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Getting Your Diet Back on Track After the Holidays

Sitting on couch in stocking feet

Have you ever gotten a flat tire on your car and then decided to slash the other three tires?


Then why do we do that with our diets?

Not sure what I mean?

Would another question help draw out the suspense?

I’ll explain… or will I?

Oops, I Did It Again!

Everywhere you turned during the holidays there were cookies, pies, and delicious meals laden with all the things that add new meaning to holiday weight gain.

You didn’t want to seem like a Scrooge and say no at all the parties, so you indulged a bit.

And again.

Woman stuffing face with donut

And then some more.

It became a habit.

You got used to having a taste of this and that. And that’s a habit that’s easily carried over into the new year.

So how do you make it stop?

Back On Track

One of my favorite coaching tools when a client feels they didn’t make a good choice or didn’t stick to their goals is the “Clean Slate Approach.”

Here’s how it works:

1. Stop The Shame

No more guilt. You did it, it happens. You’re human.

2. Stop Self-Punishment/Penance

Don’t try to only eat salads for the next 24 hours to make up for a bad meal. This just starts a vicious cycle.

Same goes for doing extra burpees or an extra hour on the elliptical. Exercise as punishment for food will be detrimental in the long run, and it simply doesn’t work (see why Exercise Burns Zero Calories).

3. Start To Move On

You still have other choices to make. Just because you messed up 1 meal, 1 day, doesn’t mean you have to continue making those choices.

The holidays are a little different in that it’s an extended period of time, not just 1 meal. But the concept is the same.

Just because you overindulged more than usual doesn’t mean it should affect you into the new year.

Which brings us back to the car tires…

The Explanation

I don’t know who came up with it, but it’s one of my favorite analogies:

If you get a flat tire, you won’t say, “That sucks. I might as well flatten the other three tires.”

Yet when it comes to eating, we tend to say, “I already messed up and had a cookie. This day is ruined. I might as well have some ice cream tonight.”

Which turns into, “Yesterday I ate cookies and ice cream. This week is ruined. I might as well polish off this bag of chips.”

And so on.

All you’re doing is feeding into the lie that you’re a screw-up.

When you had that one cookie, you didn’t ruin anything. Don’t slash your other tires out of self-contempt.

Losing weight and getting healthier is a journey of hundreds of choices you make. If making one bad choice messed up losing weight, none of us would ever reach our goals.

And even if you did go way overboard during the holidays, it’s time to move on.

The Rest Of The Year

I certainly enjoyed my share of goodies this season.

Guilt-free, I might add.

I make it a point to not worry about if I’ll gain weight, or if a food is “bad,” and just enjoy the celebrations.

That’s my motto with food year round (though slightly more so during the holidays).

What you do every once in awhile is insignificant to what you do every day. Don’t worry about the holiday dinners, or about a slip up here and there. Focus on the rest of the days of the year.

The new year can be a good time for a clean slate. But there doesn’t have to be a major calendar event just to start fresh.

You’ll mess up all year round. That’s ok. We all do it. Just pick up where you left off.

Are you ready for a clean slate? Let me know if you need help.


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