Diet-to-Go Blog
  1. Diet Derailed? Bounce Back With These Effective Strategies

    Diet Derailed? Bounce back!

    Many of us set out on a weight loss journey with all the passion, commitment, and dedication we need to succeed.

    And for a while, we’re doing it — sticking to our plans and celebrating as we achieve one milestone after another. The days turn into weeks and the weeks into months, and we get comfortable in our new healthy living routine. It becomes second nature.

    But then that day comes — and it very likely will come — where we inevitably fall off the wagon and relapse into old poor eating habits, forgo our fitness classes, and just, kind of, give up.

    It happens — even to the best of us. Many external life factors can trigger a fall-off, and sometimes, it’s out of our control. Here’s the good news: It doesn’t have to end your healthy new lifestyle and goals completely.

    We compiled a list of seven strategies to bounce back from that diet derail and find a renewed sense of purpose as you seek to achieve your goals.

    1) Be kind to yourself.

    If you take away nothing else from this article, take away this: Practicing self-compassion is critical to dusting yourself off and moving forward. Recognize the feelings of failure and guilt, acknowledge them, and then forgive yourself. You are not a loser. You are not a bad person. You made a choice, and now you can make a different choice — it’s as simple as that.

    2) Identify what triggered the relapse.

    People who succeed most in their endeavors are always looking for ways to improve. They’re constantly learning and adjusting accordingly. That’s why taking the time to identify what external factors triggered your diet derail is critical to moving forward. Did you have a challenging life event? Did you drink too much at a party, lowering your inhibitions? Perhaps you traveled or met someone new who influenced your decisions. Whatever it was, write it down and think of ways to reapproach it in the future so it doesn’t derail you again.

    3) Don’t punish yourself.

    Creating a healthy lifestyle doesn’t happen overnight. You likely took one small step at a time, changing things along the way, until you got where you wanted to be. Don’t suddenly start exercising extra hard or severely restricting your caloric intake to atone for a few bad decisions. Even if you do lose weight initially doing this,* you’re creating unsustainable behaviors that you are very unlikely to stick with long-term. And it can do way more damage than good in the long run.

    4) Commit to picking up where you left off the next day.

    Every successful healthy journey takes time to build. Whether your diet derail lasted a day, a week, or even a month, the key is to commit to going back to exactly where you left off the next day — and then doing it. For example, if your healthy lifestyle involves eating a protein-filled breakfast, exercising five days a week, and allowing yourself one binge day, that’s precisely where you should restart.

    5) Remember what motivated you to begin in the first place.

    If you’ve been working hard to create a healthy lifestyle for quite some time, there’s a chance you may not remember why you even started. Think back to before you began on this journey. Write about it. Meditate on it. Reflect. Regaining sight of the beginning can make it a whole lot easier to kick your butt into gear again following a downfall.

    6) Keep it moving.

    A lack of motivation can be one of the most challenging things to overcome when it comes to a healthy eating derailment. One way to combat this is to continue exercising each week. Whether you go on a 10-minute walk during your lunch break or are a full-on, six-days-a-week gym person, maintaining your exercise regime is one of the best things you can do to get your diet back on track, too.

    7) Look for little tweaks you can make to your routine.

    Sometimes, it’s as simple as feeling bored that can cause you to slump. Just like you started off taking one small step at a time to get where you wanted to be, look for ways to make small changes to your healthy living routine to alleviate some of that boredom. Try a few new recipes. Change up your cheat day. Sign up for a new fitness class. There are so many approaches to take — all you need to do is take the steps to do one.

    Ultimately, every successful weight loss journey will likely backtrack at some point. Implementing these strategies is one way to help rejuvenate your efforts and keep going.


    Author: Caitlin H
    Diet-to-Go Community Manager

    Caitlin is the Diet-to-Go community manager and an avid runner. She is passionate about engaging with others online and maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle. She believes moderation is key, and people will have the most weight loss success if they engage in common-sense healthy eating and fitness.


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