Long Read

What To Do If You Fall Off The Diet Wagon

We have all been there. The healthy eating and dieting is going really well – you’re on it! But, temptations in the office, drinks on the weekends and festive chocolate treats can really tempt you to break that cycle of staying ‘on plan’. All the willpower in the world hasn’t stopped you from having that ‘snackcident’ – or in some cases – takeaway moment.

After your ‘snackcident’,  how do you feel? Despair and self-loathing. You ask yourself, “Why did I do that? Now I’ve blown it and the whole day is right off!” This is the WRONG attitude. Feeling like a failure, you are more likely to ditch your diet completely and fall back into your old patterns of poor eating. What happens next? The weight you lost soon comes back, along with a little extra.

So we’re taking a look at why you keep falling off the diet wagon, with 3 steps to help you get back on plan.

Exante Craving Junk FoodReasons why you keep falling off the diet wagon

You crave junk food

We all know that junk food is unhealthy. We know eating a lot of it can lead to heart problems, high blood pressure and possibly other conditions such as type 2 diabetes, yet we ALL get cravings to eat bad stuff. There have been loads of recent studies looking into why we crave high fat and high sugar foods, so we look at what experts are saying about junk food cravings and how we can combat it to lead healthier lives on our blog.

You’re sipping your calories

When it comes to losing weight, many of us focus on what we’re eating but forget about what we’re are drinking. Sound familiar? It’s so easy to consume calories from fruity drinks packed with added sugars or frappes full of fat! Drinking your calories is so unnecessary and can easily be stopped. So, don’t panic, you can rethink what you drink with our top tips, plus try our low-sugar alternatives.

Summer drinks have officially hit the menus of high street coffee shops! But, watch out – these deliciously sounding fruity thirst quenchers and frappes are a lethal weapon for sabotaging your summer weight loss. Have you ever looked at the nutritional menu? You’ll find that an average frappe contains at least 60g of sugar – that’s 15 teaspoons of sugar! You’d have to run 30 minutes just to burn it off! Don’t forget the whipped cream topping too. That’ll add 100 more calories to your drink.

Instead, try our delicious Caramel Latte Frappe for a delicious refreshing coffee treat. Or if it has to be coffee, why not shop our tasty selection of Beanies coffee flavours? They’re just 2 calories per cup!

And let’s not forget water. You need to be drinking plenty to achieve your weight loss goals, but if you find that it isn’t the tasty treat you crave, you can liven it up with a squeeze of one of our fruity water enhancers. Perfect!

You give into office treats

Fun-size bags of Maltesers, giant cookies, and a dozen doughnuts are all very tempting – especially during the winter months as they bring us comfort. But, all that office snacking and sitting is sabotaging your winter weight loss! If you want to resist that temptation, try our healthy high-protein Exante Snack alternatives.

3 Steps to help you get back on plan

Even if you’re not on any of our weight loss challenges, but are simply losing weight for summer, we know all too well that the struggle is most definitely real. It’s a process, and you have to learn to work your new eating habits into everyday life, slowly but surely – this prevents falling off the wagon in the first place.

Because we’re determined for you to be strong and get back on plan, we’ve compiled a list top ways to get back on track with your weight loss.

1 | Don’t be hard on yourself

Before you can think about getting back on plan there’s a number one rule. Do NOT be hard on yourself. We mean it! There’s no point in beating yourself up about something that’s in the past. Instead, just think about what you have achieved so hard, understand that falling off was a moment of weakness, but it can be resolved and you CAN get back on your weight loss journey.

2 | Remind yourself why you started in the first place

This tip could never be more relevant! Weight loss diaries are all the rage and have proved to be a great motivating tool to look back on. Your first page should be all about why you want to lose weight and the rest used as a way to track your progress. Always include a little note reminding yourself of your journey and how much you have lost. When you fall off the wagon you’ll have this diary to look back on. This will definitely help renew your motivation and get you back in the zone.

