Strategies To Get Back On Track
Summer time arrived and you fell off the wagon with a resounding thud. Perhaps it was a one-time indiscretion and you had a little of your favorite childhood dessert, or perhaps you’ve been off the wagon for days or weeks… or even months. With holidays over and regular routines and schedules in place, you’ve decided to pick yourself up and get back to the Paleo wagon as soon as possible! You’re covered in dust from your fall, you ache all over, but that wagon is sitting there waiting for you, ready to welcome you back with open arms. All you have to do is put jump on it.
This might sound simple enough, but sometimes it can seem like a monumental task. Moving on from some time off your Paleo path is easier said than done, and there’s a lot that goes into why you ended up diverging in the first place, let alone how you keep pushing and prevent it from happening in the future.
Fortunately, we have 8 great tips on how to deal with the inevitable setback, and how to use those moments when you feel defeated to grow and continue reaching your goals.
This is the most important tip of all - please take this advice to heart, guilt makes. Nothing better. Instead, it adds a whole lot of perpetual emotion to an already uncomfortable situation, and tends to push you into a place where you’re using terms like ‘failure’ to describe what happened. Guilt takes a blow at your self-esteem and influences the choices you make moving forward. We ALL fail at this sometimes. We live in a processed food, sugar and gluten-filled world. Unless you never leave your house, you are faced with temptation daily – at work, at social functions, on television, on the internet. It’s all around and the wonder of it is that you succeed in maintaining your Paleo goals the majority of the time.
Removing the guilt may not be as easy to do as it is to conceptualise, but it IS possible with practice. In the wise words of Taylor Swift, ‘Shake It Off’!
Removing guilt does not mean you that holding yourself accountable is irrelevant. It is not someone else’s fault that you scarfed down that pizza or dove head first into an apple pie. Recognize that you did this to yourself and the consequences may be unpleasant. Follow this with asking yourself why. Did you forget to eat before you went to the party and arrived so hungry you monopolized the snack table? Were you running around so much and not preparing Paleo friendly on-the-go foods for yourself? Were you eating emotionally? Or out of boredom? Or did you convince yourself “one bite (or maybe two or three) won’t hurt and then somehow could not stop?
Make note of the situations in which you are more likely to succumb to temptation and work on avoiding them. Preparation is key!
Start Over – Immediately
Feeling restricted or feeling like you’re under a time limit to squeeze in all that unhealthy eating gives you an excuse to continue on your wayward path. The best time to “start over” is at the next meal. You don’t have to wait until tomorrow or next week.
If you’re feeling uninspired to do so, head to the store and pick up some of the most colourful produce you can find. Get excited to get in the kitchen by looking up a new recipe. Eating a whole plate of Paleo friendly produce can do wonders to hit the reset button
It is okay to skip a meal or two too, as long as you don’t see it as a punishment for prior indiscretions. Intermittent fasting is widely recognized as a healthy practice, and it’s also a great way to hit the reset button. Sometimes, giving your body a chance to work through all the junk you ate before you eat anything else can be helpful. Wait until you truly feel hunger again before sitting down to another meal is crucial. Be sure that meal is nutrient dense and satisfying. Savour it and enjoy it, to remind yourself of why this way of eating is worth sticking to.
Write It Down
Eating processed and refined foods takes its toll and you probably don’t feel very well physically. Abandoning your Paleo wagon may have seemed might seem fun at the time, but it is likely you are experiencing some serious discomfort: digestive issues, lethargy, disrupted sleep, headaches, inflammation, especially if you have dietary sensitivities. This in itself can serve as good motivation for getting back on track. Sadly, however, is way too easy to forget how awful certain foods make you feel once we are feeling better. Writing it down can help. The simple act of putting it in writing makes it all the more real and vivid. Write down how much better you feel when you stick to the plan too. A great comparison for future reference!
Get outside and move your body or get back to your gym for a solid workout routine. You might not feel great when you get out there and it probably will. Not be your best athletic performance. It may even hurt a little at the beginning and you will wonder why you are doing it. Afterwards, however, you will feel the positive effects and be that much further along in ridding your body of the foods that got you into this situation. There is no need for anything with very high intensity, but you do want to raise your heart rate a little and it helps to break a sweat. Moving helps your body digest a little better, it clears your head, and it helps your cells utilize the extra insulin and glucose that might be floating around in your blood stream. Moving helps get your bowels moving too, always makes for feeling better.
Water Not Wine
Simply sipping on a cool, clear liquid can make you feel a little more on track – no need to drink galloons and dilute your electrolytes, but going back to water helps. If the thought of only water in unpleasant, herbal teas (hot or cold) can serve you well too. If eating out of boredom affects you, sipping something with a little flavour can help ease the urge to constantly put food in your mouth.
Need something a little more satisfying and comforting? Try sipping warm bone broth to fill you up and mitigate some of the inflammation processed, manufactured, non-Paleo foods can leave behind.
If you enjoy a glass (or two) of Paleo friendly wine, it is best avoided for a few days until you are feeling better. Getting back on the wagon means flushing out accumulated toxins and there is no question that alcohol is a toxin. Furthermore, given its propensity to lower inhibitions, wine can make it less likely to stick to the plan of getting back on track. A few days of tee-totalling will leave you feeling more clear-headed and healthier.
There is no shortage of wonderful cookbooks and blogs creating amazing recipes to satisfy your hunger. Getting into the kitchen and cooking up some of your favourites, or a few new ones that catch your eye, is the best way to get back on plan. The food is beyond delicious and if you remind yourself of that, you may wonder why you ever fell off the wagon in the first place!
Grab your copy of Chef Pete’s Paleo By Season and get inspired today!
Not big on cooking? Choose delivery
Using a Paleo food delivery service can help get you back on track no matter who you are coming from. You can free up some of your time and still eat healthy, seasonal, organic meals, all for less than eating at a restaurant or shopping at your local health food store. Allow Pete's Paleo meal delivery service to plan, shop, cook and deliver fresh paleo meals to your door! Not only does our menu change on a weekly basis with the seasons, but we change that menu based on what our farmers grow & harvest out of the ground that very week we cook it.
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The benefits here are twofold: support and accountability. Promises and commitments made to yourself are often hard to keep as the only place they reside in in your head and it can be easy to pretend you never made them in the first place. When you say it out loud to a friend or a support group, you feel it’s more important to stick to and that much harder to break. Even if you don’t have any in-person friends that support your Paleo lifestyle, there are numerous groups and forums where most of the time, people are incredibly supportive and helpful, with amazing ideas to help you stay the course.
Whatever you do, there is no need to go overboard and exercise like a fiend while subsisting on salad for days on end. That strategy is rarely successful: If you feel deprived, you will almost inevitably succumb to the next round of temptation. A well formulated Paleo diet is the antithesis of deprivation. Fill up on those whole, real, unprocessed foods to keep your appetite and cravings under control.
In reality, many people fall off the Paleo bandwagon once or twice and they do live to tell about it What you need to know is that you are a winner as long as you get back on it one time more than the number of times you fell off. Fall off. Get up. Make your VERY next bite, the best, Paleo bite you can possibly make it.