When most people talk about a “diet,” what they’re really referring to is a change in their eating habits. A diet is a conscious choice to avoid some foods and focus on others.
Diets try to provide a structure around this change in habits. Some focus on counting calories, while others implore you to eat specific types of food. But, at root, the psychology is the same – you’re abandoning your old eating patterns and trying to do something new.
The problem is that it can be so easy to slip back into old habits. Life is hard, and at the end of a busy week, it’s all too easy to pick up the phone and order a pizza. We’ve all been there.
If you’ve fallen off the diet wagon after a vacation or tough week, don’t despair. Here are some of the ways that you can get back on track.
Don’t Blame Yourself
Many of us have made food into a barometer of our moral worth as human beings. We eat a donut, and we tell ourselves that we’ve done something bad and that we should feel guilty. Or we eat an apple and then pat ourselves on the back for doing something “good.”
The problem with these labels is that they aren’t true and can be counterproductive. If you eat a bag of chips and then label it as “bad,” you end up feeling guilty about something that has no moral content.
The healthiest approach to diets is to accept that you’re a fallible human who is going to deviate from perfection from time to time. That’s normal. What’s not normal is sticking to a Spartan diet no matter what the circumstances of your life, starving yourself if you have to.
Learn Your Diet Inside Out
Behind every diet, there’s usually a rationale. It’s a good idea, therefore, to learn your diet and why the original authors decided to create it. Getting the keto diet explained, for instance, lets you understand who it’s for and who can benefit.
The problem with many so-called diets out there is that they are trying to achieve different things. Some diets are all about making quick changes to your appearance or dropping twenty pounds in a month so that you can fit into your wedding dress. Others are all about long-term lifestyle change: they’re not actually diets at all, but different patterns of eating you’ll adopt forever. You might not need to get back on track, therefore, if the goal of the diet diverges from your goals.
Always Consider The Big Picture
When it comes to health and longevity, it’s the big picture that matters most. It’s what you eat day in, day out that counts. Eating a slice of pizza at the weekend or snacking on chips on a Wednesday lunchtime isn’t going to have severe ramifications for your long-term well-being. When on a diet, always look at the big picture and don’t sweat the small stuff. If you eat right 80 percent of the time, then you can afford to be naughty for 20 percent.