Join me for a frank discussion about how to recover after a diet relapse and learn how to get back on track with your healthy diet.
It has been a couple of months since our last update and a few things have been going on since March. Let me just say that life has a funny way of happening all at once for me.
Whilst I have been trying to keep on top of my healthy diet, I will freely admit here today that I fell off the wagon!
I am trying not to sound like I’m making excuses for myself in this post. But I also want to be upfront and say I am not going to beat myself up about my poor choices either.
I have struggled to manage my time recently and I have found myself reaching for convenient foods, sweet snacks and even one too many alcoholic beverages. None of this has helped with my overall healthy diet goals. In fact, it has had the complete opposite effect, which is no surprise.
How NOT to lose weight
So this is a lesson in how not to lose weight. Or probably more accurately, how not to relapse on your healthy diet and put weight back on.
Two of the key ingredients to healthy weight loss and a healthy diet are to cut out snacking on the WRONG kinds of food and also to reduce your alcohol intake. As I said at the top, I have been a little more than indulgent lately. It started when I switched to holiday mode during my recent visit to Amsterdam.
Discovering my sweet tooth in Amsterdam
Towards the tail end of March, the hubby and I visited Amsterdam. Do you know what they have in abundance?
Yes everyone knows they are pretty liberal on their use of soft drugs (which of course I did not partake). But they also have an overwhelming amount of sweet snacks (likely, to cure the late-night munch attack).
There’s also plenty of alcohol too. I am Irish so this shouldn’t really have phased me but Geez Louise, I did live up to the typical Irish stereotype in Amsterdam. I am slightly ashamed to say that.
So with such sweet options literally on my doorstep, I indulged my sweet tooth, which is a rarity for me. But there was no holding back on this occasion. My healthy diet up to this point went completely out the window.
I devoured anything resembling a pastry, a waffle or a cookie. Let’s not even discuss eating out every night.
I’ve said before, for healthy weight loss there is a ratio of 75% diet and 25% exercise.
To try to counterbalance my overindulgence in sweet treats I got my exercise by walking around Amsterdam for three days straight. It is a very walkable city but I have two regrets:
- Forgetting to pack the charger for my fitness watch
- Underestimating the amount of walking I would actually do and not bringing appropriate walking shoes
A fair estimate would be approx. seven miles of walking per day; Twenty-one miles in total.
The importance of appropriate footwear
As a side note, there has been plenty written on the importance of wearing the right footwear for working out. Whether you buy good running shoes, or suitable trainers to wear at the gym. Sadly I didn’t consider the importance of good shoes to walk on flat ground!
In Amsterdam, I bought a cheap pair of trainers to accommodate walking all day. They were comfortable for about two hours, after that, not so much. I noticed that the insoles had worn down on one side of each shoe resulting in seriously straining both ankles, calves and sending pain straight up to my hips.
When I returned home I was in agony for about a week! For your own sake, please don’t repeat my mistake.
Returning to normality
So I won’t lie here. I found it difficult to get back into my normal routine when I returned and only now (nearly six weeks later) am I starting to find my grounding again.
I don’t normally reach for chocolate or overly sweet things to snack on. My preference is definitely the more savoury options but once I had the taste I really couldn’t kick the craving.
I was reaching for anything from chocolate and nuts to pastries and crisps. Then with having less free time than usual I chose the more convenient meal options.
Suffice to say that this has all resulted in a slight weight gain. But the crucial thing here is that I am not beating myself up about it.
Recovering after a diet relapse & returning to your healthy diet
The first step most people make when they fall off the diet wagon is to fall into a cycle of blaming themselves and getting upset for failing. I am avoiding this never-ending cycle and you shouldn’t either.
Here are a few tips that I have used to dust myself off and start again.
Acknowledging the relapse in behaviour
Yes, I lost control of my snacking and eating habits. Am I going to let that define me? No. Am I going to use this as motivation to reignite my will power? Absolutely.
Accepting the human condition
We are all human. We are not perfect (even though some of us would like to believe so). It’s likely from time to time that we will slip up again.
I am not one for completely denying myself of a treat now and again. Everything in moderation. But admitting that a slip up is a possibility is liberating. If or when it does happen again, we will know how to react.
Making the commitment to your healthy diet
A great learning experience can be gained when we ‘fail’. It can also give us a kick up the bum to get back on the healthy eating wagon and to kick bad habits.
Making a commitment to yourself is crucial. It will cause you to evaluate your goals and the actions you take to achieve them.
Keeping focused on the end result
Zero in on what you want your end result to be. Do you want to be slimmer, healthier and full of life? Imagine what that will look like and keep it in the forefront of your mind when you feel you might slip up again.
Back in March, I had lost a total of 6.1 inches from around my body, compared to my measurements in January.
Below is a comparison of my measurements from March’s Weigh-in Wednesday and today:
|March 2019||May 2019|
|Left Arm||12.8 inches||12.8 Inches|
|Right Arm||12.8 inches||12.8 Inches|
|Left Thigh||22 inches||21.2 Inches|
|Right Thigh||22 inches||21.5 Inches|
|Chest||40 inches||40.5 Inches|
|Waist||37.8 inches||38 Inches|
|Hips||44 inches||44 Inches|
Ok. So let me just say I am a little shocked at the results. I’m surprised because they are nowhere near as bad as what I thought they would be. I purposefully left checking my measurements and weight until I came to the end of this post.
And in actual fact, I almost didn’t even bother to check them because I thought they would be AWFUL. But, life is full of surprises.
Going by my calculations I have lost a whopping 1.53 cm. A loss is a loss and this is enough motivation to get me back on track!
I have said this before and I will say it until I’m blue in the face. The number on the scale doesn’t always equate to reality. Muscle is denser than fat. It weighs the same but takes up less space.
Below is a comparison of my weight in March and today.
|March 2019||May 2019|
|Weight||79.6 kgs||80.8 kgs|
Since my last Weigh-In Wednesday, I have gained 1.2kg. Although it’s not great to see the numbers going up. I am not too disheartened and I know with my new found focus, things will start taking a turn for the better.
Yes, I had a relapse. I found my sweet tooth, I struggled to control my habits and lifestyle for a short period of time. And yes, I will build a bridge and move forward towards my goals.
Have you fallen off the healthy eating wagon? What did you do to reignite your mission? Did you find this post useful? Leave me a note in the comments and tell me about your journey.
Until next time…