Whether you are dieting to lose weight or to maintain weight, everyone tends to fall off their diet wagon from time to time. You kick started your day with an intense workout, had your protein shake and even packed your lunch. You showed up to work in your well-tailored suit, all ready to tackle the day. But when you read that mail from your boss asking you for the report you thought was due next week, the panic sets in and you figure out how you are going to get a week’s task done in one day! The quickest respite in this moment could be that donut lying on the coffee counter or that tempting packet of potato crisps. And in that one moment you go from being terrific to terrible, and day-dream about all the foods that could save you from your misery!

But don’t fret, because you are not alone. This happens to the best of us and no matter how great your intentions are about being fit, you cannot expect to follow your diet perfectly every minute of every day. If you’ve fallen off your diet wagon (and everyone does) here are some easy tips to help you get back on track:

Don’t be so hard on yourself

Everyone makes mistake when it comes to their diet. What you shouldn’t do is, beat yourself up over it because you’ll end up feeling like you have failed. And this could just lead you to give up on your fitness goals completely and lose control in the long run. A simple lapse involving eating something that you shouldn’t or exceeding your calorie limit for the day could just be a single event without any repetition. Recognize it for what it is and don’t let it get the better of you. Take control and make it a point to be strict the next time you encounter a lapse without being so hard on yourself .

Know your triggers

For many stress is the biggest trigger to start a downhill journey to bad eating. People eat in response to stress because they think a treat will make them feel better about the overwhelming situation they are in. But it only helps momentarily. And once the guilt sets in you get even more stressed and the cycle continues, so on and so forth. For others the triggers could be fatigue, loneliness, boredom, frustration among several others. You just need to find what is it that makes you tick and plan a move on how to tackle it. Also be vary of people who are ready to forsake their diets and keep on urging you to have something ‘just this once’.

Junk Food and The Fat Tax (Image: Ebru)
Junk food might help momentarily but don’t let it derail you from your fitness goals

Don’t stuff down your emotions

If the lapses in your diet are due to your emotions, then you’ll need to find other ways to deal with them that don’t involve food. People usually don’t want to end up feeling frustrated and hence they substitute their emotions with food. And not just any food- the gooey, creamy, greasy stuff- that’s loaded with carbs and sugars. What you should be doing is, letting the emotion happen, because no matter what you do the emotion will surface and what better way than acceptance! When your emotions are getting the better of you, you could write down how you feel in a diary, call up a friend, listen to some soothing music, take a walk, or have a cup of tea instead.

 Wait it out

Delaying the urge to indulge in your temptations can actually work in your favor. If you maintain a food diary, then you can keep track of your lapses and correct them right away. Every time you have food on your plate, remember to take into consideration what you’re about to eat and why. This should be enough to stop you in your tracks. Another trick you can try out is to wait for a good 10-minutes and see if the urge dies down. If it does strike back again, you’ll probably get busy doing something and will totally forget about it.

A food diary makes you more accountable for your indulgences

Don’t lose track

Don’t let your slip turn into a fall. If you ate something that you shouldn’t have don’t lose track and pick it up right away during the next meal. If you have consumed your daily intake of calories in one meal, focus on the amount you will be consuming in the next one. If you gave in to your craving, just get over it and be cautious not to repeat it any time soon.

Be proud of your accomplishments 

Remind yourself every time you have a slip that this is nothing but a small glitch in your progress. Your entire diet used to comprise of these slips and lapses once upon a time and now they only happen occasionally. So give yourself a pat on the back when you are being overly critical of yourself and your bad eating. Now you actually have a plan and are committed to achieving your fitness goals. So every time you pick the healthier option at the buffet, turn down the sweets at the party or skip the donut at work when you are stressed, take a deep breath and be proud of yourself for coming such a long way.

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