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Downingtown Nutrition & Weight Management Center

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Falling off the wagon-GET BACK ON IT!

Okay, okay.... so you ate a few things that weren't healthy or on your healthy eating plan. It's okay! In fact, it's pretty fantastic that you recognized it and you are motivated to get back to your routine of eating healthy and daily exercise. Whether the bump in the road was a holiday party, a vacation, a celebratory election, your motivation to lose weight is great and you will continue to get on the path to heath and wellness. Here's a few tips to prevent these pitfalls and weight flucations from occuring:

1) Plan to cheat.
If you schedule a few slips, you won't completely fall off the wagon. If you know you are going to your favorite restaurant with that fabulous cake you love, plan accordingly. Take an extra 3o minute brisk walk and go light at lunch. Make room for these "cheating" sessions. Remember planning is key to eating healthy!

2) Eat breakfast
Eating breakfast will prevent you from overeating at your next meal and over snacking between meals. Reserach from the National Weight Control Registry found that people who lost 60 pounds and kept it off for 6 years ate breakfast EVERYDAY. It's easy, try it. Here are some quick breakfast ideas to get your started:
-Whole wheat toast with 1 table spoon of peanut butter
-Low fat cottage cheese with cut apples, bananas or citrus sections
-Banana with handful of mixed nuts
-Fiber One Raisin Bran cereal with 1% or non fat milk
-Hard-boiled egg and an apple
Low fat yogurt with added flaxseed (ground) and a handful of blueberries

3) Be a good role model
If you are going to a party, eating with family or friends, or have little ones in your house, all eyes are looking at you! It's easy to make healthier choices when you know other people are watching what you eat. Opt for the healthiest choices first, stick to veggies, fruits and lots of water.

4) Water, Water, Water
Eat your calories don't drink them. Always carry water with you. Sometime thirst can be mistaken for hunger. Leave water in your purse or car so you always have it available.

5) Split the sugar.
Suggest sharing dessert or an entree. You eat less than you normally would plus you save money. No one to split it with? Take a carry out container home with you.

6) Get over it
You cheated, you know it's OK, but you still feel guilty (and bloated). Your response will play a big role in how you handle food down the line. Just remember the three rules of healthy cheating:
* Don't binge and starve. "Depriving yourself of food is like breathing constantly through a tight straw," says Goodrick. "Eating less to lose weight leaves your body gasping for food." If you really feel like doing penance for your misdeed, hit the stairclimber and burn off some of those calories.
* Just say no more. Some people have a tendency to use cheating to justify further cheating. ("I've already blown my diet by eating these three Doritos, so I might as well finish the hag.") "One slip isn't any reason to continue to fall," says Goodrick. "Instead, accept that you've fallen and move on."
* Play the numbers. "Before you judge one meal, critique the whole week," says Polk. If you fall off your diet 10 percent of the time, fine. If you're totaling 30 percent or higher, you may have to cut back on your dietary freedom. Still, as Polk puts it, "Counting these numbers instead of counting calories can help you recognize that what you've done isn't as bad as it seems."

So to sum it up, get back on that wagon! You can do it!

Adapted by P. Myatt Murphy "The cheat is on: falling off your diet is the best way to stay on it". Men's Fitness. . 11 Nov. 2008.