Tricks to prevent you from falling off the fitness wagon

5 Ways To Bounce Back After Falling Off The Wagon

Tricks to prevent you from falling off the fitness wagon

Have you been bucked off the fitness horse?

What happened? You were so motivated, so determined to make this year the year you got into cover model shape.

You're not alone. Many determined people, in a drunken haze, set fitness resolutions on December 31st but fall flat on their face a week or two the New Year gate.

Is it a lack of will power? Poor character? Low intelligence?


You just stepped into one the many snares hidden along the path to health, fitness, and a rocking set of abdominals. Fortunately, snares aren't bear traps—you can easily free yourself and get back on track toward achieving your goals … and be that much smarter for doing it.

These are the six most common snares and how to sidestep them, a seasoned (but jacked) woodsman.

Snare #1

Do daily cardio. Track every gram of chicken and broccoli. Crush hardcore weight workouts 5 days per week.

You're trying to make all of these life-altering habits work after spending just last month with a drink in one hand and a cookie in the other. No wonder reaching your goals felt so distant—you tried to reprogram yourself overnight!

Sure, hardcore fitness pros follow intensive schedules that all the time, but they didn't just wake up one day to suddenly love the treadmill, say goodbye to beer and wings with the guys for good, or hate the taste of pizza. Plus, even fewer maintain this rigidity year-round.

Snare #2

The work in the gym is easy. Seriously. Woody Allen was right—90 percent of success is just showing up.

The real heavy lifting is in the kitchen, and frankly, few “newbies” are fully prepared for it.

Shopping, prepping, cleaning, cooking, cleaning, eating, cleaning, prepping – see a pattern? If your everyday culinary skills consist of opening bags of Pop Tarts for breakfast and ordering take-out online, this new nutritional lifestyle can be a serious reality check.

The best fitness pros typically have tricks and “shortcuts” that make their healthy lifestyle far easier to adhere to.

In the social-media-driven world we live in, it's easy to think that fitness pros have glamorous lifestyles filled with photo shoots in sun-kissed locations.

However, what you don't always see are the many months of grinding—training, cooking, sleeping, and recovering—that at the time can be anything but glamorous.

Seeing your goal written down, tangible, can help you visualize what you must do to overcome the various roadblocks ahead.

After helping people lose weight for 20 years, I can honestly say that the number one reason folks fail to stick to a plan isn't a lack of will power or not knowing enough. Quite the contrary, it's from knowing too much information, leading to paralysis by analysis.

Here's the scenario: you start off following a plan. Then your friend at work tells you how much weight she lost by cutting out a majority of carbs. Hold on, but that guy on TV says to eat plenty of carbs from whole-grain sources. Except that the Internet talks of this Paleo thing and all “processed” carbs are off the table.

It's no wonder people are so confused.

The real travesty is that many get so stressed by all the conflicting info that they just bail out on the goal entirely.

Don't stick with it if it's making you miserable.

Success in building a better body definitely requires making some sacrifices. After-work drinks, unlimited access to office treats, and late nights at the club typically don't jive with your goals and your overall healthy lifestyle. That's not to say you should give these up forever, but you've gotta train hard and eat well in the first place to “earn your moderation.”

After a while, you might feel downright lonely and wish you could go back to your previous escapades or late-night binge-drinking and all-you-can-eat wings with the boys, dream body, be damned!

Maverick had Goose. Crockett had Tubbs. Walter White had Jesse Pinkman. Well, until they had a falling out and Jesse wound up a prisoner in that underground lab in the desert. But, whatever.

A good training partner can make the whole process a lot more enjoyable. After all, it's easy to blow off an evening squat session when there's just you to answer to. It's a lot tougher to do if your faithful wingman is already at the gym warming up. Stay accountable to each other in both good times and bad.

Check in with each other on workouts and your diet, but when you both feel rewarding yourself for your hard work with a good ol' pint and burger, keep each other in check, too, to make sure you find balance and moderation.

A good training partner can make the whole process a lot more enjoyable.

Plain and simple: The truth hurts.

