The day has come – the third Monday in January – known as Blue Monday. It’s frequently referred to as the most depressing day of the year.
Yep, that’s right. It’s the gloomiest point in the year post-Christmas. Calculated on a number of factors, including debt, the chilly weather and the time since we’ve (most likely) given up on our New Year’s resolutions.
As the New Year began, you were full of drive for the year ahead. Had goals of losing weight, getting fitter and things just feel… Pretty tough.
If you’re feeling the January strain, or you’ve given up on your New Year goals already, here are some tips to restart your weight loss plan.
Tackling Blue Monday: Get your weight loss back on track
There are two reasons for possibly falling off the weight loss wagon. One is the acute relapse, when you’re getting along just fine until you just lose it.
This may be due to the constraints on your diet plan. If your weight loss plan is super strict, it’s easy to focus on the things you’re not allowing yourself to have – rather than what you can eat.
The second is the chronic relapse, where gradually discipline goes out of the window. You start snacking more, promising yourself you’ll go out for a run (and don’t) and no longer even look at your weight loss plan.
But what does that mean? Well if you’ve lost your motivation, it’s time to get it back!
Don’t get caught up in your momentary blip.
You’ve already shown you can control what you eat, so just pick up where you left off and let those moments of weakness go.
Think back to your reasoning for wanting to kickstart your weight loss in the first place. How did you feel? What made you want to make a change? Get those feelings back and you’ll be feeling back on track.
Now you’re aware of those potential blips, you can help to keep them at bay! If you have a sweet tooth, find a tasty fruit alternative for those chocolate cravings.
Shift your focus to the foods you can eat, and you’ll see there is so much variety out there to explore.
Keep a food diary
Keeping track of what you’re eating and when is a great way to restart your weight loss.
A lot of people start a diet plan without writing down what they’re eating and when. A food diary helps to quickly see where you may have fallen off the wagon – and avoid that mistake again.
It may be that you’re great with breakfast, but struggle at lunchtime. Or find yourself not feeling full and tempted to snack. When you have a record of what you’re eating, you can correct the part of your diet plan and find new foods to keep you fuller for longer.
There are a number of apps that can make keeping a food diary far easier, or if you prefer, simply reach for some pen and paper.
When you see your diet written down, you can see where you might be going wrong – if you are! Or, simply use a diary to help stick to your plan and mix up your diet.
Create a meal plan
Preparing your meals in advance can really save time and help you stick to your weight loss goals.
If you’ve had a quick binge or a few days off from your diet, get planning your week’s meals to help you stay on track.
This will not only help with your grocery shop, but it’ll also help you feel less tempted to eat food off-plan.
When you know exactly what you’re eating, you can find the perfect healthy rewards for your hard work, too!
Follow a normal eating routine
While what you’re eating is crucial to your weight loss, when you’re eating is just as important. If you start skipping meals, you’ll quickly be tempted to snack the day away.
Planning your meals and tracking what you’re eating makes sticking to three balanced meals a lot easier. Breakfast is an important meal to set you up for the day, so don’t be tempted into thinking a cup of coffee will do!
Consuming meals that are rich in protein, such as chicken, eggs and turkey, will help you feel full and with plenty of energy. Ensure you’re incorporating enough fibre, vegetables and good fats (avocado or salmon for example!) into your meal plan, too.
If you’ve fallen off track, you might be thinking ‘all I’ve done is treat myself…’ but a little reward here and there is important for your motivation.
When we’re feeling low – hello Blue Monday! – happy, or even mad, food plays a huge role in compensating for our emotions. Then, after treating ourselves, we feel guilty.
However, while we may not recommend you go scoffing a box of doughnuts, treating yourself can help you stay motivated.
You don’t have to treat yourself and ruin your diet plan! It can be something minor, such as a new book, a set of weights to workout at home, or some new music to run to!
Set achievable goals
Many dieters set HUGE goals which make your weight loss plan difficult to keep to.
While we’re all for reaching your goals, they need to be realistic.
This could be a target weight in a set timeframe, cutting out all that holiday junk food overnight or believing a weight loss plan to be a quick fix. Don’t be too hard on yourself, set realistic goals and enjoy the journey to get there.
Avoid setting huge goals within a short amount of time, leading to a lot of stress and the temptation to veer off track.
Dieting and weight loss is a journey! Enjoy the process, by setting smaller, more realistic goals along the way. You’ll soon find yourself knocking your targets out of the park!