3 | Know your biggest weaknesses

The next step is to learn from your experience and find out your weakness. What made you fall off the wagon? Was it a lack of support around you, your emotions around food, are you stressed? If there’s some emotional trigger – pinpoint it and try to resolve that issue. If you’re stressed – get moving. Exercise will really help to trigger happy endorphins!

If you’re an emotional eater who eats unhealthy snacks every time you’re upset, then this needs to be dealt with separately from your weight loss challenges. Tackle your emotional issues head-on, work out what it is that’s making you feel this way, and what you can use to remedy it in a healthy, relaxing way.

How to stop falling off the diet wagon for good

Understand that dieting and weight loss is all about a ‘journey’ – changing your poor eating and exercise habits into healthy ones. This journey isn’t easy, it’s not a quick fix and it doesn’t end even when you reach your target weight. Maintaining healthy habits takes time and effort too.

Be realistic and set small goals

One of the pitfalls of dieting is focusing on short-term weight loss, not on future-proof healthy habits. Research shows that people who keep the weight off do so because they set realistic long-term habits whilst dieting.

Organise your fitness routines. A yoga class on a Sunday, dance class on a Wednesday night, even one or two nights a week doing something fun will increase your weight loss.

Have a support network around you

When it comes to dieting, going solo may feel like a struggle. It may be that you need support and a little motivation from a friend or ‘dieting partner in crime’!

Research shows that buddying up with someone when dieting dramatically increases your chances of succeeding and actually losing more weight. Teaming up is also more fun too! Why not join a yoga class together to tone up, go for walks in the summer sunshine, or even treat yourself to a Saturday shopping trip? You’ll have fun whilst losing the pounds and toning up too!

Focus on portion control

If you do cheat with food – focus on the portion control of this meal. Lowering your carbs can help – so if you want a curry, pair it with roasted cauliflower, not rice. Try and avoid the side dishes too, as these will bump your calories and are often laden with fat.

If you’re a cheese lover, or maybe you spread your peanut butter on thick? Read our guide to portion control – you may be very surprised by how big our portions are when we look at the recommended amounts.

Reward yourself with something that’s not food

When we’re happy, sad, excited or mad, food plays a massive role in compensating for our emotions. We call it ‘treating ourselves’ and it often makes us feel guilty afterwards. But, research has found that treating yourself during a diet can actually help you stay motivated. So, how do you treat yourself without food?

How you treat yourself doesn’t have to be big but it has to be all about you. It can be as small as a mud mask, manicure, or even a trip to the cinema. So, if you’re trying to make a healthy life change, try treating yourself and incorporating a little ‘you time’ into your weekly routine.

Stuck for ideas? We asked everyone at Exante HQ to tell us how they treat themselves as a reward for living a healthy life:

Sophie: “The best is curling up on a rainy day with a good book and escaping into my own imagination for a few hours, pure bliss!”

Meg: “How I treat myself after a hectic week at work is to spend my weekends outside walking my puppy, or snuggled up on the sofa with her (she doesn’t hog the blanket)”

Lotty: “Every Sunday evening I have a stress-free soak in the bath with an amazing Lush bath bomb. It helps me relax before a busy week ahead.”

Joe: “The best way I treat myself is by going to the gym first thing in the morning. It’s a nice way to wake yourself up, relax the muscles, clear your mind, and best of all you don’t have to force yourself to go later on in the day!”

Carla: “Once a week I apply natural masks to moisturise and keep my skin fresh and away from wrinkles. I choose oats as it’s an excellent option for natural masks.” 

Elena: “On Friday evenings I sometimes burn sandalwood or lavender incense to relax while lying down in bed at the end of the day.”

Want to sign up to our two-week weight loss challenge on Messenger? Click here.

Amy Brawn

Amy Brawn

Writer and expert

Lover of Blueberries, running and the odd square of dark chocolate

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