One slip up at lunch doesn’t mean you need to go off the rails for the rest of the week. This is how you can slip up and still stick to your diet.
As I write this I’m in an intense staring contest with a giant bowl of Halloween candy. Butterfingers, Snickers and my Achilles’ Heel – Peanut M&M’s. Damn you Mars for making something so freakin delicious.
Ok one little bag won’t kill me. I mean it’s not even a whole bag, it’s only like 70 calories.
Ok one little bag.
Let’s call a spade a spade here, we all know 6 M&M’s aren’t going to cut it. I really did need to eat those 5 bags and now I need to rationalize that it was better than eating a normal size bag. I mean the bags are tiny for crying out loud.
I can’t be the only one that fell off the wagon at least once this past Halloween. Will power, regardless of who you are, only goes so far. I do Sheldon Cooper my diet, but I am human.
What happened after you slipped up?
Did you do what I did and finished the day strong? After eating what was the equivalent of almost 2 normal size bag (damn those calories add up quick) I just adjusted what I ate for the rest of the day – with a heavy focus on protein.
Rather than sabotaging my hard earned progress towards abs (why I’m doing this to myself again I’m not sure), I just moved on.
Or did you throw caution to the wind and eat whatever you wanted for the rest of the day? Did you throw in the towel and tell yourself that you’ll start again next Monday? Ah, the magical Monday switchover.
DIET RECOVERY TIPS TO RIGHT THE SHIP
DON’T WAIT FOR MONDAY
When your laptop freezes (for us old folk that still use them) do you wait for Monday to restart it or do you restart it right away while cursing at the stupid thing the whole time? I’m not a gambling man but I’d be willing to bet that you restart it right away with a few colorful 4-letter words thrown in just so it knows it was bad.
Do the same with your diet. When you slip up, think of it as your diet freezing. Hit the restart button, drop a few f-bombs and resume your day.
THINK OF FOOD AS MONEY
Say you go to a gentlemen’s establishment intent on spending $100 that night. Somehow it’s all gone after 2 back-to-back Motley Crue songs and a beer. What would you do next? Hit up the ATM for a $10 fee and drain your savings? My guess is you’d reel in the spending for the rest of the night.
Slipping up once on a diet is kind of like this situation, well except the daddy issues and glitter. You had an allotment of money (or calories for the cheat meal) and now it’s gone. Rather than throwing yourself into a deep hole (no pun intended) you just tone down your spending for the rest of the night.
By changing the paradigm of the occasional splurge it removes the guilt and the feeling like the whole day went down the crapper.
FAIL SMALL OR NOT AT ALL
I have a hard time failing small – like having 1 mini bag of M&M’s. I feel this compulsion to eat 5 more.
The best thing for me to do is to not fail at all. I’ll save it all for my cheat meal. This way I know I’m going to eat it, just not right now.
Be honest with yourself. Are you the type of person who can have 1 chip and that’s it? In that case you can indulge more often.
Or are you like me and have to eat half the bag? If this is more your flavor, then save it for your cheat day/meal.
PLAY THE LONG GAME
Strip clubs (sorry gentlemen’s establishments) and your cheat meals are focused on satisfying a short term gain. In the long term, neither one will positively benefit your life despite what some of my friends think.
Most of the time we rationalize things we eat to make us feel better about ourselves. Try rationalizing not eating something because it doesn’t fit into your goals. That’s playing the long game. Sacrifice the short term gain for the ultimate long term gain. FYI the long game always is more rewarding.
MAKE A LIST FOR CHEAT DAY
Sometimes a craving will hit you and it’s all you can think of. Write it down for the cheat day. By writing it down it gets it out of your head, plus it gives you something to look forward to. Sometimes by the time your cheat day rolls around you might not even be interested anymore.
Most of the time cravings won’t last but at least you have a way to help even when the will power is fading.
FOCUS ON ONE MEAL AT A TIME
Seeing that I am from New England, the Patriots (to my dismay) are all I hear about in the fall. They focus on the next game. They don’t look 2 weeks ahead and they don’t think about last week. Small goals to reach the ultimate goal.
Adopt this train of thought for your meals. Focus on making the next meal the best meal to help reach your ultimate goal of fat loss. You can’t do anything about the last meal and don’t worry about 2 meals ahead.
If you can make the next meal your best meal consistently, you can almost ensure hitting the ultimate goal.
WHAT IT TAKES TO SLIM DOWN
So how much can you cheat on your diet? 1 meal a week? A whole day? Everyday?
A good rule of thumb is the 90/10 ratio of good meals to cheat meals. Using myself as an example, I eat 6 times a day x 7 days a week = 42 meals a week. So if I eat good (meaning real foods and veggies) 90% of the time I can cheat on 4 meals a week if I wanted.
Since I’m trying to lean out to get sub-10% body fat, I need to be as close to 100% good meals as I can get. But if you aren’t looking to get that lean then stick to the 90/10.
What’s your one food Achilles’ Heel?
Do you have any tips/tricks to keep you on track?
Let me know below.
If you know someone who could benefit from this article, please share it on Facebook or Twitter. 2 out of 3 people are obese today, let’s start a change.