Diet Mistakes: How to Bounce Back After.

woman in brown classic trench coat eating mcdo fries during daytime

It is very common for someone who is starting to eat healthier to slip up and make “Diet Mistakes”. Whether you are following a specific diet or eating what makes your body feel good (and avoiding what makes it feel bad), there may be times when you choose to eat something that you “shouldn’t”. Or, it could have been an impulse. Perhaps it was something you didn’t realize contained an ingredient you are trying to avoid. In any case, when we stray from our healthier Way of Eating, we often feel shame.

Diet Mistakes Don’t: Negative self-talk

Diet mistakes can make you feel upset and like you are failing.

The negative self-talk can be brutal. “Why I wasn’t strong enough to resist that craving?” “How do I always manage to self sabotage myself?” “I knew I wouldn’t be able to stick to this!” “I’ll never be successful at eating this way!” The comments often keep going. We beat ourselves up, which makes it harder to try again.

Diet Mistakes Do: Be understanding with yourself

Instead of negative self-talk, be kind to yourself! Habits can be Really hard to change. Hiccups are bound to happen. It’s important that you pick yourself up, not kick yourself when you are down. Just reset and make better choices at the next meal or snack you are planning to have. It’s the consistency of good choices that will make the difference. If you are on track 80-90% of the time, the 10-20% that was not the best won’t have as much of an effect.

DM Don’t: Feel like you failed

No matter how big or small the diet mistakes may be, it can feel like we have failed. Diets are often perceived as “all or nothing“. There’s no room for error. In other words if we make the tiniest wrong choice, we are back to square one. This line of thinking makes it very hard to feel like we are making progress.

sad woman sitting on kitchen counter while eating ice cream

DM Do: Know you can reset

Our food choices are not “all or nothing”. We have a fresh chance to reset every time we eat. So, remind yourself that you are not starting back at the beginning. You had a “speed bump” and now you have to get back to your plan. Keep going!

DM Don’t: Make more diet mistakes

It is very easy with the “all or nothing” attitude to decide that once you make the first mistake, it doesn’t really matter if you continue.”Well, my whole day is ruined anyway!” “I’ll try again tomorrow, but I might as well have something else since today is shot!” Continuing away from your healthy choices makes it harder to get back on track. We may think it will just be that day, but it can snowball into the whole week or more.

DM Do: Minimize the impact

woman sitting on table and drinking milk

If you decide the whole day is done after you have a donut at breakfast, not only will you miss out on 2 or more opportunities to improve, but also it will make it harder to get back on track the next day. Correcting your choices at the next meal or snack will help you both mentally and physically!

DM Don’t: Give up all together

It is hard to make changes in our habits and daily choices. So, when we do make diet mistakes, and then have all these negative thoughts, we feels like we should just give up. Certainly, it is not pleasant to feel bad about ourselves when we are trying to do something positive. Understandably, it would seem easier to quit so we can avoid the uncomfortable feelings. But, there is a reason we started to make changes.

DM Do: Remember your reasons

Although it may seem easier to throw in the towel and go back to old habits, it is important to remember the reasons you are making these changes. Your reasons are important to you. And so you should use them as fuel to keep making progress, no matter how hard it may seem sometimes.

DM Do: Have Help

You don’t have to struggle with making changes by yourself. Having a partner in your journey means that you have accountability and someone to cheer you on if mistakes happen. This could be a friend, family member, or a health coach. It’s important to have support!

Final thought:

Any time we are making improvements in our life, we are going to have successes and slip-ups. It’s inevitable, and for that reason, we need to be ready to accept the mistakes and keep on the path to our better selves. The effort will be worth it in the end.

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