You had the best plan, the coolest gym, even the cutest workout outfits. But after a few weeks, you just weren't having “fun.” Your muscles were sore. The food was bland. You missed out on too many bar nights. You flat-out weren't enjoying yourself. So you quit. Now what?

Achieving something great takes sacrifices, and it's not always a cushy fun-time.

Listen, everybody stumbles at some point. What separates the winners from the rest is their ability to “fail fast” and then hop back on the saddle to start riding again. Will you be a winner, or will you find yourself at some dingy bar come New Year's Eve, complaining about getting into shape?

Choose one and commit to it. Or feel sorry for yourself. Whatever.


I hit my fitness goal, then fell off track. Now what?

Tricks to prevent you from falling off the fitness wagon

Hitting a major goal or completing a long-term project brings with it a tremendous sense of satisfaction, as well as an almost inevitable letdown. You put your all into something, but what happens when that sense of urgency is gone or life gets in the way once you let your guard down?

On February 1, 2018, I completed my year-long project to adhere to the federal Physical Activity Guidelines and Dietary Guidelines with the support of the Science & Research Team of the American Council on Exercise (ACE).

I woke that morning elated about having finished a task that had become my driving focus each and every day for the previous year. I had achieved a level of health and fitness that seemed extremely unly just 12 months earlier. And I had learned to live a life that made me not only healthier and more active, but genuinely happier.

I was thrilled.

I was also ready for a break.

While I certainly planned on maintaining a healthy nutrition and physical-activity program going forward, I simply needed a break from being so disciplined.

The physical effort involved in the project left me drained. For a year, I recorded every minute of physical activity. I logged every piece of fruit and cup of dairy.

I tracked the color of every veggie I ate.

While I certainly planned on maintaining a healthy nutrition and physical-activity program going forward, I simply needed a break from being so exacting and disciplined in every aspect of my lifestyle.

My plan was to continue following the rules I had learned, but to prepare my food without a kitchen scale or measuring cup in sight — and maybe visit a few restaurants that I had been avoiding.

I also wanted to maintain the fitness regimen that had kept me progressing (and pain-free) for the previous year. That said, I would give myself some leeway to skip a workout here or there.

One month of loosening the reigns and then I’d get back on track and regain the discipline that allowed my success in the first place. That was the plan.

But you know what they say about plans.

On literally the last night of that month, as my wife and I were getting ready for bed, our son yelled from downstairs, “Do you guys hear water running?”

By the time we found the leaking pipe and turned the water off, water had destroyed an entire bathroom and the carpet on the second floor, and had run through the ceiling and walls enough to destroy most of the kitchen and the hardwood on the first floor.

To make a long, painful story short, after spending more than 40 of the next 60 nights in a hotel, my eating habits were as much of a wreck as my house, and my workout routine had been completely dismantled.

That’s how I found myself only 90 days removed from one of the biggest achievements of my life, 8 or 10 pounds heavier and decidedly off track.

So now what?

No matter why you may have lapsed in your efforts, whether it was illness, injury or the plumbing gods sending a flood to mock your best-laid plans, there are strategies you can use to get back on top of your game.

One of the best predictors of a person’s ability to adhere to a nutrition plan or physical-activity program in the future is having done so successfully in the past. Fortunately, I have a lot of knowledge and experience to fall back on.

I now not only know what I need to do to change my lifestyle, but I also have recent experience in establishing and maintaining the habits required for success.

The biggest difference between the current me and the version of me from just 15 months ago is this: I know what to do. And I know that I can do it.

Another predictor of adherence to lifestyle change is the presence of a reliable social-support network. I reached out to those people who helped me the first time around and re-enlisted their support. I talked to my wife about cooking healthier dinners and buying fewer high-sugar snacks, and I called my hiking partners to set up a schedule to hit the trails at least once a week.

If you find yourself in the same situation, think about the people who positively influenced your efforts and make them aware that you could use their help in recommitting to a healthy lifestyle.

As I write this, I’ve been back in my home for about two weeks. I’m easing back into my workout routine and eating much healthier. I’ve gone for a few hikes and have been taking the dog for a couple of walks each day. I’m feeling better already and am looking forward to reestablishing the important habits that I had let slip.

