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Rebounding After Giving Into Temptation

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You had been doing so well with your healthy lifestyle until you went to a party, caught a cold, got busy at work, went on vacation, hosted a visit from your kids -- basically, life got in the way. You CAN get back on track after giving into temptation. Overcome the all-or-nothing attitude and recommit with these easy tips designed to get back on track. Even if you have strayed far from your path, remember that you can recover.

Jot It Down

Studies show that keeping a food record is a helpful tool for optimal weight maintenance or adherence to a fitness regimen. If you have strayed from your usual healthy eating, recommit to recording what you eat each day. Pre-arrange your workouts in a journal or planner so you have an outline for each week's activity. You may find it helpful to record emotions or temptation triggers that steer you off track so you can identify and avoid future pitfalls.

Redirect

If you are in a rut after you fell off the proverbial horse, switch it up! Maybe going to the gym is difficult in the evening, so try going in the morning. Driving by the same fast food restaurant every day can be tempting, so try a different route. Changing the patterns in your life can go a long way towards helping overcome challenges to healthy living. Stock your cabinets and fridge with healthy foods; get rid of the junk. Avoid restaurants or social situations that can be triggering to you until you feel like you have successfully recommitted. Do not enable yourself to continue to stray. Instead, set yourself up for progress.

Enlist Your Support

Falling off track of your health goals is an opportunity to seek help from your friends. Visiting a counselor, therapist, dietitian, support group, or faith organization can help you get the emotional support you need. Committing to a walking group or exercise program can bring you back to your fitness routine. Studies show that having an exercise partner increases adherence to a fitness routine. Partner up with a friend or co-worker who also eats healthy and tell them about your goals. No matter who motivates you or where your support comes from, this is a time to reach out so you can recover from giving into temptation.

Celebrate in a Healthy Way

If the reason you gave into temptation is because of a holiday or social event, make a plan to avoid this problem in the future. Plan ahead so you feel more in control of any special event. Fortunately, life is full of celebrations, but do not let every birthday party or dinner out derail your healthy eating plans. Next time, ask the host if you can contribute a healthy recipe to their party. Create new holiday traditions that do not revolve around food at all -- try something active or artistic instead so you can celebrate special times without the guilt afterwards.

Be Mindful

When in doubt or feeling out of control, pay close attention to your emotions. Reflect on your values and why you want to live a healthy lifestyle. There are a lot of reasons for eating well and staying active - what are yours? Setting goals, writing them down, and reflecting on them often (especially after a deviation) can get you back on track.

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Ginger Hultin, MS, RD, LDN is a Chicago-based dietitian who specializes in integrative oncology. With a Master's degree from naturopathic Bastyr University, she practices plant-based nutrition and specializes in lab interpretation and appropriate supplementation. Ginger also had a passion for fitness and maintains both group fitness and personal training certifications.


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