Health.com
April 19, 2011


By Tina Haupert

Last week, I received this email from a reader:

Hi Tina,
Hope you are well! I have a question/potential blog topic for you. I have noticed that the more progress I see in my body due to workouts and diets, the more likely I am to slack off or allow myself more food. Maybe this is human nature? Do you struggle with this and do you have any tips on how to combat it?

When I was working towards my Feel Great Weight, I experienced the exact same feelings and behaviors. I'd lose a few pounds, feel confident, and fall back into my old habits of overdoing it on desserts and skipping multiple workouts in a row. Of course, slipping up every once in a while wasn't a big deal, but as soon as I saw progress, I'd fall off the wagon with my healthy eating and exercise regimen, which meant that any weight I had lost came back. I was sabotaging myself!

Getting off track is never enjoyable, especially when I previously saw success on the scale, but taking a step back and refocusing (as well as some positive thinking and strengthened self-discipline) kept me moving toward my goal. Here are some tactics that help me stick to my healthy habits when I start to slip.

1. Remind myself about the importance of consistency
Getting off track once or twice isn't a big deal, but lots of slipups can really add up. I kept this in mind when I started to slack on my healthy habits, which motivated me to keep trucking along. I knew that if I wanted to see results, I needed to be consistent with my meals and workouts. Plus, I really didn't want to backtrack with my progress!

2. Read a fitness blog
When I’d rather eat nachos for dinner than have a healthy meal, I read some of my favorite fitness blogs for inspiration. I almost always find a recipe or a few words of advice that make me want to change my tune. Similarly, sending out a message on Twitter to my followers can also help spur some motivation to get myself back on track. There's been more than one occasion when I've tried to blow off a workout, and my Twitter friends come out of the woodwork to encourage me to just do it!

3. Visualize myself at my FGW
When I'd fall off the wagon and start to feel depressed about the decisions I was making, I thought about my healthiest self. Thinking back to a time when I felt strong and fit always made me want to strive for it again. Similarly, thinking about a time when I wasn't happy with my body also helps get my butt into gear!

4. Make a change now
Instead of waiting to start my diet or a new exercise routine on Monday, I make changes right away. I prepare a healthy meal or throw on my sneakers for a workout. Even just having a plan of attack helps; scheduling some workouts or planning a few healthy meals enables me to feel more in control and boosts my motivation to stay on track to reach my goal.

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