You might feel a drive, as I did, to pick up right where you left off. However, that might prove to be a mistake, as you don’t want to push yourself too far too soon. Be patient, but persistent.

I know you can do it.

I’m honored that NBC News BETTER invited me to share my journey with you through the completion of The Lifestyle Project and beyond, and now I want to hear from you. Do you have any strategies to share that helped you get back on track after some time off? Tell me about them. Have questions about my journey? Ask me on or follow me on Instagram.

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How to Bounce Back After Falling Off the Fitness Wagon

Tricks to prevent you from falling off the fitness wagon

We’ve all been there. It can happen when we least expect it or when deep down we saw it coming. Those moments when you look back through your week, month or year and can’t realize you can’t remember the last time you worked out. When eating has gotten control and you find yourself not giving a second thought to what you put in your month. Suddenly you realize it.

You’ve fallen off the fitness wagon

For a while there, things were going great. You were in a routine, completing daily workouts without thinking twice. You’d refuel with nutritious smoothies or a protein packed meal. You woke up each morning feeling energized and confident.

So if things were going so well, why did they change?

A simple question that we often wonder ourselves.

But in the midst of life – trying to work to make a living, shuffling the kids around to different activities, maintaining a social life and staying in touch with your family – sometimes fitness and health get pushed around until they’re no longer a priority.

Related: 6 Tips for Creating a Healthy, Fitness Lifestyle

It happens to me nearly every holiday season. I enter the last few months of the year with the greatest intentions. I tell myself that this year, things are going to be different. I’m going to stay motivated each day and avoid binging on excessive holiday treats.

But then the holidays arrive, filled with cozy fires, endless treats, family parties and gift exchanges, and I find myself having more fun enjoying the season without stressing about fitting in a workout.

Until the season is over, that is.

Related: What Happened When I Didn’t Workout for 10 Days

By the time the new year begins, I predictably find myself with large intentions of regaining my workout traction, but little motivation to get started. After so much time skipping workouts and eating whatever I wanted, heading outside into the cold, dark air sounds less than appealing.

And that’s when I realize it: I fell off the fitness wagon


Sometimes it happens just for a few weeks, months and sometimes it lasts years before we get back on track.

Getting back on track after falling off the fitness wagon is easier said than done. No matter how motivated we feel or how many goals we set for ourselves, get started again after a season of rest proves to be much more difficult that we expect.

Whether you’re trying to get back on the fitness wagon after just a few weeks or many years, here are a few tips to ease your transition.

Start by changing one thing

Trying to get back on the fitness wagon by drastically changing your diet and fitting in an hour long workout at the crack of dawn sounds a good idea, but will prove to be incredibly difficult to maintain.

Rather than trying to change everything all at once, make small changes every once and a while. Start by adding in a short workout every other day. After a few weeks of maintaining that workout habit, begin to increase your workout frequency or intensity.

Begin with just one small change at a time. Changing just one thing about your routine will be much easier to maintain in the long run, helping you feel victorious each day, propelling you to continue.

Clean out your kitchen

Making healthy choices is so much easier when there are no temptations. With leftover cookies and ice cream staring you in the face each night, it will be much harder to turn down the late night dessert.

If you’re serious about getting back on the fitness wagon, take the time to clean out your kitchen. It doesn’t have to be anything drastic to begin – just start with the obvious temptations. Clear out your processed foods and swap them for fruits and vegetables. Stop buying those cookies that always tempt you with a midday splurge.

Saying no to temptations and making healthy choices will be so much easier.

Look for short, effective workouts

Rather than jumping back on the fitness wagon with hour long, leg shaking workouts, start off with something short and sweet. The benefits of a workout don’t come from its length, but rather, its intensity.

If you’re looking to burn off those extra holiday calories, look for a short HIIT workout that gets your heart rate up quickly. Find an interval workout for the treadmill, elliptical or spin bike to burn calories even quicker than a sustained, moderate effort for a longer duration.

Implementing regular short workouts feels much more managing in the beginning while you’re trying to get back on track.

