One common thought process when it comes to food and exercise is that if we fall off the healthy lifestyle wagon, that’s it, ‘I’ve ruined it now’. As a result you continue to revert back to the habits that got you to the stage of wanting to make the changes in the first place. This is a pretty crazy thought process. One slip isn’t going to undo days, weeks or months of hard work. What does undo all that is believing all is lost because of one or two slips and it becoming a return to long term poor choices.
From experience as a Personal Trainer there are some common reasons for slips that crop up.
1. Thinking you have to starve yourself and going hungry. While this isn’t the way forward for fat loss, weight loss or body composition in the first place, it also increases the chances of you craving the things you don’t really want to eat.
2. Emotional rollercoasters. Food can be a coping mechanism for people but how effective is it in making you feel good about yourself. This can be a vicious cycle and results in a short term gain of feeling good for long term pain in terms of not getting anywhere with your goals.
3. Not being prepared/organised. There’s a great quote, ‘A goal without a plan is just a wish’. If we’re not spending a bit of time planning and preparing our gym sessions and food it can become difficult to achieve what we want to achieve.
So, what should we do if we slip?
First rule: Don’t beat yourself up about it! Feeling guilty and getting stressed about it doesn’t help you or the journey to looking, feeling and performing better. It’s done, it can’t be changed, you have no control over the past. Put it to one side. What you do have control over is what you do next.
Second rule: Once you’ve put the slip to one side, remind yourself of your goals, any results you’ve already seen and how great you’ve been feeling. Try and identify why the slip happened in order to try and prevent it happening regularly in the future. Also, if it’s a cheat or treat that you’ve enjoyed that happens infrequently, and enables you to move forward with good food choices and exercise, is it that bad? Ultimately we need to look at long term sustainable lifestyle changes that work.
Third rule: Get organised. Plan your next meal/meals or your next training session that you missed because you talked yourself out of it. You have full control here. If you struggle with food prep we recommend looking for a meal prep option where people do that for you. If you’re in Hull there’s a great place called JJays. Visit their website to check out their range of meal preps but also healthy smoothies and snacks.
Fourth Rule: Execute your plan. It can be easy to talk yourself out of a training session or meal. Be dedicated and bloody minded.
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Eat Well. Move Well. Live Well.