When it comes to healthy eating I’ve always prefer to stick to the 80/20 rule – 80 percent of food that is healthy, nutritious and which will help to increase my energy levels and achieve my fitness goals; and 20 percent of foods that just taste good and feel like a treat. This type of lifestyle diet has worked for me for years and has helped me to maintain a healthy weight even as I’ve gotten into my mid-30s. This is the way I feel best eating, as it’s not too restrictive but it’s mainly healthy. The last couple of weeks though the 20 percent has increased to more like 40 percent which has left me feeling more tired, less motivated to exercise and generally not feeling my best.
Once unhealthy eating habits start creeping into my lifestyle they can quickly take over without realising it and soon a cheat meal becomes a cheat day, which becomes a cheat week. But the more I’ve learnt about nutrition and healthy eating the more I’ve found ways to get back on track when a cheat meal day starts happening everyday. Here are some of the ways I manage to get back on track:
Let it go and move on
One of the best ways to get back to healthy eating after an unhealthy binge is to simply let it go and move on. Instead of feeling guilty, just acknowledging a slip-up isn’t going to make you suddenly gain a stone or mean you’re going to eat unhealthily for the rest of your life means that you can quickly move on and carry on with your normal eating habits. Everyone, no matter how healthy they are, has healthy eating blips!
Get back into a routine
I find when I slip into unhealthy eating patterns it’s usually because I’ve fallen out of my normal routine. The last couple of weeks, for example, I haven’t stuck to my normal training schedule due to injury and focus on seeding workouts for an upcoming competition. Being out of my normal routine resulted in more unhealthy foods creeping into my diet, but I know that once I’m back into my normal routine I’m likely to go back to my normal healthy eating pattern as well.
Meal plan and prep
Along with getting back into a routine I find meal planning and prepping helps me to make healthy eating choices again. I normally want to eat healthily as I know this will make me feel better and have more energy, so I know if I meal plan and prep it will be healthy meals and snacks that I enjoy eating. This helps to stop me from grabbing unhealthy meals and snacks when I’m stressed or too busy to cook from scratch.
Whether you want to lose weight, run a marathon or simply live a healthy lifestyle there is always a reason why you choose to eat healthily and remembering these reasons will help you to stay on track. I eat healthily because it makes me feel better, I have more energy and it helps me achieve my running and Crossfit goals; reminding myself this when I fall into unhealthy eating habits helps me to get back to a healthier eating pattern.
What ways do you manage to get back on track after a period of unhealthy eating?