How to Get Your Eating Back on Track

Photo by Jean-Francois Chenier

OK. To all of you faithful, wonderful readers, I’m sorry. You may have noticed that it has been a while since my last post. What can I say. In all things–eating well, blogging–life happens. We have the best of intentions, and yet we can’t follow through. “I really want to blog every week, but I am so busy…” “I really want to eat well today, but I am so busy…” So, to kill two birds with one stone, I am writing a blog post about how I plan to get my eating back on track!

This past two weeks, I found myself doing the following:

  • Drinking really sweet margaritas on multiple occasions
  • Diving into a basket (ok baskets) of corn chips at a favorite Mexican restaurant
  • Eating so much, including FRIED ice cream, at said Mexican restaurant that I could barely move
  • Running into a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos around midnight last Saturday (I have no idea how they got in the house).
  • Oh, yeah, eating almost half a baguette with really good butter
After all this time (almost 2 years of eating really well with minor slips) and all this weight (almost 90 pounds), this latest lapse startled me. It is the worst stretch I have had in 2 1/2 years. I was reacting to stress and a lot of life changes. I think it needed to happen. I think relapsing is a very healthy part of the weight loss process. Relapses help us practice getting back on track. After all, navigating relapses successfully makes the difference between losing weight and not. That said, it is still alarming. Here is what I am doing this week to get back on track:
  • Starting back on Crave Control (you can now get it here:; I clearly need this support over the next month
  • Eating all my meals and snacks; ALL OF THEM
  • Eating in balance with protein, carbs, and fats
  • Eliminating grains and really watching the starches
  • Taking a walk every day
  • Taking my vitamins and all my omega 3’s
  • Making food that is lovely and enjoyable to eat
I am going to do all of these things slowly and with a lot of gentleness. I used to punish myself when I would fall off the wagon. Now, I try my best to make sense of the food relapse and gently get back on track.  How do you deal with a food relapse? Leave a comment.

23 Comments on “How to Get Your Eating Back on Track”

  1. Alyssa says:

    I keep struggling with getting back to my regular diet.. What should I do to get back on track?

  2. Andrea says:

    Is there anyone that doesn’t suffer from lapses and set backs in this weight loss journey?? I love your positive attitude. I think it is how we deal with those setbacks that makes all the difference.

    Kristen, the leader of my N4WL class gave this analogy. I had never heard it before and it hit home with me.

    “Just because you break one plate doesn’t mean you are going to throw out the whole set.”

  3. […] half of losing and gaining the same five pounds. I have also been struggling with my cravings (see post). I am a person who needs periodic support and fine tuning of my diet to keep losing weight. I am […]

  4. […] half of losing and gaining the same five pounds. I have also been struggling with my cravings (see post). I am a person who needs periodic support and fine tuning of my diet to keep losing weight. I am […]

  5. Jessica says:

    High praise for you.

    1) Recognizing the setback/lapse
    2) Developing the action plan to get on board
    3) Honesty without reproach

    Hope the Crave Control and Plan help. Thanks for sharing. And you can see that many of us are here to cheer for you.

    Go Nell, Go!

  6. […] 2 weeks over Easter that were less than perfect. OK, it was the diet equivalent of Hiroshima (see my post about this). I was so afraid to weigh myself. After a week of being back on the wagon, I weighed […]

  7. Jenny Y says:

    When I feel like eating when I know I’m not (or shouldn’t be) hungry, as when I’m stressed or bored, I ask myself:
    What am I really avoiding?
    What problem with this food solve? -none, but real hunger
    Does this food taste better than being thin feels?

    I will often have a nice tall drink or go for some exercise instead. Exercise stimulates all of the wonderful endorphins & confidence I need to keep on track.

