The first thing to remember is that it happens ALOT! If it happens to you, it’s normal. The road to long term health can be unsteady at times and it’s easy to ‘fall of the wagon’ and beat yourself up about it.
The truth is, this is life, nobody can be 100% all of the time. Making nutritional allowances when you are aware of a potential set back is a great way to feel ok about it. For example, if you have a night out coming up and it’s going to involve alcohol or food you wouldn’t normally allow yourself, think about your daily intake before the night out. Have a lighter breakfast and lunch to accommodate some of the additional calories.
It takes around 21 days to form a new habit, so with that in mind, if new structures can be put into place and adhered to for this length of time, the chances are a lot higher for sticking to it.
When people have a ‘bad’ food day, it can lead to a bad week, and then they see little point in doing it as they see it as failure. Just being able to recognise a bad day, and put it behind them and start again (even if it’s on a Wednesday and not a Monday!!) is really important for success. Not many people know this, but healthy living can start on any day of the week, it doesn’t have to be a Monday!
Let’s say your old habit is chocolate - and mine actually is! I never tell myself I can’t have it as this brings the need to have it (and this is why diets don’t work but that’s another subject! I may have slightly less with my evening meal and allow myself 2 squares of dark chocolate with some greek yoghurt which really hits the spot.
Another question to ask is, when do you find yourself falling back into old habits….. is it stress related, or are you bored? All of these factors can affect the choices you make, so understanding how you can make changes to combat stress or boredom will really help. If you recognise these as your triggers, think of what you can do to change the behaviour pattern.
Organising your week with food is an absolute must - literally plan your weekly meals and when you shop only buy what you need. This way you will save money and not spend money on bad stuff. If you don’t buy it, you can’t eat it. If you buy it, guaranteed you’ll eat it if it’s in the house.