Find ways to instill health into your everyday routine

Don’t have time to fit in a workout every day? No problem. Look for simple ways to change your daily routine so it is slightly healthier.

Increase your water intake, take the stairs instead of the elevator, go to bed an hour earlier, or swap the mid-afternoon cookie for a protein ball. These changes may seem small, but if you keep at them each day they will start to pay off.

Small, daily changes will have a big effect in the long run.

Set a goal

Deciding to get back on the fitness wagon is a great first step, but your progress will go nowhere without a goal in mind.

What does it mean for you to get back on the fitness wagon? Does it mean getting back in a workout routine, eating healthier or feeling better about yourself?

Take some time to determine what your goals are as you begin to make lifestyle changes, and use these goals to keep you going when motivation fades.

If you feel you’ve fallen off the fitness bandwagon, go easy on yourself, because you are definitely not alone. Expecting yourself to be perfect only sets you up for stress and disappointment. Acknowledge the fact that you are human and indulging once and a while is not going to change your life.

Once you feel ready to get back on the fitness bandwagon, use the motivation you feel after falling off to keep you going when things get tough. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is never easy, but it is attainable.

More healthy living reading:


How to Stop Falling “Off” the Wagon (for good)

Tricks to prevent you from falling off the fitness wagon

If you’ve ever fallen “off” the wagon before, you know there’s a lot more involved than simply having a few indulgences at friend’s party.

When people go outside of the rules they’re trying to follow or keep, it often results in feelings of inadequacy, disappointment, and shame.

These reactions are rooted in the belief that our interactions with food affect our own self-worth. Following the rules makes you a “good” person. And when those rules aren’t upheld, you’re a failure. And you suck. No wonder nobody s you!

But, what if that’s actually false, and being on the wagon is at the root of your inability to remain consistent and enjoy the process of pursuing health?

Spoiler alert: Bingo!

Unpacking the Wagon

Let’s get real for a second. That wagon? Yeah, it doesn’t actually exist.

The wagon we all refer to is really just a strict set of rules we hope will give us more control of our health, body, or other people’s perception of us. When the rules are being followed, you’re in the wagon, and when a rule is broken—you’re out.

This mentality can be incredibly ineffective at creating long-term behavior changes because it turns the pursuit of health into an all-or-nothing occasion. Instead of enjoying a cookie, and going back to eating the foods that makes you feel your best the next day, breaking a rule results in working your way through an entire tub of cookie dough in a matter of hours.

Being “on” the wagon can also impose too many behavior changes at once, which creates an overabundance of stress—especially when other life stress is thrown into the mix.

Because stress and willpower are biologically incompatible, when a change, or a combination of changes are too stressful, they’re eventually abandoned for more familiar processes.

But, here’s where the wheels really start to fall off.

The wagon mentality initiates a cycle.

Falling “off” the wagon results in guilt, and that guilt often us straight into the arms of punishing behaviors more restriction and more rules, which becomes our new “wagon.

” Each time perfection isn’t maintained, it results in defeat, self-criticism, and desperation, and the only way to rectify these feelings is to get back on the wagon, which starts the process over again.

This never-ending cycle is incredibly taxing physically, mentally, and emotionally, and can drain life’s experiencing of all enjoyment.

Stopping the Cycle

While it may seem going off plan is the catalyst that creates all the problems, it’s actually the guilt that keeps the cycle spinning.

Guilt occurs when we have the mindset that there are “good” and “bad” behaviors around food and fitness, and our ability to uphold certain behaviors affects our own morality and worth.

This mindset is not only false assumptions, it’s also a big reason why people start to feel worse about themselves—their body, capabilities, or value—when pursuing health. That, and an industry that s to make money off of you believing there is something wrong with you.

Stopping the cycle starts with understanding that food is not a moral compass. While you may find certain foods work best for you, food is not inherently “good” or “bad,” and your self-worth as a human being has absolutely nothing to do with your ability to eat a specific way, or do a workout as prescribed.

Yes of course, there are foods that are more nourishing for your body than others. But this does not mean you have done something wrong, or need to be punished for eating a food.

