Have a strong rebound
If you’ve decided to eliminate, or include, something that you won’t be able to do every day, forever, it’s important to be able to bounce back when you fall off.
There are a couple of ways you can do this.
Firstly, setting goals with relatively short-medium timeframes and then consuming some of the eliminated food or taking a rest day from training.
Once the rest is over, you get back into the regime and work towards the next goal, which might be a little bit longer or a similar timeframe with extra training.
These small blocks demonstrate adherence and allow the achievement of a target duration, which isn’t present with ‘forever’ goals.
Secondly, it’s to have a plan to get back on track when you do fall off (even though it will be unplanned).
I often talk to people about this in the sense of not letting a cheat day become a cheat week.
Because we tend to overconsume in the afternoon or evening, breakfast is often the next meal that will be eaten.
Therefore we place an emphasis on getting breakfast right the next day to get back into the routine.
It’s always tempting to give in to something more pleasurable after a cheat day, with the justification that you’ve already fallen off and will start again next week.
The problem is that the damage done from a week off tends to outweigh the benefits of a week on.
It’s like spending money - saving takes longer than spending!
Being more confident in your rebound strategy can also decrease worry around adherence to the program and avoid developing an ‘all or nothing’ mindset.
Some people might withdraw from social situations to avoid certain foods, temptations or peer pressure when they are in the early stages of a nutrition strategy.
But the long-term goal is to have people able to manage their own body composition and food intake by controlling energy balance, which can include some ice cream and situations where food intake is challenging to control, every now and then, while being able to manage these temptations as they pop up.