    I almost always have a bowl of sugar-free jello made in the fridge. That way, when my family is having their nightly sugary deserts, I dig in! (For only 20 calories & no carbs. )

  8. Kate says:

    Everyone, please don’t be discouraged. I think setbacks can be really beneficial for what they teach us and seem to shake up one’s sluggish metabolism.
    Nell, you’ve inspired me since I first heard you on the radio. My enormous goal seems insurmountable at times, but reading about your journey has kept me believing I can finally do it this time. I’m off of gluten and dairy so when I cruise the grocery store I repeat this as a mantra “I no longer eat wheat products – or corn – or dairy” and that reminds me to stay on the right path. Also the check-ins with my nutrition counselor (Kara) and teacher (Oralee) really help me.

    Here’s a recipe from certified nutritionist/exercise specialist, Isabel De Los Rios, author of The Diet Solution Program (or Flat Belly Solution) to help curb a sweet tooth: Mix some almond or peanut butter with unsweetened organic apple sauce and sprinkle cinnamon on top.

    Here’s what she says about “falling off the wagon.”

    People often think that in order to reach their Fat Loss goals they have to be perfect all the time. Not true.

    Do you think I never “fall off the wagon”?

    …Like the brownies at the last party I went to holding me hostage in one corner of the room, rendering me completely helpless with no emergency organic carrots in sight.

    Yes, yes, that was me…..

    I get this email from my readers all the time, “Isabel, I totally blew it on my diet last night. Now what do I do?” Yup, I’ve been there: bloated, disappointed, and feeling a bit defeated.

    The trick here is getting away from this downward spiral ASAP. You’ve got to get right back on the wagon right where you fell off and for most of us that’s just 1-2 healthy meals away. The biggest mistake you can make is throwing in the towel. I promise one bad meal, or a few bad foods are no reason to give up on a lifestyle of healthy eating. Every once in a while, it can actually be a good break from your regular routine and may even help to keep your metabolism high (But that is a good topic for another day.)

    Here are my “Isabel Damage Control Tips”. They will get you back on track and feeling back to your normal (or not so normal) healthy self faster than you can say “brownie”.

    1. Eliminate wheat and dairy for 2-3 days after the “incident”. I know what you’re thinking….”What does this girl have against wheat and dairy?” Well for starters they are the 2 most inflammatory foods that cause bloating in most people. Not to mention when people overeat, it is usually on wheat and dairy foods: cookies, cakes, ice-cream, pasta, bread. Ever heard of anyone overdosing on brown rice? Or poultry? Doesn’t really happen. If it has wheat or dairy, just eliminate it from your meal plan until you are back on track with your healthy eating and rid of the “after party bloat”.

    2. Drink tons of water! Of course, this rule is applicable all the time, but after a “binge” water is even more important. I also like to add a few squeezes of fresh lemon in my water for the “detoxifying” effects. Fresh lemon helps to cleanse the liver and a squeaky clean liver will assist in your weight loss efforts.

    3. Add in some extra walking. If I’ve packed in one too many calories, I get my body moving even more. Just adding in an extra 20 minutes of walking for the next few days gets me feeling back on track. I have even taken a trip to the mall just to do laps around the place. I get to people watch, see what’s on sale, and burn calories all at the same time.

    Just in case it was you being held hostage by the brownies at last night’s party, have no fear. You’re new mantra is …”Ain’t no silly brownies taking me down.”

    Remember, you are establishing a new way of healthy eating for life. One night, one meal, or a few bad foods can’t stop you from achieving your goals.

    Sorry this posting got so long, but I hope you find some encouragement in Isabel’s advice.