Giving food morality means giving the power to the food. And when food has the power, interactions with food are accompanied by fear, anxiety, and judgement, which makes it virtually impossible to have any sort of balance or consistency when pursuing health.

How to Stop Falling “Off” the Wagon

If you find yourself struggling to stay on the wagon, there’s a simple solution that will solve the problem once and for all.

Get damn wagon.

No, I am not suggesting you throw in the towel on pursuing health.

Instead, stop seeing health as a predefined road that requires perfection.

Getting the wagon means understanding that the pursuit of health is a journey. There is no “on” or “off”—there is life, and our experiences help us learn what is going to serve us best in the long run.

This allows us to nourish our body throughout all seasons of life without having to “muster up” the motivation to start over, or wait until we have it together.

It also recognizes that health is the result of a number of different factors, to include our mental, emotional, and social well-being. It’s is not just about what we eat, or our ability to eat perfectly according to plan.

Ditching the wagon takes self-imposed stress the equation, and allows us to live with more flexibility and mindfulness as we pursue becoming more capable, and experiencing all that life has to offer.

This does not mean that guidelines, or choosing to abstain from something that is not serving you is somehow wrong or ineffective. Not being on the wagon gives you the freedom to do exactly that—make choices that are right for your body—without fear or judgement, or the obsession that often occurs when we categorize a food as “bad” or perceive we “can’t” have something.

Understanding that you don’t need “do” health and fitness perfectly to have a long and healthy life allows you to enjoy the process, and focus energy towards living to the fullest right now instead of waiting until the wagon comes back around.

There is no such thing as where you “should” be. There is where you are, and where you’re going. So, let’s leave that wagon to the Oregon Trail, cause frankly—it’s totally cramping your style.

There is no such thing as where you 'should' be. There is where you are and where you're going.Click To Tweet

Live empowered,


Fell Off the Wagon? How to Get Back on Track, Step-by-Step

Tricks to prevent you from falling off the fitness wagon

So you fell off the wagon already.

Welcome to the club.

It’s called “being human!”

There are 7 billion of us.

So how did I know you probably fell off the fitness wagon already?

Because statistically speaking, MOST people have already abandoned or missed out on a lot of the resolutions they’ve set for 2019. Seriously.

As somebody who has fallen off the wagon many a time in the past, but managed to stay ON the wagon this time…

Here’s my step-by-step guide for you to get back on track.


I heard a podcast interview recently about a man who had made a huge realization through seeing a therapist.

Specifically, their therapist asked them “Would you talk to somebody the way you talk to yourself?”

I bet the answer is a RESOUNDING “No.”

Nobody deserves that kind of abuse.

We’re often our own worst critic, and our own worst enemy:

You know that voice in your head, that one calling you a loser or a failure? Treat it a different person. You’re under no obligation to listen to it! It’s not you.

“Oh you think I’m a piece of s** and that’s why I can’t stick with a workout routine? I disagree strongly. I might have some faults, but I’m here, and I’m still trying. So shut up and get my way.”

You’re reading this, which means you’re trying. Forgive yourself. And move on.


Your goal of hitting the gym 2 hours a day and only eating Keto failed after three weeks.


You conducted an experiment that did not have the results you expected.

That’s neither a good nor a bad thing. any other experiment, it just… IS.

So write down specifically what your experiment entailed. What did you try to do?

  • I was going to exercise every day.
  • I was going to run a mile each morning.
  • I was going to eat strictly Paleo every day.

Look at your list: this is a combination of variables that doesn’t work for your lifestyle.

SIDENOTE: Learning from the millions of people that have come through Nerd Fitness over the past decade, my guess is that your experiment didn’t work out for one of two reasons:

  • Your goals were too vague: “I should exercise more this year” – For how long? How often? What kind of exercise?
  • You tried to change ALL the things: eat 1,800 calories a day (instead of your normal 3,000), go to CrossFit 5 days a week (when you don’t exercise at all now), and get 8 hours of sleep a night (normally you get 5).


You’re reading this email, which would lead me to believe you’re interested in trying again to lose weight and get in shape.

To avoid getting the same results, we need to change the variables in the experiment to try and get different results. You know, science.

