You just gave in to a big piece of cake, or skipped a planned workout. Have you destroyed your new healthy habits? Are you now beating yourself up with negative self-talk that you will always eat the wrong foods and never stick with a workout schedule?
Give Up the All-Or-Nothing Attitude
If you have set a goal of perfection, never slipping up, you set yourself up for failure. It is not as important that you went off your diet or workout plan - that was going to happen at some point. What matters is what you do next. You need to resume your healthy eating and workout plan as if there was no slip-up. Don't let a poor choice lead you to giving up on making healthier choices. The extra pounds didn't come on overnight, they are the result of eating a little more than you burned off for months and years. In this same way, making the healthier choice more often will develop a healthy eating pattern that will stop weight gain and lead to losing extra fat.
Why Did You Cheat?
You can analyze the situation and your emotions that led you to get off track. Were you needing comfort, needing some time off or tempted to join in with friends? You will have these same needs and emotions again and again. Think about the situation and come up with alternative plans for what you will do next time. It will help you preserve your healthy living plan.
Healthy Living Is for Life
You can call it cheating only if your diet is an event rather than a lifestyle. Will you never have cake again the rest of your life? Will you never again be too stressed out to make it to a workout? The lifestyle changes you are making need to be sustainable. You need to plan what you will do when you want a favorite high-calorie food or you need a rest day. Perhaps you will plan ahead for the treat by eating lighter meals earlier that day, or plan to savor a smaller portion of a treat presented unexpectedly.
No Bad Foods
If you love corn chips, you are not going to live without corn chips the rest of your life. Don't demonize any food - find a way to enjoy it once in awhile in a healthier way. I save the bag of corn chips or milkshake as a reward for walking a long distance workout where I know I have more than burned off the extra calories. If you love higher calorie, higher fat foods, plan to enjoy them once in awhile but in smaller portions. Take the time to really savor the flavor and texture of each bite. Share them with friends so you aren't forced into finishing a whole package or portion.
Stop Cheating, Start Living
You will make eating and exercise choices every day for the rest of your life. Make the healthier choice more often than the uncontrolled choice. When you splurge, make it a conscious decision, try to limit the portions and enjoy every bite.