Learn one simple trick so you can treat yourself, without feeling like you've ruined your diet.
Dieting... it's a slog right? Well, it doesn't have to be. Yes you will have to make changes but if you only make changes that feel good, aligned, right for you and your life then it will feel a lot less hard. But what about that sinking feeling you've ruined your diet? That feeling that tells you 'it's ruined now, you might as well keep going, you're a failure anyway so keep punishing yourself." Sound familiar? You're in the right place.
Let's get really real
If I told you I had eaten a piece of cake at a friend's birthday, would you tell me I had 'ruined' my diet and I better keep eating and wait for Monday to 'start again'? Or if you saw your best friend enjoying a glass of wine after work, would you tell them it's all over, they were such a failure that they had better collect a pizza on the way home, feel bad, ashamed and beat themselves up until they hated themselves? Hopefully, you see my point...
Stop being so hard on yourself
It is totally normal and human to want to enjoy higher calorie food sometimes. It's a part of our life, our culture and it can also be a part of your diet for weight loss or healthy eating too.
Refocus right away
The key thing to know is when you make an 'away' choice. A choice that means you're not voting for your goals in that moment, that you immediately make a 'towards' choice afterwards. This resets the cycle. Let me explain:
Stay kind, flip your mindset
The temptation to drop into the doom spiral is real but to what end? To punish yourself for being human? To hate yourself for not holding yourself to impossible standards that you would never hold anyone else to? This stops today. And here is how.
When you decide to 'treat' yourself - make sure it is truly a treat. Ask yourself 'How will I feel after I do this?' - is this something that will fill me up with joy and happiness? If the answer is no, it's not really a treat... (Something for a future blog).
If you decide yes then great! Plan your choice and accept that it might mean no change on the scales for a week but that's ok. It was the right choice for you in the moment.
🥘 Eating a delicious meal out to celebrate an event
🍔 Sharing higher calorie food with a partner/friends
🏋🏼♀️ Missing the gym because it's a birthday party
🚶🏻♀️ Not hitting 10k steps because you felt tired and needed to rest
None of these things matter in isolation.
It's what you do consistently that counts.
How can you flip your mindset? Like this:
💚 After a delicious meal out with people I love, I will ensure I have a breakfast that is right for my goals and continue on with healthy habits the next day.
💚 I will still share a take away but I will eat mindfully. Eating only until I am satisfied (not stuffed) and I will ensure I plan food that is right for my goals for the next day. Without overly restricting, just moving forward.
💚 If I miss the gym due to something I want to attend, I will see if my schedule allows for me to attend on a different day. If not, I will accept that one missed session is ok, I can make progress by continuing with my other positive habits.
💚 If I have a day where I don't meet my step target because I am tired. I will prioritise sleep and be grateful that I respected my body enough to rest.
Do you see how this changes everything?
Every time you choose, you have the opportunity to choose for the future self you want to be or the same self you are today. Neither of those versions of you are perfect and never will be.
Practise accepting 'good enough' and you'll see your progress skyrocket. As long as you're beating yourself up for not being perfect and allowing yourself to stay in the punishment cycle, you're standing in your own way.
Bring in some gratitude
If you make an 'away' choice and you're struggling to refocus, think of your progress so far. Allow yourself to be grateful for any small change you have made and focus on how good it made you feel. Be kind to yourself.
If you need some help with this, come and join us in the Next Level You Society where you can get support whilst you work on your goals for just £27/month. Click here to read more.
About the author
Angela is a registered nutritionist and habit change enthusiast who specialises in helping women and anyone feeling like they're trapped in the 'Diet starts Monday' cycle reach their goals and make a lasting change. I've been there and I understand the frustrations. I'll show you how to end comfort and binge eating, how to make peace with your choices and finally get the body and lifestyle you deserve.