You’ve cheated on your diet! The dos and don'ts of making it up

You’ve been following a healthy diet, but for some reason you lose control and order a pizza. Stay on track with these tips

Racha Adib

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You’ve been following a healthy diet and feeling great about yourself as you got closer to your target weight, but for some reason or another you lost complete control and cheated. No, this isn’t the end of your diet so you shouldn’t continue your food binge.

Instead what you should do is follow these do’s and don’ts to reverse the damages and get right back on track!

Do forgive yourself

It’s almost inevitable that you will slip from time to time. You’re only human. Realize that the key to any plan is persistence. Instead of beating yourself up, congratulate yourself for having lasted that long on the diet, even if it were for a day and remember: it’s not easy to break old habits after all.

Don’t check your weight

Cheating over one meal or even one day will not make you gain real weight. To gain a kilo of fat, you have to eat 7000 additional calories over your usual intake, which is close to impossible in one day. What usually happens after a binge is temporary weight gain which will probably resolve on its own within a day or two of following a healthy diet. So what’s the point of getting frustrated?

Do add in some fat burning interval training

Weight loss is simply an equation. If you burn more than you eat, you lose weight. So you went off course and ate a bit more than you should, why not burn a bit more too?

One of the most efficient exercises to leave your metabolism operating efficiently and for hours after you’ve finished exercising is interval training. Interval training is when you vary your intensity of a workout such as walking for 2 minutes and running that fastest you can go for a minute and then repeating this cycle between 6-8 times. A 20 minute workout is all it takes. Your body will also release some endorphins letting you feel great about yourself after you’re done.

Don’t skip meals

It’s tempting to skip a meal to cut back on calories, but what will the end result be? You’ll be hungrier later, and you’ll most likely overeat on your next meal taking you right back into that vicious cycle of overeating and undereating.

Instead, eat your meals on time. Also make sure to load up your diet with foods that go the distance such as those rich in fiber and protein. High fiber food such as spinach, broccoli, and lettuce are low in calories and will keep you feeling full. Couple them with lean meat such as grilled chicken breast. The end result? You’ll have a very low calorie yet filling meal.

Do load up on green tea

Besides fighting cancer, heart disease, and aging, a study in the January issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that drinking green tea can also fight fat. Key substances in green tea, known as catechins, have been found to help you burn more calories and reduce your body fat. To reap the benefits, consume 4 cups of green tea a day.

Do detoxify with water

If you cheated on a lot of fat, sugar, and sodium then the best way to flush out the resulting toxins and water retention is by drinking more water. Keep drinking until you notice that you’re visiting the bathroom frequently and that your urine has become clear in color. That’s how you know you’ve really cleansed your body.

Do keep a journal

Finally, make a note of what made you cheat. With time you’ll start noticing a pattern and learn how to control the situation next time you’re in it. Were you upset? Or were you bored at home alone? Find alternatives to releasing your anger or boredom or whatever it is that triggered the binge.