So I’ve talked about balance recently – about not making clean and healthy eating an obsession, allowing yourself to have the occasional ‘treat’, to slacken your rules and let your hair down from time to time, such as when on holiday, during festive periods, or if you just feel like taking a break! I’m definitely all for this, but there can be a flip side if bad habits become a little too regular. I’m sure most of us will admit that our old (or even new) habits have the ‘habit’ of creeping back in now and again if we let our guard down. After all, for many of us, they have been long held, deep routed behaviours. You might find that after a holiday you find it harder to get back on track with your healthy eating, or maybe during times of stress and busyness, or perhaps even out of boredom, you start to make poor choices when it comes to food. It’s not a big problem, as long as you recognise it – it might just be time to do something about it, before it becomes too ingrained!
Now I really don’t like the term ‘diet’. As you know, I’m not into extremes or obsessing over calories, but every now and again it can be helpful to get yourself back on track by having a short period of abstinence from the things that draw you towards temptation!! As a general rule of thumb, I don’t really drink coffee or tea, I stay well clear of refined sugar, the carbs in my diet come mostly from vegetables and some fruit and I try to drink in moderation. However, I do find that about once every six months (and usually after I’ve been a bit more relaxed with my eating), these things start to creep in – I might be treating myself to more coffee more often, drinking more alcohol, find myself being drawn towards heavier carbohydrates and sweet treats (always with natural sweeteners rather than refined sugar though – I still have my boundaries!!). Of course, when this happens my body starts to show the signs – I put on weight, I begin to lack energy, I’m generally just not as healthy as normal – I’m reverting back to the ‘old me’!!
Any of this sounds familiar? If so, then it’s a good idea to find yourself a clear 3-4 weeks in your diary – where you have as few social engagements as possible, as little work stress, etc and set out to re-set your behaviours. Re-visit your original ‘guidelines’ (notice I’m calling them guidelines rather than rules as nothing should be so set in stone that it can’t be broken or adapted!) and try your best to stick to it for the whole period. This length of time is usually long enough to kick those cheeky habits to the curb – at least until the next time 😉