Getting Right Back on Track & How To Do It?
Written by Rev Nutritionist, Angela Biondo
It is completely normal to have an off day. This is real life and we understand that things happen, but don’t let an off day turn into an off week and so on. You are not a "failure" because you had a day where you didn’t hit your macros spot on or because you had a piece of cake or a cookie. This is also where the labeling of food comes into play. If we didn’t think of food as "good" or "bad", then there would be no negative feelings associated with eating a particular food. You do not need to feel guilty for eating anything that you wanted. It is often better to give into a craving, enjoy it, track it and move on with the rest of your day. We practice "flexible nutrition" for a reason. You should not feel that you are restricting yourself. As long as you are being mindful and following the "80/20" rule, or whichever ratio works for you both physically and mentally, then you are good. What happens with restriction is that it often leads to binging, which tends to lead to feelings of guilt and shame.
There is always a new day, and tomorrow is a fresh start. There is always something that can be learned. If you feel that you had an off day, reflect on it. Understand why the day wasn’t the best. What did you learn? What can you change to prevent the cycle from happening again, or at least, happen less often. With that being said, also focus on the GOOD. Reflect on what strategies helped you throughout the day. What made you feel accomplished, satisfied, or helped you succeed? Write it down, replicate and repeat it the next day. Use these days as motivation! I often hear clients say how they had an "off day" and they felt it. Their bodies responded to this and they didn’t feel their best both physically and mentally. Use these feelings as motivation for the next day but also don’t dwell on the bad! You are human and it is okay to have an "off day" and the best thing to do is to hold yourself accountable, move forward and get right back on track!
Make sure you are still tracking during these days! I will not be upset if I see that you ate an unplanned donut, but you need to plug it in to your food log. This will hold you accountable, and remain honest with yourself. Also, one donut will NOT ruin your progress. I understand where this feeling comes from, but not tracking will do more harm than good. When you track it, it is easier to move on from it and still have a good day. One day off your plan will not ruin all of your progress! Letting it consume you, feeling guilty about it and choosing to give up is what will ruin your progress. Take a step back and remember why you started on this journey, envision your goals and think about the positives and how great you feel when you are on track. Fat/weight loss is not going to be a linear process and it is important to understand and accept this.
Some Tips for Getting Back on Track:
Find the trigger. Whether it’s a certain place, food, feeling, etc. Find what causes these "off days" to start and what might be throwing you off. This can help you to see if it is something that can be looked out for or a pattern that can be broken.
Let go of the negativity! When this happens, be kind to yourself and don’t feel guilty. Accept it, and don’t let it get the best of you and cause a downward spiral. Have a positive mindset and focus on all that you have already accomplished and give yourself credit when it’s due!
Find a way to decompress. Go to the gym, workout at home, go for a walk or bike ride, do yoga, read a book, play music, take a hot shower or bath, listen to a podcast, watch a funny movie, play a game, whatever you like to do, do it! Find a way to take your mind off of things and be productive to give you the reset you might need.
Set realistic goals and plan ahead. Set a goal for the following day or week. Something that you can look forward to and use as motivation to get right back into things. It is easier to fall off when your day is all over the place, so set a plan in motion whether it be when you can make time for yourself and to eat or what your meals are going to consist of. I’m not saying that you can’t make it work on days like this because you definitely can, it just always helps to have a plan.
Track, track, track! Start tracking again right away. After an "off day", it is easy to become consumed by it, but don’t let that happen! If you start tracking right away it will be easier to find your way back to it and will help get you right back on track. Start today! Don’t wait until tomorrow so you can't keep pushing it off.
Reach out to your nutritionist! We are all here for a reason, and that is to help you to the best of our ability. The more you communicate your needs with us, and are honest with us, the more we can help you! We are a team, and we are here to help you be most successful. Never hesitate to reach out. We are here for you!
Montclair State University
B.S Nutrition and Food Science