Tips for Getting Back on the Diet and Exercise Wagon

Have you fallen off the diet and exercise wagon? Follow these easy tips to get you back on track.

Falling Off Wagon - The Lemon Bowl

Have you ever fallen off the diet and exercise wagon? Whether you slipped up during a meal, missed an entire week of workouts or simply can’t seem to stop after just one cookie, we have all been there.

Black Bean and Barley Salad - The Lemon Bowl

Usually, it goes a little something like this: Monday starts off with a protein smoothie, you pack a healthy salad for lunch on Tuesday, Wednesday is filled with cardio and Thursday even includes a healthy dinner that the whole family loved. You’re on Cloud 9 right? 

Woman Standing on Scale

Friday rolls around, you hop on the scale, the hard work has paid off and you’ve lost a pound! Maybe even two. Time to celebrate, right?! A glass of wine with dinner, brunch with friends, a couple French fries off your son’s lunch plate, you know the drill.

Next thing you know, a glass of wine turns into 4, you sleep through Boot Camp the next morning and decide (subconsciously) to make the entire day a wash. What started as one day suddenly turns into a week and the next thing you know, you’re scarfing down your daughter’s leftover cold waffles during nap time.

Falling Off Wagon - The Lemon Bowl

How to get back on track after falling off the diet wagon:

  1. Come Clean and Tell a Friend: Eating right and exercising regularly is hard work. The more help you can get to hold yourself accountable, the better. Trust me, you’ll feel better and it will force you to be honest with yourself. Chances are, your friend has also “accidentally” eaten a sleeve of Oreos before.
  2. Clean the Fridge and Restock the Pantry: What happens when you have Girl Scout cookies in the house? You eat them. It’s time to toss out the eggnog and the wilted kale in the back of the produce drawer and start fresh. Make a shopping list and head to the store. Focus on the outside aisles (produce, dairy, meat, etc.) and you’ll be in good shape. Check out this visual slide show of Top 20 Ingredients for Quick Cooking from Cooking Light.
  3. Buy Tighter Workout Clothes: Not only are tighter clothes more flattering on ALL shapes and sizes, but it will help you notice the progress you’ve made. When you look at yourself in the mirror 20 times a day, it’s hard to see results. Case in point: this week in Step class I caught a glimpse of my spandex covered body in the mirror and thought it was someone else. I didn’t recognize my new body. That will never happen if you’re wearing your husband’s XXL t-shirts to exercise.Liz Before and After - The Lemon Bowl
  4. Read Success Stories: When I first joined MyFoodDiary, I loved reading about others who had been in my shoes and found success. There are countless success stories online that you can find with a simple search but of course, I am a bit partial to my own
  5. Treat Your Next Meal Like Monday Morning: You fell of the wagon, so what? It happens. Now get back on there as soon as possible. I mean it. Now. Not tomorrow. Not Monday. Right now.
  6. Download New Music: Is it just me or do you find yourself working out 100 times faster when a good song comes on your playlist? Just when I think I’m too tired to keep working out, a good song will come on and suddenly I feel like I can run a 5K. (Which, in fact, has never happened but Rihanna certainly makes me think it’s possible.)   Songs I’m Loving Right Now: “I Cry” by Flo Rida, “Don’t Stop the Party” by Pitbull, “Too Close (Distance Remix)” by Alex Clare and “Locked Out of Heaven” by Bruno Mars.

Keep up the good work, I’m proud of you.

38 thoughts on “Tips for Getting Back on the Diet and Exercise Wagon”

  1. Thank you so much for this post! I was going to keep eating Easter leftovers, and start back tomorrow, but I’m going to throw out the cake, pie, and the beloved sweet potato casserole, and start fresh with dinner. Thank you thank you thank you! Just what I needed today!

  2. Yup. I’ve definitely fallen off the healthy eating wagon. And even the “at least eat a FEW veggies a day” wagon. :( And exercise? Lordy.

    This post has actually inspired me and I can’t say that about many of these types of posts. Thank you!

  3. Oh yes, this has happened to me. Tip #5 was always key. If I waited until the next Monday morning to get back on track, I found that the bad habits had already taken over and it was harder to get over that hump again. Instead, taking control at THE VERY NEXT MEAL was key for me. Great post, Liz!

    1. So true, Dara!! I always feel better when I get things back in gear and under control sooner than waiting for the proverbial Monday morning. :)

  4. Oh that damn wagon, it circles and circles just like the ravens ready to pounce on fresh kill. That’s what it feels like sometimes anyway. These tips are a great reminder that if we keep focused, we can outrun those silly birds. Your before and after shot is inspiring, congrats on keeping it real.

    1. haha – that damn wagon just won’t leave us alone will it?? Thank you so much for the kind words. It means the world, Heidi.

  5. Uh, yea…this was me Monday!! I totally celebrated all weekend and feel it. However, somehow I drove myself to gym Monday morning, I’m working my way back!!!

    1. Well it’s your birthday girl!!! We all know there are no calories on your birthday!!!! Yesterday was my mom’s birthday and I hate cake, ice cream, white past and wine. (Eek!)

    1. Great point with being sick!! Now that I have a little one, we are almost always out sick a few weeks of the year.

  6. I totally needed this post today. I’ve completely fallen off and I need to shed the last 5 pounds for my goal wedding weight. I just need motivation and someone to kick me in the butt! I still owe you an email too…maybe you can be my motivator and help me :) hehe

  7. Yep! Great stuff Liz.

    When I first went to WW, the leader said this… “If you were on a road trip from CA to WA and you got off the highway at the wrong exit in OR, would you stay there or find your way back onto the road to get your ass home or what? Same thing with your food and exercise – get back on the road, no matter how many times you get off!”

    It has stuck in my head ever since that day and while I’ve definitely gotten off the road, I keep getting back on and that is what makes it a lifestyle and not a diet!

  8. Thanks for sharing this! I found your blog recently via Pinterest and I’ve tried several recipes and just wanted to say thanks!!

    1. So glad you found me, Kelly!! I’m glad you’ve enjoyed the recipes you’ve tried so far. Let me know if you try any others or have any requests!

  9. Wow! Thank you so much! Can not tell you how this post Hit Home with me!!! I’m so thankful I stumbled across your site on pinterest :) Thanks for being inspiring! Honestly and truly, Thank you Liz.

    1. I’m so glad it hit home, Casey!! It was a very personal post and of course I speak from experience as I have definitely fallen off the wagon a few times. :) I’m glad you enjoyed it and thanks for finding me!

  10. Such great tips, Liz!!! I’m all for cleaning out the fridge and grabbing some new music. And also buying new workout shoes always seems to motivate me for some reason. Your Monday morning tip is my favorite though! :)

    You are such an inspiration!!

    1. Thank you so much Ali!! I figured it was a topic we’ve ALL had experience with and I wanted to share what helps me in hopes that it potentially helps others. :) xo

  11. Love your tips! I totally agree. I even find that in addition to tighter workout clothes, it’s important for me to daily wear my uncomfortable jeans, etc. If I wear loose fitting clothes I’m not as aware of my choices as when I’m in the jeans that have gotten too tight. I also love the idea of community…. it’s what keeps me going! Great post to start us all off right this Monday!

    1. So true about the jeans!!!! I’m not going to lie – I wear leggings/yoga pants way too much. It really is important to wear real clothes with zippers and buttons from time to time. :)

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