo Challenge, Renaissance Periodization Diet, 21-Day Beachbody Challenge, and so on).
Don’t forget to pin this to your favorite Pinterest board for later.
Fell Off the Diet Wagon? Tips to Get Back On Track
1. Cut Yourself Some Slack
You’re only human. We all succumb to temptation once in a while. Accept it and move on.
2. Change Your Mindset
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3. Revisit Your Why
Think back to the reason you jumped on the fitness wagon. Your Why for doing it. If you haven’t done it already, write it down. Read it out loud 3 times. Post it on your bathroom mirror. Sometimes we forget, so put it somewhere where you know you’ll see it frequently to get that extra reinforcement.
4. Call In Reinforcements
Speaking of reinforcement, this is a good time to call in the aid of a friend. Even better if they’re on the same wagon as you. You can support one another by cheering each other on, sharing diet or exercise ideas, and working out together. And talk with family about your goals. Ask them for their support and encouragement.
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5. Join A Team
If you’ve been toughing it out on your own, now might be the right time to find a group or form a team of people who have the same or similar goals. Try a team step challenge or a diet challenge with friends or coworkers or family. We have a tendency to stick with our goals when we have others around to help hold us accountable.
Related Article: Tips on How to Win a Step Challenge
6. Never Say Never
Doing so sets you up for failure. Rather than forbidding or banning certain foods, think about what you can have. Being on a fitness wagon doesn’t have to be all or nothing. If it’s ice cream you want for a snack, don’t deprive yourself and tell yourself you can never, ever eat ice cream again. Because you’ll end up eating it and feel guilty and awful that you did. Instead, get a low-fat or low-calorie option like a fruit popsicle or soft-serve ice cream.
7. Keep Track
Keep a Food Journal or Workout Journal. There are a number of phone apps, digital journals, and traditional paper journals you can use. Or keep it simple, grab a small notepad to carry around with you to jot down what you eat or what you’ve done for exercise.
One of our readers, April, keeps a little journal where she jots down the positives of each day, things like “fit in an extra workout” or “said no to dessert.” Great idea!
8. Plan Ahead
Planning sets you up for success. Here are actions you can take to stay on track.
- Open up your calendar and schedule in your workouts.
- Set reminders to drink water throughout the day.
- Make a meal plan for the week.
- Make a grocery list and stick to that list when you shop.
Related Article: 10 Healthy and Easy 4th of July Recipes
9. Change Up Your Routine
Try changing things up or try something new. Take a spin class or a barre class. Try a new recipe. Do something different to refresh your routine.
10. Reflect And Move On
Consider what your setbacks have been, what your triggers are, and what situations you’ve been in where you’ve fallen off the wagon. Write them down along with what you can do the next time it may happen.
11. Acknowledge It Takes Time
Did you put 10 pounds on overnight? No. Are you going to be able to take 10 pounds off overnight? No. The same thing with your body shape. It takes time to go up a size or two, it’ll take time to go back down. If you have a setback or two while on the wagon, each time jump right back on, and allow yourself a reasonable time to reach your goal.
12. Think About What Works
Too often we dwell on what went wrong and not enough on what has worked. Are there activities you’ve done that give you an endorphin high? What healthy habits have you successfully incorporated into your life? Have you found recipes you enjoy that are in line with your goals? Write them down. It’s great reinforcement of how good of a job you are doing. Celebrate the fact that you’re even on a wagon. Focus on the positives and not on the negatives and you’ll find your journey is a more enjoyable one.