Get Back on the Health Track

March 27, 2013
Healthy Track

Don’t let an occasional lapse lead you off the healthy track

Making healthy changes in your eating and lifestyle takes patience and time. It’s easy to feel like giving up when you eat too much over the weekend, or enjoy too much of that coffee cake your co-worker brought to work. But don’t allow occasional splurges to get you off track. Remember, “one lapse does NOT a relapse make”! Keep in mind the following tips as you continue taking small steps forward: 1) Do not focus on calories-focus only on fuel groups! Had a few doughnuts for breakfast, and wishing you hadn’t? Don’t skip lunch to make up the calories. Instead, try to round out what was missing at breakfast. Look for lean proteins, veggies, and low-fat dairy for lunch. That would be a great time to have a grilled chicken salad with lots of greens, vegetables and some grated cheese, with low-fat dressing on the side so you control the amount (not the kitchen staff!). Having a hard time getting those colors (fruits and vegetables) into your meals? Double up at one meal, like extra lettuce and bell pepper slices on your pita sandwich (You can ask for extra even at a fast food sandwich place).Think balance, and think fuel groups, and just catch up on the missing pieces at the next meal. 2) Do a quick review of what you ate at the last meal and/or snack. Remembering what you have eaten most recently may help encourage you to eat less the next time around. Remember, “I CAN EAT AGAIN…just not right now!” because your body’s fuel tank is full – wait until it needs another fill-up, and 3) Never be fooled into skipping the next meal to punish yourself for a splurge.  Missing an entire meal to make up for too many calories at the previous will always backfire on you.

The key is balance:  balancing your food (fuel) groups, trusting your hunger, and learning from your lapses. Failure is not possible. How can something be a failure when you can learn so much about yourself? The biggest splurge can result in more self awareness of the “why” behind your choice, which can result in greater confidence and motivation for the next time you find yourself in the same situation.  Eating better starts with just one meal–one day–one week at a time.  Unhealthy patterns do not happen over night but over a long period of days that lead to weeks that lead to months that lead to years. Likewise, healthy patterns take time, so be patient. It’s worth it!

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