“Thanksgiving, man. Not a good day to be my pants.” This quote is from comedian Kevin James. While funny, it also has a good point. All of us, at some point or another, will “mess up” our diets. And if you’re trying to stick with a diet, then Thanksgiving is one of THE TOUGHEST holidays to do it. (Especially when the entire holiday revolves around eating a big meal.) While a gluttonous yesterday may leave you feeling sluggish and heavy today, the truth is that a handful of simple strategies can help you undo the damage. Here are 5 tips to get your diet back on track.
Tip #1: Don’t Be So Hard on Yourself
One of the most important things to do when you mess up on your diet plan is to be kind to yourself. Don’t let an unexpected turn on your journey derail you from reaching your goals. Lots of people will cheat on their diet and feel horrible, not realizing how amazing they are actually doing overall. It’s okay to be less than perfect…but consistently dedicated.
Tip #2: Identify Your Triggers
It’s good to understand what you do and why you do it. For example, you may find that you eat more after a hard day at work or on the days you do less exercise. Once you know these triggers, you can begin changing your response to them. I recently noticed that I tended to eat more at parties and social gatherings. When you’re aware of your behavior it’s enough to stop you from overindulging.
Tip #3: Drink More Water
Water supports optimal metabolism and helps naturally curb appetite. Because water is an appetite suppressant, drinking it before meals can make you feel fuller, therefore reducing the amount of food you eat. The health resource website, WebMD, states that drinking water before meals results in an average reduction in intake of 75 calories per meal. Drinking more water also flushes out excess sodium to help you quickly de-bloat, and it gets your digestive system moving to relieve constipation.
Tip #4: Get Back on Track Quickly
Perhaps you’ve ruined your diet for one day, and then messed up for two days in a row, and then carried it on into a full week. It’s not ideal, but it’s something that happens to everyone. And when you get back on track, it’s important not to feel like you have to “make up” for lost progress by working twice as hard. That only causes more stress…and dieting fatigue.
Tip #5: Keep Problem Foods Out of the House
Sometimes it boils down to the fact that you can’t eat what you don’t have. For me, I realized that peanut butter was my hidden weakness. Yes, peanut butter. Growing up, I used to take large chunks of peanut butter and use it as a snack – alone or dip with crackers. However, I always overindulge in too much calorie-dense peanut butter. I learned that it was becoming too much of a problem for me. Now, it’s infinitely easier to control my diet when my craving is completely out of the house.
Are these tips helpful for you? For tips on what to avoid, I encourage you to check out this blog post. I’d love to hear about tips that have worked in the past for you at firstname.lastname@example.org. And be sure to sign up below for more great tips like these by registering for our weekly newsletter.