  9. Barbara says:

    Hi Nell!
    Thanks so much for the new post. I was starting to wonder where you were…Yes, relapse does seem to be part of the process. But I am like you and seem to just react that way to too much stress–I tend to quit caring and look for ways to reward myself for doing too much. It is a constant challenge for me to find time for myself to exercise, to plan and make my balanced meals, etc. I guess a backslide into some of the old habits should not surprise us. But it is reading blogs like yours to remind me not to give up the good fight and keep going. I think maybe it could be a matter of self-respect and for us moms, too many years putting everyone else first. But a relapse now is still better foodwise than what I was eating a year ago. The carbs/starches are my downfall–muffins, breads, toast and jelly, etc. To get back on track this week, I went to my farmer’s market on Saturday, loaded up on organic vegetables and came home and made some really good vegetable broth (Magic Mineral Broth from “One Bite At A Time” cookbook by Rebecca Katz). It really helps to soothe me and makes me feel like I’m taking really good care of myself. It is great to drink warmed up as soon as I get home to my “second job” and start making dinner for the troops. I’m also going to try a new tactic and get to sleep sooner so I can go to they gym in the mornings before work–I promise myself 3 days this week. Please keep us posted how you do this week with your committment and how you felt about it. I’m sure it would be very helpful and motivating! And yeah to the site–I want to try that CraveControl!

    • So good to hear from you! I love the vegetable broth idea. That sounds so good! I know, the second job. It is really endless, especially when you are trying to feed them GOOD food. Yes, Crave Control is awesome, you should try it!

  10. I do not wish for you or anyone to have a hard time and relapse but I’m so glad that it seems to be normal and I’m not the only one who struggles.

    It was great to hear your story Thursday night. You are very encouraging! I have a ton of weight to lose and it’s cool to hear that it will happen! 🙂 I was also very encouraged that you lost only a small amount each month. I am so used to the “Weight Watcher” type diets where you lose 10+ pounds a week for the first few weeks so less than 10 pounds a month seems too small. I know that the WW isn’t a good diet so I shouldn’t look to that for anything but I still can’t help but sometimes feeling defeated when not much is coming off. It’s a comfort to know you were able to lose large amounts with just little amounts at a time. So, thank you for taking your time to chat with us. It was awesome!

    • It was so great to meet YOU Heather. You seem so ready to do this. I was like that when I finally decided to do this thing! Yes, switching to the mind set that it will take time was hard. Although, time will pass whether or not you are following this plan. So, when you accept the time factor, it actually seems to go really fast.

      You are right. It will happen for you!

  11. Luana says:

    Thanks for posting this Nell. I’ve been feeling really discouraged and defeated lately. I’ve taken the 6 week series of classes twice (fall of 2009 and fall of 2010). Eight months after the 1st set of classes I was down 43 lbs! Things were going well until this winter. I got sick in Feb and didn’t work out for about a month. I’ve gained 8-10 lbs and cant’ seem to get rid of it. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. I haven’t had a big splurge or fallen completely off the wagon, but cheat a little now and then. I can’t be perfect 100% of the time. I thought my weight loss would be easy to maintain if I just kept eating the way I was. Do I need to fine tune my eating, exercise more? I’m so frustrated right now. All of my pants are snug and I’m afraid all the summer clothes I bought last year won’t fit this year. ;-( Help, please!

    • Boy do I feel your pain. I think a visit to a nutritionist is a great idea. The fine tuning is so important. Every time I plateau, I go in for a fine tuning session, and it really works. The nutritionist will pepper you with questions and make recommendations about how to get things going again!

  12. Kate smith says:

    Again, good to hear from you. Are you doing hot yoga?
    I just recently went through a set back. Making meals
    and snacks are the only way I can keep on track.


  13. Lezlie says:

    Thanks for your blog. I have been struggling with weight and eating issues for as long as I can remember and am currently in a “down” place with it all. I have used NWW in the past and am thinking a refresher may be in order. I feel so out of control at times with sugar and carbs, it’s hard to pull out of it. I appreciate your blog. It has helped me feel a little more positive and hopeful.

    • Thanks Lezlie! I know how you feel. I had a really bad couple of weeks, with Easter and lots of change/stress. It is like trying to pull out of a tail spin! I am writing everything down today and getting back on track! I think a refresher for me and you sounds good!

  14. John Mattson says:

    My relapses come on evenings when I am home alone. No one else to cook for so I make something simple like a sandwich but that might be after I have had a snack and a beer and all of a sudden I am fuller than I need to be and I still want a second beer. My best bet on those nights is to hope the weather is nice enough for a bike ride. If i sit down in front of the tube I’m doomed.

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