For your next attempt consider adjusting one of the following variables. And remember, any good experiment has accurate measurements for their changing factors! You don’t just put “some uranium” in a nuclear reactor. You know the exact amount.

So be exact with your variables.

Let me give you some suggestions:

  1. Change the exercise variable: Did you actually enjoy the exercise you attempted? If you discovered that you hate running or bootcamps, great! Never ever do those things again. “Exercise sucks,” so I would pick something you actually enjoy.
  2. Try a substitution rather than addition: ADDING a brand new exercise routine into a busy schedule can be really challenging. Fortunately, you can focus on substituting or adding in a way that doesn’t take up more time: nutrition! How you eat is 80-90% of the weight loss equation, and you’re already eating every day. So focus on substituting a vegetable for fries once a week, or swapping sparkling water for soda. Keeping a food journal and change up your breakfast twice a week.
  3. Adjust your “win scenario”: I get it. You were able to hit the gym 4 days a week for the first few weeks of this year, going for at least an hour. But THEN…your kid got sick. And you only had 30 minutes, which wasn’t enough time to get a workout in. And then YOU got sick. So why not set the win scenario at “30 minutes,” or “15 minutes,” or just “1 exercise”? Lower the bar!

This is a 10-year journey we’re on here, so the exercise itself is not nearly as important as building a routine of working out that fits into your life. So lower the bar for what a “win” scenario is for you.

Example: if you walk into the gym and do 1 set of 1 exercise, it counts as a win. Doesn’t matter if you’re there for an hour or for 5 minutes to do a set of push-ups and then leave. It all counts.


When you play a challenging video game, you’re going to die. A lot. (I died literally thousands of times while playing my two favorite games of the past year – Hollow Knight and Celeste).

What happens after you die in a game?

You respawn, and try again!

You’ve learned a new tactic or pattern. You have a new technique. You’ve uncovered a secret. Or you’ve just gotten better. So you try, again.

And again.

And again.

And when you finally succeed?

Nirvana. Adulation. Pure joy.

There’s no shame in failing when it comes to weight loss. We have hundreds of stories of people who kept failing, but kept reading and trying, and then finally – something clicked.

And that next attempt is the one that changed their life’s path. Joe, who made a dozen weight loss attempt until he changed the right variable and got results:

So try again today. And keep these things in mind:

  • Change your nutrition variable: try calorie counting instead of Paleo or vice versa.
  • Change your workout variable: try strength training instead of running.
  • Focus on building the routine by making the ‘win scenario’ super small.

Write down your plan, and start executing.


I know hacking your experiments to get better data isn’t exactly “scientifically smart” or “morally responsible,” but I’m the one writing this email and I have more important stuff to say so you’re just gonna have to deal with it.

Once you start your new experiment, here’s how you can stack the deck in your favor:

Write everything down. Write down your workouts. Write down what you eat. Treat it a science experiment, and you’re collecting data! Plan ahead. Be PRO-active (“I will do Strength Training Workout A at 4pm and tonight I’ll have roasted chicken and bacon wrapped asparagus) instead of RE-active (“What should I do for exercise right now?” and “Ah, what’s for dinner? Oooh, Burger King!”)

Recruit allies to your team. Don’t go this alone, as you’re more ly to succeed the people you spend time with and hang around. So recruit allies. Start spending more time with healthy people that empower you, rather than unhealthy people that enable you and drag you down. Join a running club. Find a lifting buddy. Somebody you can check in with.

Hire a professional. There are two types of coaches worth the investment:

  • An in-person trainer if you are looking to supercharge your form on specific exercises Olympic lifts, squats, deadlifts, etc. An in-person trainer can be good for people that need the accountability of somebody they’ve paid to meet them in the gym.
  • An online coach that represents mobile, worldwide accountability. I’ve had a coach for 4 years and it’s changed my life. Knowing that I have a workout and nutrition strategy to follow each day is game-changing.

An old mandrill named Rafiki once taught me: “Yes, the past can hurt. But you can either run from it, or learn from it.”

