Friday, 20 October 2017

Blogtober Day 20 - What to do if you're failing at your diet.


Up until this week, I'd been eating really well. And then it went downhill, big time.

I'd settled into a routine, I was in the habit of eating small meals and not snacking after dinner and I was losing weight!

And then this week happened. I don't know what set it off - possibly the Afternoon Tea I wrote about earlier in the week has awakened my sweet tooth with a vengeance, or possibly it's just PMS manifesting itself as an 'EAT ALL THE THINGS' demon inside my brain, but I've been eating like crap this week. It's driving me nuts - every day I wake up and think, "I'm sticking to my plan today" and then it gets derailed by cake or extra sweets in the office kitchen or the rain making going to the gym feel impossible.

However, I've had these weeks before. I'm going to get back up on the horse and start eating properly again - not just (as is my very bad habit) little healthy meals stuck in between chocolate. So I thought that today I'd write about how you can go about getting yourself back on track after a derailment (diet-wise, anyway. Don't ask me about actual trains).

Identify your triggers

I know that if I have something sweet after dinner, I find it very difficult to stop after just one. Or if something's free or someone is giving something out, I can't resist, even if I know I should. There are my triggers for unhealthy behaviour, but yours might be something different. Once you identify them, you can...

Work out ways to avoid them

This might not always be easy, but often it's less difficult than you think. I need to relearn to not have anything sweet after dinner, not even a yogurt, not even if I have calories left. Every different trigger will have a different solution, but avoiding them or working around them helps so much. For example, if I know there's sweets in the kitchen that I won't be able to resist when I go in, I'll go and refill my water bottle somewhere else instead.

Bring your own food

I bring oranges to work every day because I know I will want something mid-afternoon and if I don't, I'll probably end up raiding the office biscuit supply. If, like me, you can't resist the call of food that's in front of you, it helps to have something to keep your hands and mouth 

Good decisions in the shop mean no bad decisions in the kitchen

I have a terrible habit of buying nearly anything if I get it reduced and at a good deal - this includes much more chocolate than I need. Most of the time I can nibble away at it on occasion and make it last forever, but then a bad period hits and I'll eat everything within half an hour. However, if I just resist buying them, then they won't be in the house when I'm looking to snack, then I won't set myself off.

No matter what you eat, put it in MFP anyway

 I don't like seeing all that red, but I log all the crap stuff that sent me over anyway. There's no point not knowing the total you've eaten - your body has already counted every single calorie, all you're doing after a binge or a takeaway is record keeping. You owe to to yourself to be honest, and keep track of how wrong you've gone and what you need to do to get back on track.

Remind yourself it's alright to have a break/maintenance break

Your weight does does not have to be - and is not going to be - a straight diagonal line down. It will have bumps and plateaus and that's alright. So you haven't lost anything this week - that only adds a week to length of time it will take to be done. It doesn't matter if you fail over the time period of a meal, a day, a week, or a month - you can pick it up again and keep going.

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