Plate with selection of foods for healthy eating and weight loss


Tips to get you back on track to healthy eating

Are you feeling off? Did you gain some weight recently and lose interest in exercise? Did the holidays and winter knock you off course from your normal fitness and eating routine? 

Well, don't beat yourself up about it. Getting off track is normal. In fact, health, fitness and weight management should be viewed as a lifetime challenge. There will be times when it feels easy to eat well, exercise and do things that help you handle stress. At other times, staying on track doesn't seem possible or realistic. 

Use these times of personal derailment to help you build knowledge of what works for you, what doesn't. Build your resilience to keep moving toward your nutrition and fitness goals.

Here are some tips to get you back on track.

Reflect and learn from your health and fitness derailments
Think about what made you go off course and then make a plan to get back on track. This builds resilience. The next time you derail it will be a bit easier to recognize it and get back on course a little faster. Over time, you will become the master of your course corrections!

Know what your "on-track" looks like
Make a list and include details that explain what being on track looks and feels like for you. This is your plan. Include behaviors and proven tips that help you maintain good nutrition, an exercise routine and good mental health coping skills. Include things that have worked for you before. Also include people who support you and tools you have used in the past, such as step counters, journals, etc. 

Acknowledge traps
One hundred percent success can be too high a goal, especially when you're off course. Trying to be perfect can lead to procrastination and resentment. Instead, take a gradual approach to get back on track. Your plan didn't develop overnight so getting back on track may take some time too. Try to avoid negative or procrastinating thoughts like, "I'll start next week." 

Pick one or two "on-track" behaviors, set goals and be realistic. These should be things you have the most power to achieve. Chunk your goal(s) into one- to two-week increments. 

Make your goal SMART (Specific, Measured, Achievable, Realistic, Timed)
Write down your goal. Set a time in your calendar two weeks from now titled "goal reflection." Then get to work. In two weeks, look back on how you did. Whether you were successful, or not, adjust your goal as needed to set yourself up for success and proceed in small increments, each time getting closer and closer to your goal.

Waiting for motivation?
Motivation is an integral part of getting things done. When you lose motivation you tend to put off actions because you're "not feeling it." Action and motivation work together. Sometimes taking action and repeating it a few times can lead to new-found motivation or inspiration. Try not to overthink your action and just keep at it. You never know where it will lead.


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