Okay maybe he taught that to Simba in The Lion King, but I too learned the same lesson:


Forgive yourself. You wouldn’t talk to somebody else the way you talk to yourself, so have some freaking compassion. You’re trying.

Identify what experiment you JUST tried. Write down what you believe went wrong over the past few weeks. Congrats – you found a strategy that doesn’t work.

Pick a new path, try a different variable. A good scientist meticulously tracks their data and writes down their hypothesis. I would change one of the following:

  • Exercise: do less – focus on building the routine and doing it consistently.
  • Nutrition: change less. If you couldn’t stick with a diet for 3 weeks, it was too restrictive. Try a different path.
  • Win scenario: don’t let “perfect” be the enemy of “good.”

And then try again.

Recruit allies, hire a coach, plan ahead. But start.


PS: If you’re overwhelmed and came to the realization you can’t do this on your own, you’re not alone!

I hired an online coach because I wanted better results and it’s been the best investment I’ve made. If you want step-by-step instruction and accountability, our coaches are ready to help you with every step of this process!


Photo Citation: Oh My Goodness! Shut Me Down


7 Ways to Avoid Falling off the Healthy Eating Wagon

Tricks to prevent you from falling off the fitness wagon

Whether you’ve been riding the healthy eating wagon for a week or a decade, it may always seem a roller coaster ride- and that’s okay! It’s so easy to get side-tracked for days, weeks, even months at a time.

It’s Summer, so that means it’s barbecue season. That also means it’s bathing suit season. It’s this kind of back and forth struggle that’s enough to make someone go mad!

Keep reading to learn seven ways to protect yourself against the temptation to fall—or even jump off of your healthy eating wagon—on a daily basis.

1. Don’t Starve Yourself

Eating is a basic human need. Cut your calories in half over night or slash any specific food group out altogether for a prolonged period and you’ll land flat on your face in no time flat. When you’re eating for good health, you still need to eat. You’ll just need to go with healthy options and avoid eating more than your body needs to, to fuel itself throughout the day.

2. No Excuses

There are as many excuses to fall off the healthy kick as there are days in a year. So if you’re going to stay on board, you’re going to have to ignore the excuses and focus in on your goal: eating the right stuff. So, what do you do?

3. Stay Focused

Being mindful of your healthy eating ways is easy during the first few days. After all, you’ve spent years eating one way and now you’re changing everything up.

In a week or so, however, it can be difficult to remember your desire to eat healthily and even harder to remember why you made that decision. Stay focused on your choices and why you made them by maintaining some level of accountability.

Track your foods, practice portion control, step up your exercise game, etc. It’s all about building that positive momentum!

4. Get on the Right Wagon

Every person’s health goals and expectations are different. If you make drastic changes for the first time in your life and expect to shed 30 pounds in a week, you’re going to be disappointed as you yo-yo your way back to reality. Setting appropriate goals will help you stay on the wagon and help you surpass that next goal, as your wagon gets easier and easier to coast to the finish line.

5. Avoid Naysayers

Always struggled with your weight? Tried every diet plan known to man without success? Then you’re going to have a lot of folks who scoff at your desire to eat healthily. People will always judge and think/speak critically – it’s the world that we live in.

Surround yourself with people who you know will love and support you, especially when times get tough. As many of you know, they certainly will and do.

Once your lifestyle changes start to pay off, make sure to strut by the folks who said they’ll believe you’re serious about healthy eating when they see results and watch their jaws drop.

6. Stay Away from Triggers

One reason healthy eating is difficult for so many is that unhealthy eating tastes so good! Understanding this and understanding when you most want unhealthy food options will help you stay on the fast track. Eat everything in sight when you’re alone? Give someone a phone call when no one is around. Practice the art of self-distraction and you’ll find self-discipline.

7. Know How to Get Back On

You should aim to stay on the healthy eating wagon all day, every day. But you should also be ready when you fall off.

While you can find any number of ways to get back on the wagon, the best is to just do it! Admit you goofed up, recommit yourself to healthy living, and start living the healthy life you deserve once again.

Don’t wait for that next big event to prompt you to initiate change. Dig down deep, find the internal motivators and make it happen.